Chances are, you have a room in your house that never seems to get warm.
It was the laundry/mudroom for David and Jess, but they didn’t think much about it until they were happily expecting their first child. The nursery was ready, but they were worried about the expected uptick in laundry. Their laundry/mudroom was a poorly insulated add-on with no direct connection to the home heating system. It was cold and damp, and no place to bring a baby.
Sound familiar? In your home, it may be the basement, a bedroom with multiple windows, or the room over the unheated crawl space.
Turning up the heat isn’t energy-efficient and may not be effective, either. And fuzzy socks only go so far. Besides staying in bed all day, what can you do when your heating system isn’t keeping up?
We reached out to WarmlyYours, a company specializing in radiant heating systems, for some home heating tips. We’ve used their products in Touchstone remodels and are impressed with their expertise and high-quality service.
Traditional home heating systems rely on a furnace, boiler, or heat pump. Those heaters use convective heat, blowing warm air to transfer heat to solid objects (like you!).
“Radiant heat,” explains WarmlyYours President and Owner Julia Billen, “refers to a form of heating for buildings where a heating element radiates heat via infrared waves to the solid objects in the room.”
In layman’s terms, radiant heat doesn’t blow warm air through the room. Instead, heating elements warm up solid objects, such as the floor or wall.
Radiant heating elements can be used as either a primary or supplemental heat source for a space in your home.
Why install radiant heat?
- Energy-efficient – Radiant heat systems use less energy and can often be set to a lower temperature than traditional systems.
- Low maintenance – Radiant heat elements require almost no maintenance after installation.
- Cost-effective – In addition to the energy savings, radiant heat systems are inexpensive, especially if you install them during construction or a remodel.
- Comfort – Radiant heat can warm up rooms like basements or sunrooms that may be tricky to heat with traditional methods. Plus, it doesn’t dry out the air. That means relief from winter’s chapped hands and lips.
A typical bathroom floor can be heated for about a quarter a day.
Let’s look at some radiant heat options for your home:
Electric Floor Heating
Think about stepping into your bathroom barefoot in the winter. Yikes! But with radiant heat, that same toe-tormenting floor could be a source of warmth instead. There are floor heating systems for every type of floor, including tile, vinyl, concrete, hardwood, and laminate. “Bathrooms and kitchens are the most popular rooms for radiant heating,” says Julia, “but bedrooms, foyers, or basements can also benefit from radiant heat.”
If a new floor isn’t in the plans, a radiant heat panel can be an excellent option. It’ll look like an elegant piece of art or mirror, but it’s actually a wall-mounted infrared heating device. Radiant panels come in a variety of options, from colored glass to lighted mirrors to Swarovski-crystal-encrusted models.
Granite countertops are beautiful, durable, heat resistant-and COLD! You can give your hands and elbows a break with a countertop heater. This innovative product is an ultra-slim mat that adheres to the underside of the countertop. It gently raises the counter temperature by 20-25°F. Countertop heaters are ideal for granite, marble, quartz, or any stone surface. And don’t limit yourself to the kitchen; countertop heaters also work on bars or vanities, as long as they have an adequate overhang.
Pipe Freeze Protection
Just because you don’t see your pipes doesn’t mean they’re not there. They’re working hard for you 24/7 and may need some TLC in the winter. If you’ve ever had frozen pipes, you know it’s a nightmare you don’t want to repeat. Attaching a small heat tracing cable to your pipes will keep the water flowing all winter, without keeping the taps open.
Roof and Gutter De-icing
Moving outside, look at those beautiful icicles hanging down from your roofline. They make a classic winter picture but, unfortunately, can cause expensive water damage to your home. When ice dams block the gutters, they can’t drain, leading to pooled water with nowhere to go but under your shingles and into your house. This can cause leaks, mold, or, in extreme cases, roof collapse.
Specially made roof and gutter heating cables can keep your gutters and roof from freezing over. They’re weatherproof, water-resistant, and easy to install.
Snow Melting Systems
There’s nothing like a fresh blanket of snow-until you have to shovel it off your walkway and driveway. But what if you didn’t have to?
On average, snow falls for 8.1 days and aggregates up to 15.4″ of snow in Washington, D.C.
Instead, you can install snow melting systems on driveways, patios, walkways, decks, or stairs. Snow melting systems are heavy-duty mats or cables that work under asphalt, concrete, or pavers in mortar. Not only is it safer for pedestrians and vehicles, but it will also save your back from the shovel and your outdoor surfaces from corrosive salt.
Warm, Happy Endings
And what happened to David and Jess?
“These new parents were able to use radiant heating to make their lives a little easier by adding warmth to their laundry room/mudroom,” says Julia. With a floor radiant heating system, the mudroom is now comfy and inviting. “At times when I am in the kitchen, I will purposely walk into our laundry room just to get that toasty feeling,” says Jess.
You can have a warm, happy ending, too! Contact us, and let’s get started warming up your beautiful home.