Radiant Heating FAQs

How does an underfloor radiant heating system work?
Radiant heating circulates warm fluid through a network of pipes in floors, walls or ceilings. It warms you by heating the surfaces in a room. By using these expansive surfaces, relatively low fluid temperatures are capable of delivering high heat outputs, resulting in improved energy efficiency and comfort. Click here for more details on radiant technology.

Why is radiant heating more comfortable than other heating systems?
Radiant heating warms you by heating the surfaces in a room. It transfers heat so gently and constantly that you experience the same comfort at a lower temperature. It does not create drafts, cycle on and off or overheat and dry the air you breathe. While heated air rises above your head, radiant heating channels the warmth to you. 

Does radiant heating contribute to a healthier indoor environment?
Radiant heating systems do not rely on air circulation to distribute heat and operate at relatively low temperatures. As a result, they reduce the circulation of dust and allergens and do not dry the air like conventional forced-air systems.

How long has radiant floor heating been around?
Heated floor systems have been around since ancient times, with archaeological evidence dating back to 5,000 BC in China and Korea and 500 BC when the Romans used hypocaust heating. The systems we know today that circulate heated fluid through pipes have been installed in North America for more than 75 years, initially using wrought iron pipes, then copper and now, polymer materials.

How long has REHAU radiant floor heating been around?
REHAU pioneered RAUPEX® crosslinked polyethylene (PEXa) pipe in 1968 and began supplying radiant floor heating systems in 1972. There are more than 1 billion feet (300 million meters) of RAUPEX pipe already installed in homes like yours. You can be confident in your choice of REHAU radiant heating, knowing you are dealing with an industry leader.

What flooring can I use with radiant heating?
Hydronic radiant heating can be used with a variety of finished flooring types. Since flooring affects heat transfer, the flooring you plan to use is one of the parameters entered into the heat output calculation during design of your radiant heating system. Choosing flooring with a low R-value (low resistance to heat transfer) will maximize the energy efficiency of your system. Hard surfaces such as stone, ceramic tile and bare concrete are especially efficient because of their ability to transfer heat. Hardwood flooring is also a very popular selection with radiantly heated floors. Even carpet works. We encourage you to discuss your flooring selections with your REHAU radiant contractor and also to make your flooring contractor aware of your plan to use radiant heating.

How much does a radiant heating system cost?
Hydronic radiant heating is a premium comfort solution, intended to make the many hours you spend in your home during cold weather more comfortable and enjoyable. It can also reduce your energy consumption compared to conventional forced-air systems by up to 30%. A variety of factors affect the cost of your radiant heating system. The two main factors are the radiant heat source (e.g., boiler, heat pump) and the installation technique for the heating pipe. Installation in new construction with pipes buried in concrete slabs tends to be the least expensive, since the concrete is being poured anyway. The best way to learn about your options is to contact a REHAU radiant contractor.

Can I install my own radiant heating system?
Hydronic radiant heating systems require integrating mechanical components into your home’s overall indoor comfort solution, so they are not considered do-it-yourself projects. Unlike the electric radiant floor warming mats you may have seen at your local hardware store, which are typically used to warm a tile floor in a small area, a REHAU radiant heating system is custom-designed for each home’s floor plan and room use requirements. We encourage you to contact a REHAU radiant contractor to design and install your system.

Can radiant heating be a home’s sole source of heat?
A radiant heating system is one of the most efficient methods of heating a home. It most definitely can be designed to handle a home’s entire heating demand, and can provide exceptional comfort and energy efficiency.

If I install radiant heating, what do I do for cooling?
Standard home construction in much of the United States and Canada employs central forced-air heating and cooling. The typical approach is to add to the standard equipment a radiant heat source and piping, either in certain rooms or in the entire house. If you are installing radiant in your whole house, you might want to ask your contractor about eliminating the air heat source (e.g., furnace).

For homeowners who want to avoid a ducting system altogether, due to allergy and space concerns, cooling can be accomplished with high-velocity air cooling systems with small flexible ducts or individual room cooling units (e.g., ductless mini-split air conditioners).

Do radiant heating pipes leak?
REHAU RAUPEX heating pipes are very durable and do not leak. Decades of continuous testing and real-world experience have proven the long-term reliability of these pipes. Pressure tests, performed during installation of the heating pipes as well as during installation of the finished flooring, ensure the radiant heating system is leak free.  Should the pipe be punctured during construction, for example by a nail during flooring installation, the damaged pipe is simply repaired with the our compression-sleeve fitting system to create a connection that is as strong and reliable as the pipe itself. REHAU radiant piping systems are covered by REHAU’s 25-year PEXa limited warranty.

Can radiant heating be added to an existing home?
Radiant heating can easily be added whenever you are replacing the finished flooring of a room. Radiant panel systems – REHAU RAUPANELTM and RAUBOARDTM – are especially suitable for remodeling. Radiant heating can also be added to the space above an unfinished basement, using REHAU RAUPLATETM in the joist space under the subfloor.

Can radiant heating be used with a geothermal heat pump?
Geothermal heat pumps are a very efficient heat source for a radiant heating system, making these technologies a great match. Unlike forced-air and baseboard heating, radiant heating requires relatively low fluid temperatures that fall within the range where a geothermal heat pump operates most efficiently. Be sure to look for a water-to-water or hybrid heat pump.

Does REHAU install the radiant heating system?
REHAU radiant heating systems are installed by contractors throughout North America. REHAU radiant contractors are equipped with a 25-year limited warranty on REHAU radiant piping system, comprehensive training and design support. Most have many years of radiant experience and will be happy to share their reference projects with you. Together, you will define a radiant system that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

How can I find a contractor who installs REHAU radiant heating?
You can search for a REHAU radiant contractor by postal or zip code on the Where to Buy feature of our website or contact our regional sales office at Contact Us.

Where to buy