Underfloor heating can be both a practical and luxurious option. While many people think of warm bathroom tiles in the morning, it's also an excellent option in many other parts of a typical home, including the garage. Underfloor heating in a garage can help keep the space comfortable without forcing you to tie your garage into your home's overall HVAC system.
Of course, underfloor heating won't be the best option for every situation. These three questions will help you determine if your garage is a good candidate for this unique form of heating.
1. Do You Frequently Use Your Garage?
While underfloor heating can keep a room comfortable and warm on the coldest days, you may be wasting the high installation cost if you rarely use your garage for any purpose other than storing cars. However, radiant heating can be an excellent option if your garage doubles as a living space or a workshop area.
Radiant floor heating can be especially beneficial workshops since it doesn't produce any drafts or air currents. Since radiant systems heat objects directly, you can also expect your tools, workbenches, and other equipment to be less painfully cold while the system is running. For garages that see frequent usage in these ways, radiant heating can be a game-changer.
2. Is Your Garage Well-Insulated?
Radiant heat will be inefficient and potentially ineffective in poorly insulated spaces. If your garage lacks good insulation or has numerous gaps that allow cold air in, you may need to address these issues before installing a new radiant system. Electric radiant systems are particularly inefficient under these conditions, but even hydronic systems will struggle.
You will also want to consider your ability to install insulation on the floor. Radiant heating loses substantial heat to the slab below it, so insulating the surface you're installing it on is essential. Fortunately, many radiant heating systems include insulating mats that can help alleviate this issue.
3. Can You Raise Your Floor?
Hydronic radiant heating systems typically include insulating mats, hydronic plumbing and attachment hardware, and a top layer of concrete. While many different systems exist with varying thicknesses, most will require you to build up the floor by some amount. If you're installing your system in a garage, you may have to consider how this will affect your doors and the transition from the driveway.
Note that grinding methods exist, as well. These options can allow you to install radiant heating while minimizing the floor build-up, potentially helping alleviate issues with low ceilings or other restrictions. If building up your floor isn't an option, one of these methods may be an alternative that will still allow you to use underfloor radiant heat in your garage.
For more information on underfloor heating installation, contact a company like Merrimack Valley Plumbing LLC.