How To Convert Old Radiators To Radiant
Tips For A Successful Conversion to Radiant
When asked about the most annoying aspect of winter, most people would choose the ice cold floor
that runs a chill through every cell in the body. While the overall temperature in your house maybe pleasant, the
cold floor under your feet will make your teeth chatter, compelling you to turn up the heat and burn a hole in your
Fortunately, there is recourse in the form of radiant floor heating for people who never want to
step on the freezing floor again.
However, a lot of people stay away from this option anticipating exorbitant installation costs.
Although you will be spending for the assembly, radiant floor heating can reduce your utility bills by 30%, so the
installation is well worth the cost and effort.
The best part is that you can convert your old radiators to a radiant floor heating system. Here is a look at how you can
accomplish this task.
Several homes still sport the clunky, unsightly, old world radiators that use heated water for
temperature control. These radiators and the boiler system that feeds them can also be used for the radiant
floor heating assembly.
The conversion process is complicated, so you will need to enlist the help of a qualified
Looking for a contractor: This is the first step to converting the old, run
down, cast iron radiator into a convenient and highly functional radiant floor heating system. Ensure that you
choose a reliable and reputable establishment that can offer several references. Also, look online for reviews of
the contractor that you choose to work with.
To put it simply, only work with a person who can prove it to you that he has undertaken similar
projects several dozen times.
The installation: You will also need to make a decision on the installation
system; there are two options here; installing the tubing inside cast concrete or choosing a sub floor to house the
The calculation: Your contractor will also need to calculate the flow rate,
extent of heat loss and the optimum water temperature; all of these factors will have a bearing on the efficacy of
The safety measures: When choosing a contractor for the installation of your
radiant floor heating system, it is imperative to ask a lot of questions and have every one of your doubts
clarified. Discuss the calculations with them including asking about the availability of enough heat on the coldest
Also, talk about the type of plastic radiant heat piping that the contractor intends to use in
It is essential to inquire about the insulating concrete lab and its thickness; after all, you
do not want the heat to bleed outside. Ensure that you get the contractor to put all his verbal promises down in
writing. You will need to take several pictures through the construction phase; particularly of those parts of the
tubing which will be hidden inside the concrete slab.
Also, make sure that the installer has a permit and that the job on your house gets an approval
from the inspector.
Choosing a mixing valve with outdoor reset: Your old radiator can heat water to
higher temperatures than what is required for a radiant floor heating system. So, you will also have to decide on a
mixing valve outdoors that will adjust the water temperature.
The outdoor reset will monitor the temperature of the outside air before adjusting the
temperature of the water in the system.
While the task of installing a radiant floor heating system may seem cumbersome in the
beginning, once you use the system, you will be smitten by it. Add to this the practicality of its design and its
sheer functionality and it’s not difficult to understand why most home owners are mulling over the prospect of
chucking their old radiators in favor of a radiant floor heating system.