Most people who own radiant floor heating feel that the most important advantages are comfort and quiet operation. Radiant floor systems allow even heating throughout the whole floor, not just in localized spots as with wood stoves, hot air systems, and other types of radiators. The room heats from the bottom up, warming the feet and body first. Radiant floor heating also eliminates the draft and dust problems associated with forced-air heating systems.
Even heat distribution may result in lower heating bills. With radiant floor heating, you may be able to set the thermostat several degrees lower, relative to other types of central heating systems. This is because the entire surface of the floor radiates about the same amount of heat that the human body does, making the occupant feel warm even though the air temperature might be only 65ºF (18ºC). It also radiates this heat for a long period of time. Radiant systems may result in less infiltration of outside air into the house compared to houses with forced-air heating. Radiant floor heating proponents claim that fuel savings of 15% to 20% over forced air systems are possible. However, recent reports suggest that this may not be the case, since occupants may not be comfortable with a "low" thermostat setting and thus not set it lower.
Radiant floor heating also allows for lower boiler temperatures, which may result in the boiler lasting longer (a 45 year life is not unusual). Radiant floors operate between 85-140ºF (29-60ºC), compared to other hydronic heating systems' range of 130-160ºF (54-71ºC).
To some, the greatest advantage of radiant floor heating is aesthetic. The system is "invisible." There are no heat registers or radiators to obstruct furniture arrangements and interior design plans. Radiant floor systems also eliminate the fan noise of forced hot air systems.