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PATH Case Study

Radiant Floor Heating:

Increased Customer Satisfaction Adds Sizzle to a Custom Builder's Business


Printable Version [.pdf, 773 KB]

[IMAGE: Scorecard image]


Chris Meinhart, President
Hart Builders
Media, Pennsylvania

The Technology:

Radiant Floor Heating

The Project:

This large, single-family home in Williston, Pennsylvania, has radiant floor heating in the foyer, garage, and master bath.

"Different is not complicated. You can't allow yourself to be afraid of it. There's nothing scary about radiant floor heating. Get over the old and jump into the new."

-- Chris Meinhart



[IMAGE: PEX piping is easily uncoiled and quickly embedded in the floor.] Chris Meinhart was attracted to radiant floor heating because of its ability to easily heat large open spaces, especially those with high ceilings.

Although radiant floor heating can be used in any room in the house, it is especially popular in rooms with tile and concrete floor finishes, which easily store heat.

"I use radiant floor systems to heat rooms such as foyers, master baths, basements, and garages where heating an uncontained space would be inefficient or almost impossible with a traditional forced-air system," Meinhart says. "Given the size of many of the rooms that I build, it's been difficult to manage and control temperatures. With radiant heat, you warm surfaces rather than having to circulate high volumes of air. It's been a perfect solution."

Radiant floor heating systems are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency and added comfort. Rather than experiencing the feeling of hot, dry air being blown through a room, customers instead get even, consistent heat without stuffiness.

"In my own home, I have installed a radiant heating system in the basement, which I love because it actually keeps the floor dry. You can stay warm while maintaining a certain amount of crispness in the air. It's also great for large rooms that are hard to heat, and for rooms with cathedral ceilings because the heat doesn't get lost 15 feet up. It also cuts your heating load significantly, which saves money on energy bills."

Radiant floor heating is also quieter and less drafty than conventional systems because there are no heat registers or radiators. Because they don't force air through ducts or registers, radiant systems are ideal for customers sensitive to airborne allergens. Households with radiant floor heating host 50 to 80 percent fewer dust mites, according to the Association for Applied and Experimental Research of Allergies.


"Radiant floors are more popular in custom homes right now, but I would love to see more track builders adopt them," Meinhart says. "Unfortunately, many are reluctant to abandon forced air systems. For them, it's a journey into the unknown--but you know, sometimes that's what it takes." Meinhart first learned how to install radiant heating systems from an experienced HVAC contractor.

Next Page >>

[IMAGE: Chris Meinhart]

Chris Meinhart, President of Hart Builders in Chester County, Pennsylvania, has been building residential and commercial sites since 1988. He began his business building low- and mid-range homes; he now builds high-end custom homes using innovative materials and technologies.

Why he uses radiant floor heating:

"It's a more efficient and effective method of heating large, open spaces than traditional forced air systems."

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Content updated on 9/25/2006

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