Thursday, January 04, 2007

Living with Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is really, really different than "regular" forced air or baseboard heaters. Sure, we realized that the floors would feel warm all over, but there are other, subtler differences that we are noticing as well. For one thing, the heat "soaks into" other items, such as the futon mattress. It's a strange thing, even after we got the bedframe assembled so the bed is off the floor the mattress still picks up the heat. The space under the bed also gets warm, as well as the space under the laundry room workbench. Clothes or blankets on the floor also get warm, almost like they've just come out of the dryer. And you can probably guess how we learned not to set the box of christmas chocolates on the floor...

The single biggest difference though is in the behavior of our cats. They are helpless against the radiant heat. It's like some kind of kitty higher power said "thou shalt lie down and relax". Luckily, the heat cycles on and off about 6 times a day, depending on the temperatures set on the thermostats, so the cats have a chance to get up and move around between heat-induced naps. You can tell when the pump comes on and starts to circulate the hot water, because the cats just sort of melt into the floor wherever they are at the time. Here is Sanford, trapped in the living room:
Iggy nearly made it to the couch, but not quite...
He looks pretty disgruntled, but he's actually loving it. They all are. :)

Sprout has pretty much taken up permanent residence on a hot spot under the bed, so there's no picture of him. He's just as much in thrall to the radiant as the other two, maybe even more so.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great pictures of your cats...our cat, a 19 yr old Siamese, loves the radiant heat as well. Of course, she loves to lay/sit in front of our portable, oil filled radiators as well. Must feel good on her old bones. Bathroom floors here in Norway always have radiant heat, a nice feature! Radiant heat will definitely be our our dream home when we build it. Glad to see that you have moved in...Enjoy!
Warm (pun intended) regards from Oslo.

Janet said...

Nice pics. I can't wait to sprawl out on your floor.

addie said...

You can even borrow a cat to sprawl out with!

Bruce said...

That's the funniest thing I've seen all day. I can only imagine how my furry little one would react to radiant heat. She sleeps all day as it is...

addie said...

Yeah, it's not like I'm claiming that they were active before or anything. I really wouldn't have beleived they could be LESS active unless I'd seen it myself. But there's fuzzy proof draped all over my floor right now...

The Green Man said...

As a servent to 7 cats, I'll have to remember this as an added advantage for radiant heat that the cats will love it.

Speaking of heating and such what became of the Monarch wood/coal cookstove?

addie said...

The Monarch is still out in the shop, waiting patiently for me to have time to clean it up and get it ready to bring into the house. Once we get through unpacking boxes, that will be my next project. No rest for the wicked!

The Green Man said...

I have basically the same stove at home.. (never figured out if the number on the vent door is a serial number, or a model number)

give me a shout sometime via my Gmail account (cernenus) if you want to talk about living with such a stove.. (our is in our kitchen, and serves as backup heat and cooking for instances such as a the windstorm a few weeks back.

(we live in Maltby now, about 80 miles or so south of B'ham.. but I went to College at WWU, and that area is one of my favorite places in WA state still)