How to Increase Efficiency of Gas Radiant Heat

What You'll Need
Plastic window coverings

Gas radiant heat is one of the many available radiant heating systems for homeowners today. You can use radiant heat to heat a single room or an entire home. Making your gas radiant heat more efficient takes minimal supplies and can be easily completed by nearly everyone.

Step 1: Locating The Drafts

A drafty home is more often the not, the cause for high heating bills. No matter how hard your heating system works to keep the house warm, it is going to do no good if there are drafts around. This problem is common in older houses that have inadequate insulation and in homes that have outdated doors and windows.

Locating the drafts in your home is fairly easy. Check your doors and windows as they are most common for drafts. Another culprit for drafts are attics, fireplaces and crawlspaces.

Step 2: Adding Insulation

The first thing that you should do when making your gas radiant heat more efficient, is add insulation where it is needed. The most common place is in the attic, as heat rises and can be lost in a cold or drafty attic. Adding insulation to your attic is fairly easy. There are a couple of different types of insulation that are available for homeowners. In older homes, insulation that comes in rolls is typically used. In updated and newer homes, the trend is spray foam insulation.

If your attic is already insulated, you may want to consider upgrading to a thicker insulation then what is already in your attic as this will significantly lower your heating costs.

Step 3: Update Your Windows

Updating, or, in some cases, replacing, your windows will also help increase the efficiency of your gas radiant heat. Poorly insulated  or installed windows are one of the most common ways a house looses heat. You can fix the drafty windows a few different ways.

Replacing the weatherstripping and putting in new caulk is the fastest and most inexpensive way to update your window without having to replace them. When you open your window, there should be a length of weatherstripping on the bottom. Over time this weather stripping can become cracked. Simply tear it off and lay a new length down.

The caulking that goes around a window also wears away over time. Using a chisel remove the old caulking. Once it is removed, apply new caulking. Check the caulking and the weatherstripping once a year.

Step 4: Insulate Your Crawlspace

In most homes, there is no "flooring" in a crawlspace. Typically it is just dirt or sand in the crawlspace. Crawlspaces tend to be drafty as well. You can easily insulate your crawlspace by laying a tarp down over the sand or dirt. This extra layer of protection will help slow down the heat loss. Use bricks to hold it in place.

Step 5: Check Your Fireplace Flue

Fireplaces are a great source of heat, but you can be loosing heat through them when they are not in use, causing your gas radiant heat to be less effective. When your fireplace is not in use, make sure the flue is closed so cold air cannot get in and heat to get out.

If your flue is not closing properly, consult a professional to come out and look at it to make sure that your flue is functioning properly.

Step 6: Keep Your Thermostat at the Lowest Comfortable Setting

Keeping your thermostat set at the lowest comfortable setting will help increase the efficiency of your gas radiant heat. Consider using a programmable thermostat that allows you to have different settings for different times of the day.

By following these few steps you can greatly increase the efficiency of your gas radiant heating system.