Hardwood flooring is one of the most elegant features a home can have. Unfortunately, the wood can also be unpleasantly cold in the winter and is prone to warping if you aren't careful about how you heat it. Read on for tips about how to get the most out of your heat and air conditioning system and stay warm without ruining your beautiful floors.
A Conundrum of Comfort vs. Aesthetics
Nobody wants to put on thick wool socks just to walk to the bathroom in the morning. But keeping wood floors comfortable in the winter is a tricky proposition. One of the most popular ways to keep a floor warm is a radiant floor heating system. Unfortunately, although radiant heat works great with stone or tile floors, it will warp wood, taking it off the table as an option for many homes.
Even a more traditional forced-air heat and air conditioning system can destroy a wood floor if you turn it up too high and neglect to keep an eye on humidity levels. Instead, try some of these tricks to make your home both comfortable and beautiful:
- Make Sure Your Insulation is Up to Par: Improving insulation is the first answer to almost any heat and air conditioning efficiency-related question. A secure home envelope that doesn't leak heat to the outdoors paired with quality doors and windows will go a long way in allowing you to keep the thermostat set to a lower temperature, which saves you money and reduces the chances of your hardwood drying out.
- Cover the Floor with a Rug: Sure, it's a bummer to put a rug down over that shiny hardwood, but it beats the alternative of the wood bending and cracking. A nice thick rug means that you can still walk on the floor without freezing or needing to crank the temperature up too high. And take heart – it's just for the winter. Come spring, you can roll up the rug and enjoy the floor in its natural state again. Alternatively, if you aren't willing to use a rug, a new layer of finish on the floor can improve its insulation and longevity.
- Keep Your Home Humidified: Humidity levels below 30 percent can be a killer on the hardwood. If your house tends to dry out when your heat is running, a home humidifier is an essential addition to the heat and air conditioning system. The humidifier can also help improve your own health while protecting your investment in the hardwood floor.
Work With Us to Improve Your Comfort and Efficiency
To learn more about the heat and air conditioning options that will work best for your home, get in touch with a home heating and cooling specialist today.