Heating your home with a forced-air furnace isn't your only option when you have concrete floors. You can save energy and create a healthier, more comfortable living environment by having the floor itself distribute the heat-from the ground up-via a radiant in-floor heating system.
The science behind radiant floor heating is quite simple: Tubes that circulate hot water or electrical heating elements are installed in the concrete slab when it's poured, turning the thermal mass of the concrete into an inconspicuous radiator of warm, even heat. Among the many benefits: Your feet are always toasty warm, the temperature is consistent and easy to control, you won't feel the drafts or hear the noise of blowing air, and no dust or allergens get circulated within your home through air vents. Best of all, you'll typically pay lower utility costs than with a forced-air system, because concrete floor radiant heating consumes less energy to achieve the same level of comfort.
What if you have an existing concrete floor? Radiant heating is still an option. Newer ultra-thin electric heating mats are available that can be embedded in thin-set cement or gypsum overlays, allowing retrofitting over existing slabs without significantly raising the floor height.