Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is quite an old form of heating just like our solar heating. The fundamentals behind radiant heat is that it uses invisible electromagnetic infrared waves to heat you. In case of radiant heat all the objects that are in the path absorb the energy and later on radiate the heat out. In fact, it is a very efficient way of transferring heat. The basic difference between radiant heat and other conventional methods of heating is that the traditional methods uses convection heating to heat the objects around while radiant heat uses the principle of radiation to heat the objects around.

There are several advantages of radiant heating. Besides having an aesthetic appeal it is more efficient than many other forms of heating because it is more energy efficient and costs less. At the same time it is more comfortable as well. When it comes to radiant heating, the heat is supplied by hot-water tubes or electric wires that is buried underneath the floor. As the invisible waves of thermal radiation comes up, they heat all the objects that come in their way and those objects in turn radiate the heat to objects nearby. The best thing about this system is that objects around do not take away heat from your body and the temperature stays more or less constant. As a result, you feel a lot more comfortable when you are inside a room which has radiant heating. Another advantage of radiant heating is that there is no temperature jerk suddenly and the heating is where people actually are and not right at the ceiling of the room.

Basically, there are three types of radiant floor heating. They are radiant air floors (where air is the heat carrying medium), electric radiant floors, and hot water or hydronic radiant floors. However, these radiant heating can be further categorized into two types based on the kind of installation. They are the wet installation and the dry installation.

Now let us get into the details of each of the kind of radiant floor heating.

Air-Heated Radiant Floors: As air cannot hold large amount of heat, it is not a very cost effective medium of heating in case of residential buildings. Although air-heated radiant floor heating can be combined with solar heating but even then the heating is limited to produce heat only during the daytime when the heating load is comparatively lesser.

Electric Radiant Floors: In this particular medium of heating there are electric wires built into the floor. The drawback of this particular mode is that they are highly expensive and becomes feasible when it includes a significant thermal mass like a thick concrete floor and an added advantage is when your electricity company gives you some rebates.

Hydronic Radiant Floors: This is the most popular and effective medium of heating. Hydronic radiant floor heating systems pump heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern under the floor. The cost of installing hydronic radiant floor heating depends on the size of the building, the kind of installation required, the floor covering, and the remoteness of the location and the cost of labor.




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