Why Choose A Radiant Heating System?
The radiant heating system is popular for being the source of the most comfortable and balanced heat in homes. An added benefit is its boilers that can be energy efficient which, in turn, can contribute to a home’s lower energy consumption. This type of heating system runs through the process known as radiation or direct transfer of heat from a hot to a cold surface.
Radiant heating systems come in several forms such as the pot belly stove, radiant panels and the in-floor hot water tubing. The most common is the hot water tubing which is fixed in the floor or embedded directly below the floor and uses hot water heated by a boiler fueled by either natural gas, propane, oil or electricity. Heating stoves, meanwhile, use either
wood or coal.
This heating system works by providing heat directly to the floor or panels in the wall or ceiling. Radiant heating from the floor is known as radiant floor heating or simply floor heating and has actually three types – hot water radiant floors, radiant air floors and electric radiant floors. They are differentiated by their type of installation.
Hydronic radiant floor systems are the most commonly used because they are cost effective. With this type, water heated from a boiler is pumped through tubing installed underneath the floor. Some types allow temperature in each room to be controlled by way of regulating the flow of hot water through the tubing loop. The cost of this type of system depends on your home’s location (the more remote, the more expensive), size, type of installation required, the floor covering and labor cost.
Air-heated radiant floors are not really ideal for homes because of its high cost. They can be used only during the day when heating loads are lower but they can be combined with solar air heating systems.
Electric radiant floors feature electric cables built in the floor (below a floor covering) or mats of electrically conductive plastic. This type can save you costs if used with a thermal mass like a thick concrete floor where heat can be stored for eight to 10 hours with no additional electricity input. You can achieve this during daytime when temperatures are higher.
Pros and cons
Radiant heating has a number of benefits. Since it is hydronic or water-based using minimal electricity, this system is considered more efficient compared to
forced-air heating systems because of the absence of energy loss through ducts. With the absence of moving air, this is a better alternative for people with allergies.
The downside in using this type of heating system is its slow heating process, costly installation cost and the need for a separate ductwork distribution and cooling system for air conditioning. In addition, homeowners will have a hard time getting access to hidden pipes if problems occur.