Three Types of Radiant Heating: Which Works for Your Home?
Radiant heating warms your house from the ground up, eliminating many of the drawbacks of conventional forced-air systems. By heating the floor of a room, radiant heat rises gently into the living space, warming objects and people in direct contact with the floor as well as the air by the principle of convection.
Forced-air furnaces push hot air out of supply vents, most of which swiftly accumulates at the ceiling. In between the furnace’s on cycles, rooms often cool rapidly. Radiant heating occurs lower in the room where people actually live, maintaining consistent comfort. Because the floor holds heat longer than the air, there are fewer temperature spikes and sags. In addition, radiant systems don’t rely on air circulation, so airborne allergens like dust and pollen aren’t constantly being stirred up. Better yet, residential radiant installations are available in three varieties. Electric radiant heat These systems utilize electric cables installed in the subflooring or the concrete slab.
When energized, these cables heat up and warm the floor, transmitting heat up into the room slowly. Electric radiant systems can heat the floor overnight when off-peak electric rates are less.
Hydronic radiant heat
The most popular option for residential applications, hydronic heat systems incorporate a grid of plastic tubing installed in the subfloor or on top of the slab. Hot water from a boiler is circulated through the tubes by electric pumps. Heat transferred from the water warms the floor and radiates into the room.
Installed inside walls, these panels incorporated hydronic heating tubes or electric cables to warm the wall. This heat radiates into the room more quickly than radiant floor heating. However walls are a less efficient thermal mass, so they don’t hold heat as long as the floor and must be reheated by electricity or hot water more often than the floor.
At Sobieski Services, we’re ready with more creative options like radiant heating to add comfort and efficiency to your home. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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