Radiant heating makes use of both time-tested approaches and new technologies to wisely warm a room or entire home. Radiant heating keeps the warmth close to you and yours with a from-the-ground-up approach and can save you a bundle of energy dollars each year, whether as a supplement to an existing heating system or by itself.
A radiant heating system warms you and your family through the principle of radiant heat transfer, in which heat is delivered directly from a heated surface to the inhabitants of a space. This is most often accomplished from the ground up, with the warming technology installed in a floor, but radiant heat is also possible with strategically located wall and ceiling radiant heat panels.
Radiant heating panels create and keep warm air close to you short circuiting its natural tendency to rise. With this type of radiant system, room temperatures are maintained, making it possible to heat your home with just radiant or by using radiant heat to cost effectively supplement an existing heating system. With a radiant heating system, there are also no blowers to send allergens into the air, and a radiant system’s quiet operation and space-saving design add even more comfort to your indoor environment.
Radiant heating is available in both electric and hydronic (hot water) forms, with the latter being the most common. In a hydronic system, heated water runs through a network of cross linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing installed in a concrete slab or on top of, or just below the subfloor. As the water moves along, it transfers its warmth to the floor, effectively turning it into a large-surface-area radiator that then pushes the heat through flooring into living spaces. Though the water’s temperature is relatively low (around 90 to 100 degrees), the components of a hydronic radiant heating system make the most of it for sustained, even comfort.
Hydronic radiant heating systems offer great flexibility as well as zonability, allowing you to warm up otherwise hard-to-heat areas like finished basements, bathrooms and attached garages. New homes or additions are the best candidates for installation, but there are several products on the market that make for successful radiant retrofits of existing spaces.