Radiant heating systems are considered by many as the ultimate form of comfort heating. In addition to the advantages of hydronic heating in general, warm floors provide benefits that virtually no other system can match. Any one of these benefits can become the “hot button” that convinces a discriminating customer to install a radiant heat system. Here’s a summary of these key benefits.
Thermal Comfort: Buildings equipped with radiant heat systems have interior environments that are highly favorable to human thermal comfort. Unlike many systems that directly heat the air, radiant floor heating gently warms the surfaces of objects in the room as well as the air itself. The warm surfaces significantly reduce the rate of heat loss from the occupants, allowing most to feel comfortable at room temperatures 3 to 5 deg. F. lower than with other methods of heating.
The air temperature at floor level is slightly higher than the average room temperature. This significantly reduces the rate of heat loss from the feet and legs. Several feet above the floor, the air temperature begins to decrease. Most people tend to feel more alert with slightly lower air temperatures at head level. The lowest air temperatures in the room typically occur just below the ceiling. The result is reduced heat loss through the ceiling insulation and hence lower heating costs.
A system that’s out of sight: Most people realize that just about every occupied building in North America needs a heating system. However, few enjoy looking at the heat emitters that are a necessary part of that system. The fact that such heat emitters often restrict furniture placement further adds to their invasiveness. With a radiant heat system, the floor surface is the heat emitter. There’s no need to compromise the aesthetics of the space or restrict furniture placement. It’s a system that gives your clients a building interior that’s as thermally luxurious as it is aesthetically elegant.
A quiet system: One of the strengths of a radiant heating system is its ability to deliver heat without delivering noise. A properly designed radiant heat system is the epitome of silence. The gas or oil burner on the boiler is often the only component that makes any detectable noise, and it’s usually located in the mechanical room away from the occupied spaces.
A clean system: One of the biggest complaints associated with forced air heating is its tendency to distribute dust, odors and germs throughout a house. In contrast to whole house air movement, radiant flooring heating creates very gentle (imperceptible) room air circulation. Many people who suffer from allergies have found that radiant heat doesn’t aggravate the symptoms the way a forced air system often does.
A durable system: A concrete slab type radiant floor heating system is nearly as indestructible as the slab itself. It’s the ideal way to heat garage facilities, industrial buildings, recreation rooms, basements, or other buildings with high interior traffic. You must always insulate the concrete slab from the earth.
A system that reduces fuel usage: Radiant heat systems have a proven record of reduced energy usage relative to other forms of heating, both in residential and commercial / industrial buildings. The savings result from several factors such as the ability to sustain comfort at lower indoor air temperatures, reduced air temperature stratification, non-pressurization of rooms (which leads to higher rates of air leakage), and the ability to operate with lower water temperatures. Savings vary from one building to the next. Although some projects have shown savings in excess of 50%, a more conservative estimate is 10 to 20% in savings. As energy costs continue to escalate, the ability to reduce fuel consumption will play an increasingly important role in how heating systems are selected. Radiant heat Systems can keep energy costs to a minimum while also delivering exceptional comfort. It’s truly the benchmark system against which all other methods of heating will be compared.