Radiant heat, otherwise known as thermal radiation, is simply heat that radiates out from a central source such as an old-fashioned radiator, underfloor heating, and baseboard heating. Radiant heat transfer is caused by a warmer object giving up its heat to a cooler object. Radiant heat is not seen or heard, and is present in everyone’s daily lives in form or another.
The sun is a perfect example of radiant heat. As the sun radiates its energy towards the earth, the radiant energy is absorbed by the earth and is released as heat. The feeling of warm you get on a hot summer’s day comes from the radiant heat on your body from the sun having a higher temperature than your own internal temperature.
Popular residential radiant home heating system include: in-floor heating, wall heaters and ceiling heaters for garages and workshops.
Radiant heating systems function in a very different manner than traditional forced air heating systems. In contrast to a forced air heater that keep indoor spaces warm by blowing heating air around, radiant heaters generate heat internally and then radiate the heat to nearby objects.
People and objects in the heated area feel the warming effect much sooner than with a conventional heating system that operate from a centrally located main unit and a series of ducts and air vents. Radiant heat eliminates the inefficient heat loss created by rising heat, as warmth is not distributed through the air. These systems are allergy-friendly, while forced air pushes allergens throughout the house. There are many ways to heat your home with a radiant heat source.
Quite often used in bathrooms and basements, in-floor radiant heat systems are installed directly underneath the floor surface.
Wall mounted radiant heaters offer heat that is more balanced than ceiling and floor heaters, and take up no floor space
Often used in garages and workshops, radiant tube heaters are installed on the ceiling and provide heat to objects directly below.
Hot water baseboards heat the room by using a central boiler to pump hot water into the pipes that run along the bottom of the wall on one or locations of a room.
Either fueled by gas or electricity, many infrared heaters are free-standing units that can be easily moved room to room, and used as a short-term heating solution in areas such as workshops, garages, and utility rooms
Not only are fireplaces a great focal point in your living or bathroom, both inserts and built-in gas fireplaces are dependable heat producers. They emit radiant heat and spread warmth as it is absorbed by people and objects within a room.
One of the reasons people like radiant heating so much, is because heat can be adjusted differently for individual rooms, otherwise known as “zoning", to the temperature that you want in each individual area with a programmable thermostat.
Not only does this allow you to have the ability to customize your comfort room-by-room, but it also converts into significant energy savings and costs. Most forced air heating systems only have a single thermostat that sets the temperature the same for every room because they are inherently expensive and difficult to zone.
Radiant heaters can utilize energy from several different sources to produce heat. Today's radiant heater systems are basically divided into three categories: electric radiant systems, hydronic radiant systems, and air-based radiant systems.
Overall, hydronic radiant heat systems continue to be the most popular because of their cost-effectiveness and efficiency, especially in colder climates.
Radiant garage heaters work by heating objects such as furniture, vehicles, and work benches. Unlike forced air garage heating units that lose heat as soon as an overhead door is opened, they are the most cost-effective heating system to run as they don’t have to reheat the entire area to maintain a comfortable working environment.
Radiant garage heaters can be powered by natural gas, propane, or electricity, and come in several makes and models.
If you need help fast, call KaiTech Plumbing & Heating now. We offer professional, quality service in Calgary, Airdrie, and surrounding areas. We will inspect your system and offer multiple options before starting any repairs. Whenever possible, we always recommend cost-effective repairs rather then replacements.
Hydronic heating systems use tubing to run a hot liquid, such as water or glycol, through loops of plastic piping. Usually, these tubes are installed within a concrete slab foundation or floor joists as a radiant infloor heating system, and allow the heat to radiate evenly across the entire floor surface. The are also present along base board heaters or through radiators to heat a given area. They are energy efficient radiant heating system that allow temperature control to different rooms through zoning in contrast to forced air systems that usually have only one temperature setting to heat an entire home. Hydronic heating systems are energy efficient because you are able to feel comfortable at lower temperatures than conventional heating, which in turns lowers your monthly heating expenses.
The effectiveness of hydronic heating systems occurs with the following three series of events:
A slab heating system works by simply radiating heat upwards from the concrete floor. Tubes that circulate water heated from a boiler system are installed in the concrete slab when it is poured, turning the thermal mass of concrete into an unseen, silent radiator the produces warm even heat. The advantages of installing a hydronic slab heating system include:
Similiar to slab heating that has tubing encased in a concrete slab, hydronic in-floor radiant heating systems use a boiler to pump heated water through a network of pipes located with the floor joist space to heat the floor surface.
You can get a good idea of the quality of a radiant floor install by how equally spaced out each pex tube is laid out. When radiant floor heating is correctly installed there will not be any cold spots or hot spots in the room – the heat will be consistent.
However, if done incorrectly you end up with cold spots in the room, warped flooring where too much heat is being released, and various other issues.
All Heating systems are composed of three essential parts: a heat source, a heat distribution system, and a control system; and every hydronic heating system will require the following devices to heat a home:
To fully understand why hydronic heating is so efficient it is important to understand how the process of heat transfer occurs. The transfer of heat occurs in three ways:
Taking in consideration that hydronic heating systems use liquids as heat conductors, and liquids are better heat conductors than air, hydronic heating systems work so efficiently in keeping an area warm over forced-air systems because hydronic systems use conduction and radiation in heat transfer. In contrast, forced-air heating systems rely exclusively on convection and air to heat a given area.
For most radiant heating installations that are not encased in concrete, heat transfer plates are necessary. The high efficiency of radiant systems only occurs due to the low required water temperatures to satisfy the heating load, therefore the lower the required water temperature to heat your home the more efficient the system becomes.
Keeping in mind that radiant heat works by transferring heat energy from one object to another, and that water and heat are much better carries of heat energy than air, heat transfer plates improve the conductivity of heat out of the radiant tubing, and increase the surface area to speed up heat transfer. Without heat transfer plates, higher water temperatures are required to produce the amount of heat needed - which ultimately increases your utility bills!
Installation Completed By Others
Installation Completed By Others
Installation Completed By KaiTech Plumbing & Heating
When comparing quotes for in-floor heating, double-check to make sure heat transfer plates are included in your quote. Heat transfer plates are not required by code to pass an inspection, and not every contractor uses them. Trying to save a few dollars may end up costing you a lot more down the road with increased utility expenses, and repairs for troublesome areas not receiving enough heat.
If your hydronic heating system isn’t producing sufficient heat or you are interested in having a radiant heating system installed, contact KaiTech Plumbing & Heating today for all your hydronic heating needs.
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