Understanding The Basics of Radiant Heating Systems
With rising energy prices and a sluggish economy, it’s not just about the environment; it’s also about your wallet. Everyone from large corporations to ordinary homeowners is looking for economical ways to save energy. People who have never heard of them look to radiant heating systems as an economical way to heat their homes.
Radiant heating systems are becoming the primary heating option.
Although the initial installation can be costly, the benefits of heating your home with radiant heat will pay off. Most radiant heating systems cost 25-50% less than conventional forced air systems. Forced air heating creates drafts that push air out of your home through cracks and openings. In radiant heating systems, you can set the thermostat 2 to 4 degrees lower, even if the room is still warm.
Warm air will not be lost through ducts as in traditional heating systems because a radiant system relies on radiant heat transfer from a heated surface directly to objects and people in the room. Radiant heat radiates through floors, walls, or ceiling tiles, much like heat from a hot stove. The heating system is called infrared radiation.
In the electrical system, electrical cables are embedded in the floor. Some have motorized floor mats embedded in a thin layer of concrete. In walls or ceilings, cables are laid in a dry space between aluminum panels. You can choose this system if you have a new addition where it is not practical to expand the current system. Like any system that depends on electricity to operate, electrical radiant heat can be expensive to operate, although the initial installation cost is less than that of a hydraulic system.
Although the hydraulic system is much larger and more expensive to install, it is by far the more popular and economical of the two systems. Underfloor heating uses hot water to heat your home. Water is supplied from the boiler through a pipe under the floor or behind the wall panels. The particular system is more suitable for installation in new homes or entire home projects.
Whether you choose an electric or water system, both are more durable than a conventional oven. A properly maintained high quality system can last over 35 years compared to a furnace that can last two decades. Keeping heat in both systems means savings in heating costs since the heat is retained in the lower part of the room.
The energy savings and efficiency associated with radiant heating give you an edge over conventional heating systems, saving energy and putting more money in your pocket.