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How Is Radiant Heating Different from Other Types of Heating?


For many decades, the most common type of heating system in homes was the furnace. Furnaces use forced air to distribute warmth throughout a building. The main alternative to a furnace is a boiler, which uses hot water sent to terminal points within a building—such as cast iron radiators or baseboard heaters—to raise the temperature of an object in the room in order to provide it with warmth. This kind of heating is known as radiant heating.

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Today, radiant heating covers a variety of systems. Standard boiler set-ups that connect the hot water pipes to baseboard heaters are still common, but another option available is radiant hydronic floor heating, where water heated in the boiler runs through pipes installed inside the floor, raising the temperature of the floorboards and warming the room from below.

If you are curious about installation of radiant heating in Nyack, NY or the surrounding areas, call Design Air Inc and speak to our heating professionals. We will help you find the ideal of heating for your household.

What Makes Radiant Heating Different

Heat moves, or transfers, in three ways: convection, conduction, and radiation. Convection heating is how furnaces and heat pumps distribute their warmth. The definition of convection is “the transfer of heat between an object and its environment due to fluid motion.” Air, which is a type of fluid, carries the heat from a furnace or heat pump and spreads it through a room.

Radiation, on the other hand, is the transfer of heat from the movement of charged particles. The temperature of an object increases, and it gives off waves of charged particles that travel until they strike another surface, such as a person, and raise its temperature in turn. The space in between the two objects does not receive heat.

Radiant heating for a home does not require any fans or blowers to send out warmth, only hot water raising the temperature of floorboards, radiators, or baseboard heaters. (Baseboard heaters create a natural convection current from the rise and fall of heat, however.) One of the advantages of using this form of heating is that it does not require any air ducts. This eliminates the heat loss that occurs along ductwork, and also allows for cleaner air free from the dust and dirt particles that often collect inside ducts.

Radiant heating also spreads more evenly than convection heating does. The air blown out from a vent connected to a furnace or heat pump will rise to the top of a room and gather there, taking longer to spread through the room. Radiant heating moves in all directions and reaches the spaces of rooms much faster.

Because there are a variety of ways that you can have radiant heating in Nyack, NY for your house, you should consult with professionals first before making any decision. Design Air Inc has experience with many types of radiant heating systems, so make us your first choice when you want the best quality warmth for your house.