Hydronic radiant heating is a great way not only to heat your home, but to do so efficiently. It is not a new technology, but recent improvements to the system have resulted in an increase in popularity across the country. Read on to discover the processes involved with radiant heating, as well as some of the system’s advantages.
The first step to installing a radiant heating system is choosing a good boiler. Once the boiler is in place, small watertight pipes are installed between the floor and subfloor of each room you want heated. These pipes all lead back to the boiler. It is important to note that installing hydronic radiant heating often involves temporarily tearing up the floor. The exception is if you have access to the subfloor from below, like a basement or large crawl space. If you are having a house built, this obviously won’t be a problem.
Once everything is installed properly, you’re ready to begin using your radiant heating system. When the system is turned on, the boiler heats water to be circulated. The hot water is then pumped through the pipes in the floor of each room. Heat radiates from these pipes, up through the floor and into the room.
There are a number of distinct advantages to hydronic radiant heating. Water is a much better medium for transporting heat than air is. As a result, radiant heating can deliver more heat to each room than a forced air system can. The special watertight pipes used are also far more resistant to leaks than ductwork is, making them a more efficient delivery system. Finally, radiant heating more evenly heats a room than forced air does.
Forced air systems blow warm air into a room, which rises to the ceiling instead of sinking to the level that people can benefit from it. This means that the room requires more heat before people actually feel the effects. Radiant heating distributes thermal energy directly through the floor. The heat doesn’t immediately rise out of reach, and has the added benefit of transferring heat to things like furniture. This makes the room more comfortable for a longer period of time.