RADIANT HEATING : Cozy Comforts Through Technology

Radiant heating systems offer significant comfort enhancements and warmth for private homes and commercial/industrial settings while providing cost-efficiencies at the same time. While the concept of radiant heating has been around for years, recent technological advances and refined products – such as radiant floor heating systems – make this indoor comfort concept desirable for today's families and businesses. In addition, air quality benefits can be derived from the installation of radiant heating systems.

As a mini-lesson, radiant heating is generated by electricity, water or air. Electric and water are the most popular forms, with water-based systems having an advantage in that water can be heated by many sources like natural gas, propane gas, oil, solar power or electricity. Heated water is sent through a network of tubes installed in floors, ceilings or walls to create warmth. Regarding water-based versions, think “nostalgia.” Water-based heating was (and still is) commonly used in older homes and city apartments relying on radiators for source heat. Since then, good concepts have been made better.

Electric radiant heating – especially radiant floor systems – is currently more common thanks to intelligent technology. Radiant heating is an increasingly popular indoor comfort upgrade for new-home constructions, home remodeling and in designing heat systems for commercial and industrial use. Radiant heating offers the potential to save on energy heating costs while providing for warmer, cozier interiors.

The radiant heating advantage over forced-air gas or electric furnaces is best understood by a simple law of physics: Heat always rises. When you turn up the thermostat on your forced-air furnace, baseboard vents push warm air out into a room, but the heat travels upward, to the ceiling. This result is that the ceiling, of all places, becomes the warmest part of the room or structure – instead of where it would do the most good, at floor level, warming people, pets, furniture, etc.

Radiant floor heating works through the energy and warmth traveling a careful-design layout of tubes installed under the floor to heat the surface and be absorbed by objects, like people. Warmth is evenly distributed by the pattern of the tubes. Plus, since the heat and warmth is where it belongs, you waste less energy trying to warm up otherwise cold-tendency locations/rooms in your home. Studies have shown that such systems can cut heating costs by 20-40%. Businesses, especially warehouses and larger buildings with high-ceiling architecture or buildings with expansive windows, may be able to reduce energy costs by even higher percentages.

Radiant floors can be installed in new-built or existing homes and in commercial applications. They can be installed during remodeling stages, as new flooring is to be laid, or conveniently installed when adding a family room, an enclosed porch or when renovating the bath or kitchen. Radiant heating systems can be buried under concrete before the slab is poured, under gypsum boards when a wood sub-floor is used, placed between layers of wood flooring, underneath joists, etc. Higher-quality systems and radiant tubing usually come with a lengthy guarantee (20 or more years) and systems are designed for longevity, lasting 100 years or more.

Radiant systems are very clean and quiet. Since there are no noisy blowers or ducts/vents to circulate dust, pollens, pet dander or other allergens, they have the added potential to y enhance indoor air quality in addition to indoor comfort realized by better-distributed warmth.

Radiant heating can provide coziness or warmth to any home or commercial setting. While enhancement virtues are many, consider how these “comfortizers” may appeal to you:

  • Tiled, ceramic, slate, marble, linoleum or concrete floors in any part of your home can be made much more comfortable. Consider how cold-prone floors like the kitchen, bathrooms, basement, foyers, hallways, etc., can be transformed into warm, inviting areas, even for bare feet.
  • Think how toasty warm and well-heated your new family room addition would be with radiant floor heating.
  • How much more “comfy” a place to “hang out” would your new enclosed porch or sunroom be if equipped with a radiant-heat floor system?
  • Consider the great advantages of installing radiant heating in your basement when building a new home.
  • How cozy would the new oak floor you're putting in your master bedroom be if you added radiant heat as re-flooring occurs?
  • In your business or commercial setting, how much energy-savings, annual costs and employee comfort might be realized if radiant floor heating were installed as you extend shop space or build additional offices?

There are many other examples of how radiant heating provides measurable comfort and potential cost-savings. At Executive Heating & Cooling, we have the experience in designing and installing such systems for many satisfied customers. If you would like to learn more, we would be pleased to tell you about added benefits associated with radiant heating systems.