A radiant heating system supplies heat directly to the floor or to panels in a ceiling or wall. The system depends largely on the transfer of radiant heat – the delivery of heat directly from a hot surface to a space through infrared radiation. You can liken it to the effect of feeling the warmth of a stovetop from the other side of the room.
Radiant heating is usually more efficient than forced-air heating and more effective than baseboard heating because there are no duct losses. It is often the preferred choice for people with allergies because, unlike a forced-air system, it doesn’t distribute allergens.
Liquid-based (hydronic) heating systems need very little electricity – a major benefit in areas where the price of electricity is high and for homes off the power grid. Liquid-based systems can use a wide range of energy sources to heat the liquid, including solar water heaters, wood-fired burners, oil-fired boilers, standard gas, or a combination of these.
Radiant floor heating relies heavily on the natural circulation of heat as air warmed by the floor rises (convection). These systems are very different to the panels used in ceilings and walls. There are 3 types of radiant floor heat:
- Radiant air floors, where air acts as the heat-carrying medium
- Hydronic radiant floors
- Electric radiant floors
These types can be further categorized by the installation. Wet installations refer to those that use lightweight concrete over a wooden subfloor or the large thermal mass of a concrete slab floor. Dry installations are those where the heating installer attaches the tubing under a finished floor or sandwiches it between 2 layers of plywood.
Heating Services in Charlotte, NC
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