We’re going to continue with our explanations of different types of heating and cooling options. Radiant heating is becoming a more popular option these days because of it’s efficiency and uniform heat distribution. But how does it work?
Radiant floor heating works by pumping heated water from a solar water heater or oil-, gas-, or wood-fired boiler through tubing or cables laid in the floor to heat your home. Below is a picture of a boiler connecting to the tubes.
There are two different types of radiant installation. They go by a variety of names, but I’m going to refer to them as “dry” installation and “wet” installation. First, let’s go over the “dry” installation.
- Tubes suspended between jousts and subfloor (or two subfloor sections) with a reflective layer underneath to push heat upward
- Operates at a higher temperature because it has to warm air
- Quicker to warm a room
- Faster to build
The dry installation warms the air around the tubes, which then warms the room. Because of this, it heats the room faster, but doesn’t hold the heat for as long. “Wet” installation is a bit different, both in the way it heats a room and in the installation.
- Tubes embedded in solid floor such as concrete slabs
- Ideal for keeping your home at a constant temperature
- Slower to warm your home but holds heat for a longer amount of time
“Wet” installation takes a longer time to warm your home because it has to warm the slab of concrete around the tubes, but once the concrete is warm, it’s easy to keep it warm. It creates a uniform heat distribution amongst the room is it installed in.
Advantages of Radiant Heating
- More efficient
- Water keeps it’s temperature more efficiently, so overtime, requires less energy to stay warm than air
- No ductwork
- Potentially better indoor air quality
- A furnace that is properly maintained doesn’t circulate too many allergens, so therefore is healthy for your home, but radiant doesn’t circulate any air so doesn’t pose that problem at all
- Uniform vertical heat distribution
- Zoning is an option, but the heat is distributed evenly amongst the room