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Radiant Heat Defined

November 27th, 2007 · No Comments

What exactly is radiant heating? Many people mistake radiant heating for hydronic (hot water) tubing, but that is only a portion of radiant heating family of technologies. To say that plastic or pex tubing with hot liquid being pumped through it is the only radiant heating technology would be like listing bananas and apples as the only edible fruits.

In order to be accurate, radiant heating must be defined as “the method of heating walls, floors or ceilings in order to transfer heat to the occupants of a room.” Radiant heating created by hot water, high voltage electrical cables, steam or low voltage energized screen or cables, etc. heats objects in a space. People, furniture, etc in the room are all heated, not the air, as in forced or hot air systems.

Also the heating element, whether it be tubes, cables, or screen are not always installed in the floor–the heating element or hot water tubes can be put in floors, walls, and even ceilings. With rising gas prices, more and more people are installing electric radiant heat rather than the traditional hydronic systems, which have boilers and pumps that are typically fueled by natural gas.

It is important to note and remember that radiant heating, radiant snow melting, radiant floor warming and radiant roof de-icing can be accomplished by several different alternative technologies each having its advantages. As a consumer or specifier it is incumbent upon you to insist that your heating consultant, supplier or installer is familiar with each of the available technologies and that he or she is equipped to help you determine which technology best suits your specific needs and desires.

By Heather Gwilliam

Heatizon Radiant Heat

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