What is Radiant Heat and Radiant Floor Heating?

By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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Radiant heat is increasingly becoming a favored choice for homeowners in Salt Lake City. Because of the comfort, warmth, and convenience radiant heat provides, this is no shocker.

We’ll discuss what radiant heat is, how it works, and what the countless advantages of radiant heat are


Radiant Heating Installation

What is Radiant Heat?

Radiant heat, A.K.A thermal radiation describes the transfer of electromagnetic radiation. This means that radiant heat works by transferring heat from a heated material to another cooler medium.

Think about sitting around a fire and feeling the warmth of the flames on your skin. That’s radiant heat! Radiant heat moves through the air until something solid absorbs its heat. You are the something solid!

Once objects start absorbing radiant heat, it heats them up, and they transfer heat to other cooler objects.

How Does Radiant Heat Work?

Radiant works through electromagnetic waves moving through the space between you and its source to heat your body directly.

These infrared waves can be generated by any heat source like fireplaces, the sun, electric heaters, or stoves.

What is Radiant Floor Heating?

A popular method of using radiant heat is floor heating.

Rather than using air (convection heating) like most systems, radiant heating transfers heat to solid objects in the room. As a result, radiant heating is a more energy-efficient option, and can heat floors in these two ways:

1. Use Liquid as a Medium for Radiant Heat:

Also known as “hydrophobic”, this method uses liquid to contain heat. As this method is economical to install and maintain, it’s the most common option.

A boiler heats water to pump into tubes beneath the floor. Most of these systems have complicated tubing allowing you to heat or not heat areas of your home.

2. Use Electric as a Medium for Radiant Heat

Instead of using tubing, electric cables will run under your floor. This method will heat your floor from the electrical resistance.

Unlike hydroponic systems, electric systems are cheaper to install and don’t require maintenance. It’s also easier to fit an electric system inside a remodeled house as hydroponic systems have awkward pumps and builders.

However, it can become costly to operate. To solve this, get a programmed thermostat. Doing this will ensure no energy is wasted and your electric bill isn’t sky high!

Flooring Materials

Constructors design some radiant systems to use specific materials. However, the most common material to use with radiant floor heating is ceramic tile. There are many reasons for this including: ceramic seamlessly conducts heat, ceramic remains chilly when unheated, and ceramic is a popular floor material, especially for bathrooms.

Other common choices for flooring material are carpet, wood, and vinyl-based floor covers. But if any material is too good of an insulator, this will negate the effectiveness of your heating system.

Advantages of Radiant Floor Heating

There are so many benefits of radiant floor heating. Here are a few examples of how radiant floor heating is ten times better than any other method.

  • Durability: Electric radiant heating floor systems last a very long time and require little to no maintenance. However, hydroponic systems will require regular maintenance. You’ll find that many radiant floor heating systems also have warrantees.
  • Ease-of-Use: After setting up your system, it pretty much runs by itself. You can pair your radiant heating system with a programmed thermostat for optimal heating results.
  • Efficiency: Unlike many other heating systems, radiant heating is much more energy-efficient. Because radiant heating systems work by transferring heat directly to an object, instead of filling a room, this wastes no energy.
  • Even-Heat: In contrast to forced air systems, radiant heating systems heat rooms more evenly. There are much fewer colder spots in rooms with radiant heating.
  • Free from Allergies: As radiant heating systems either heat people or objects and not air, fewer particles move around. This means fewer particles aggravating your sinuses.
  • Seamless Installation: Installing radiant heating systems is an easy DIY project. However, for professional services, call us today!
  • Quieter: Because there is no furnace in a radiant heating system, it’s very close to silent.

Summing Up

Radiant heating is a top choice compared to radiators or forced air systems. Not only will you be saving energy, and in turn, money, but you’ll also have less particle-filled air.

You won’t have to worry about repairing or replacing your new radiant heating system anytime soon either. Call us today to find out more about radiant floor heating and how we can help you.

The sooner you call, the sooner you can start saving money!

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