How Does Radiant Heat Work?

Radiant floor heating is actually a very simple concept deriving from methods used in ancient Rome. There have been many advances in radiant heating methods and materials over the past couple of decades. Energy conscious Europe now sees over eighty percent of its new buildings installing radiant heat because of its high efficiency. The same is true in many other parts of the world as well.  Hospitals world-wide are also beginning to embrace radiant heat because of the improved air quality it provides, resulting from the fact that it does not circulate air, which greatly reduces the risk of spreading airborne contaminants and infection. The United States is far behind the rest of the world in adopting this more efficient form of heating. However, the market here has grown rapidly in recent years and awareness is spreading quickly. Once people become educated about radiant heat, they quickly understand why it is the most efficient heating choice.

Using our radiant flooring in a simplified example, you would simply screw down our thermal radiant panels over the entire floor and tubing. You would be left with a solid “cement” floor that would be heated with the tubing running through it. Once the boiler was turned on and the water circulated through the tubing, the solid thermal mass would become heated, and then that heat would be radiated throughout the room. The thermal mass properties of our floor panels hold heat very well and  release it into the room, creating a very efficient and comfortable method of heating.

There is also more efficiency in how the heat is delivered. Water carries heat 3,500 times more efficiently than air, which is one source of the increased efficiency over forced-air. Efficiency is improved again if the floor being heated has good thermal mass properties, meaning that the material stores heat well. Our patented panels and proprietary materials have best in class thermal mass properties which take the efficiency of radiant heating to an even higher level. Forced-air systems, and even baseboard heat, rely on heating the air, and air does not store heat well which is why you will constantly hear furnaces and fans kicking on in conventional systems. All of the energy being consumed by the furnace and running the fans is going into heating air, and moving hot air, but the air loses the heat quickly, so the process has to continually repeat to maintain the desired room temperature. It is an extremely inefficient approach. With radiant heat, you are heating a large thermal mass in a room, and once heated, that thermal mass will retain the heat for relatively long periods of time. In addition, in a radiant heated room, objects in the room will also be heated, couches, chairs, and other furniture will be heated to the desired room temperature and themselves act as thermal masses that help maintain the room’s temperature.

Radiant heat will give you a consistently comfortable, quiet, and clean indoor environment while also reducing your heating and maintenance costs.