Featured Heating Systems Article
What Is Radiant Heat and Why Is It Efficient?
Many homes have force air unit heaters, also known as central heat, which blow air from a duct system through vents in the ceiling. While a bit cheaper and easier in regards to installation, this heating system is not as efficient as radiant heaters would be in heating your home. Radiant heaters deliver heat from floor level and since hot air rises, heating a space is a natural progression.
Radiant heaters are the oldest and most efficient form of heating in history. Set within the floor, heat travels through and is absorbed by the floor surface, radiating heat which rises, making the surrounding environment warm and inviting. There is no air forced through a venting system which could not only create a dry environment but also spread dust particles and other allergens. Radiant heat is clean and has been used as far back as the ancient Romans!
The Romans built homes and public buildings with ducts that lay under the floor and had flues built within the walls with chimneys. They had special rooms for building fires which would then create hot air that circulated through the flues and duct work, creating radiant heat. The amount of heat created was in direct proportion to the intensity of the fire created. It was a brilliant technology that somehow fell out of favor in modern times and has now made a comeback thanks to the nod to energy conservation and better health.
Today's radiant heaters are still floor based and quite silent, unlike central air and heating systems which create noise each time it kicks on. Plus, radiant heat is clean and allergen free. If you are seeking a healthier environment with as little allergens as possible, choose radiant heat. Unless you purchase a home with radiant heat already built in or build your own home, you will have to convert your forced air heating system in the home to radiant heat.
Radiant heaters built into the floor use either flexible pex plastic tubing which circulates heated water or electric resistance cables to provide the heat that emanates from the floor, creating a more comfortable, warmer and cleaner environment. When radiant heat is evenly transferred through your flooring, you can lower your thermostat several degrees, thereby saving money on your energy utility bill. Depending on where you live, you could realize a 15 to 40% savings.
Because hot air rises, it is a natural progression for the heat to radiate from your floor up, thereby creating a comfortable temperature three to four feet from the ground. Forced air heating systems will not only dry out the air in your home, it will spread allergens and heat more inefficiently as it is forcibly blowing hot air from the ceiling down. You end up losing some of that heat as it dissipates quickly before it reaches the floor.
Overall, radiant heaters are cheaper, more efficient and cleaner than other heating technologies. Consider this form of heating when you are building a home or plan to remodel your existing one. You can save big money on your energy bills in the long run.