Making the decision to switch to radiant heating can be a money-saving addition to your renovation project. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, as there are things about these systems that need to be taken into account before installation. Knowing what to look for and expect can prevent surprises along the way, and ultimately make the switch an easier one for your family.
A radiant heat system is installed within walls, ceilings or flooring, and circulates heat within that area in order to heat the room. Heat is transferred by naturally radiating from the source, instead of traveling through a forced-air system. These can be air systems, electric systems or water (hydronic) systems. Air systems are the least effective of the three types, as air cannot hold and transfer heat well in large amounts. The type of system you will need for your home depends on where you want the heat, building materials used, the size and location of your home and ongoing energy costs. In the Metro-East area the most prevalent systems that are installed are hydronic systems in the floors.
Some of the benefits of a radiant system include:
- Efficiency: no energy is lost through ductwork as is the case with forced-air systems. It also has an advantage over baseboard heating systems.
- Cost of operation: these systems use much less electricity, and depending on the system, may have several other energy sources available, such as gas, wood or solar.
- Zones: it is easy to separate the heat into zones, which give greater flexibility for temperature control. Each zone can have its own thermostat installed.
It’s important to know that a radiant system is not a do-it-yourself project. There are calculations for flow rates, heat loss and other factors that require specialized knowledge in order to evaluate a system correctly. Although much of the information about radiant systems is readily available to help you to make a decision concerning what your needs are, a trained professional can give you additional information on what is currently available, and how each system might work best.
Contact the professionals at Ernst Heating and Cooling. We can provide expert advice on installing a system in your Edwardsville area home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.