What Is Radiant Heat?
*Radiant heating is widely regarded as the most comfortable, healthiest, and most natural heating process available. People are warmed in the same way as they are warmed by sunshine on a cool day. Floor drafts, cold spots, and dry air are eliminated. Dust, air contaminants, bacteria, and low humidity levels, all problems associated with forced-air heating, are nonexistent in a home with a properly designed radiant heating system.
What is Radiant Heat? Hold your hand over a hot cup of coffee and feel the heat. The typical conclusion is that heat rises. Typical maybe, but incorrect! "Hot air" rises but "heat" can travel in any direction. That is why you can feel the heat of the cup when you place your hand to the side of it. Radiant energy transfer is caused by a warm surface giving up its heat to a cooler surface. Whenever there is a temperature difference between two surfaces, both surfaces will attempt to equalize. Radiant energy travels through space without heating the space itself. It only turns into heat when it contacts a cooler surface. Our human comfort relies just as much on radiant heat transfer as it does on air temperature, yet the majority of heating and air-conditioning professionals think only in terms of air temperature.
(*Adapted from RPA-Info web site)
As a result, Americans are missing out on a truly comfortable living environment in their homes and businesses. By controlling both the air temperature and the radiant transfer of heat to nearby objects, radiant systems deliver a comfort that is unsurpassed. A radiant "panel" or radiator can be easily mounted on any flat surface. The only requirement is that the surface be sufficiently large. The larger the surface, the lower the actual surface temperature required. A wall radiator may have a surface temperature of 140°F, while an 81°F heated floor will do the same job.
With radiant heat, the room and every object in it become radiators. Typically, the temperature in a radiantly heated space matches your skin's temperature thus eliminating heat loss from your body. Because of this, the room actually feels warmer, even though the actual air temperature may be cooler. As a result, radiant heat offers unparalleled comfort and decreased energy bills!