The Unfiltered Blog

November 7, 2016

There’s more to radiant heat than warm bathroom floors

By Chuck Gassmann, CEO
 
Have you ever stayed at a hotel or house where the bathroom has a heated floor? It’s kind of like stepping into a spa, and more people are starting to bring that element ofrelaxation into their own homes. A temperature control technique called radiant heating is delivering that Zen feeling to houses all across the country.
 
Before you go bringing this spa feature into your Central Iowa home, here are some fast facts about radiant heating systems:
 
1) Radiant heat is heat that’s transferred, or radiated, from one surface to another. This is opposed to forced air, like that of more traditional furnace systems.
 
2) Radiant heat has been around for decades in the United States and has been a popular method for hundreds of years in Europe.
 
3) Many people believe that radiant heat is the most comfortable because it eliminates the cycle of air blasting on and off. Newer furnace units with variable-speed technology actually mimic radiant heat in that they work to minimize the air blasting movement of traditional forced air systems.
 
4) There are benefits of radiant heating that are difficult to deny:
It can be more efficient than forced-air systems when you account for duct losses.
It can produce better air quality for people with allergies since it doesn’t distribute allergens the way forced air systems can.
It is a good option for rooms that aren’t frequently used because it may provide better temperature control than traditional forced air system. 
 
5) Radiant heat comes in many forms:
In-floor — We see a lot of people putting in in-floor heat in new construction homes. Bathrooms and basements are the most common places it is installed. If you are installing in-floor heat, you should do so during the construction phase of a home before concrete work is done. In-floor heating is also more efficient that baseboard heating.
Baseboard — While most new construction homes won’t opt to include baseboard heat, it is still common in larger apartment complexes.
Radiant ceiling panels — In this heating technique, panels radiate heat down to warm the whole space below. This is more common in commercial applications, but it is also used in residential applications.
Boilers or hot water heat — Believe it or not, boilers are considered radiant heat. Older models of boilers were 70 to 80 percent efficient. Some new boilers are now 95 percent efficient — meaning you can achieve roughly the same efficiency level as a forced air system when it comes to heating.
Radiant snow melt systems — Bell Brothers technicians can put tubing underneath driveways and sidewalks along with a moisture sensor and slab sensor. If the sensor detects moisture on the slab and it’s below a certain temperature outside, the system comes on to melt the snow and then dry the concrete. No more shoveling in the freezing cold!
 
6) While infloor heat is very comfortable and efficient, it’s not for every room or every customer. There are conditions which must be taken into account before installing infloor heat. A professional heating contractor will give you advice based you your particular application. 
 
For more information about the radiant heating solutions offered by Bell Brothers, contact us online or call 515-224-8911.