Radiant Heat Defined
Radiant heat is a heating technology that is commonly used for both indoor (heating floors) and outdoor (snow melting) applications. Radiant heat is an efficient heating method that radiates outward from the initial heating source to warm all the surrounding objects. Unlike forced air heating systems, very little heat is lost during the radiant heating process. Because of the efficiency of radiant heating systems, they are often installed under floors. The systems can be used to complement an existing forced-air heating system or as the principle heating source for homes.
The Unique Warmth of Radiant Heat
Radiant heat provides a comfort that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. The effects of radiant floor heating can be compared to that of walking barefoot on the warm sand of a beach during a sunny day. An excellent example of radiant heat is that of a mug after being filled with hot coffee. The heat from the coffee radiates to warm the mug. Objects (such as the mug) absorb radiant heat until they are the same temperature as the heat source. Adding to the efficiency of radiant heat is that the objects also retain the warmth for long periods of time, as well as expand outwards to warm other cooler areas.
If you've never felt the comfort of radiant floor heating, try to find a friend or neighbor who has a floor heating system and check it out. You'll notice the difference between a home being warmed with a forced-air system and that of a home with radiant heat.
Radiant Heat and Forced Air Heating Systems
A good example of two different types of heating systems can be demonstrated in today's new cars. A "forced-air" system uses heating vents (forced hot air) to blow warm air into the car. Another heating method that is typically used in many newer cars is the feature of heated seats, which utilizes radiant heat technology to warm the seat. Both of these systems warm the environment, yet their qualities are very different. Forced hot air blown from the vents tends to be dry, loud and can blow dust and allergens into the air. On the other hand, the seats that are heated by means of radiant heat are comfortable, quiet and effective.
Radiant floor heating systems silently generate heat that warms from the floor up, radiating to surrounding objects and ultimately warming the room. Warmzone floor heating systems are the best in their class and extremely efficient. The radiant heating systems are fully programmable, and each zone (room) can be controlled separately with a programmable thermostat. With radiant heated floors, you have precise control to efficiently heat your home as you see fit. (Although forced air systems have vents that you can close, this is not a very energy efficient way to customize the heat in your home.) Radiant floor heating are easy to customize, are very versatile, and safe. Radiant heat systems can be installed under hardwood, laminates, ceramic tile and most other types of flooring.
Electric Radiant Heat
radiant heat systems force energy through a
conductive material (heat cable) to create
resistance or heat. (Typically, line-voltage
systems are used.) These radiant heating systems use
a thermostat that has an integrated
ground fault circuit interupter (GFCI)
breaker for safety, located right at the power
source. These advanced thermostats are
available in 110 or 220 voltage. The
line-voltage floor heating cable most recommended is
ComfortTile and Warmzone In-Slab
To learn more about the differences between radiant heat and forced-air heating systems, (or to view an image demonstrating the effectiveness of radiant heat warming a room compared to a forced air system), click on Radiant Heat vs. Forced Air.
Learn more about Warmzone's Radiant Heat Products and Services.