The term radiant heating has a few different meanings when it comes to central HVAC for homes. The general meaning of radiant heating is a way that heat moves: waves of heat radiate off a hot object, and those move through space without heating the air until the waves meet another object and heat it. It’s the feeling you get from the pavement on a sunny day, or when you place your hand near a hot plate.
Radiant heating also refers to types of home heating systems that use this method of heating. Most radiant heating systems use a boiler to circulate water to points in the house, raise the temperature of those objects, and send heat into the rooms. Radiant heating systems can use radiators, baseboard heaters, or in-floor pipes at the terminal points that radiate heat into the room.
Many homeowners love having radiant heating—and there are some good reasons why:
It Feels Good
This is something you have to experience in a house during the winter to understand. Radiant heating simply feels cozier than using a forced-air heater like a furnace to blow around hot air. Radiant heating doesn’t feel as stuffy. And in-floor heating is especially wonderful on cold winter mornings—nothing better than a toasty warm floor under your feet when you get up!
It Saves Energy
Using hydronic radiant heating is one of the most efficient ways to warm up an entire house. Water is simply a better heat transference medium than air, so it requires less energy to generate the heat a home needs. Radiant heat takes less time to heat up rooms and won’t need to run as much.
It Prevents Uneven Heating
One of the troubles with forced-air heating is the hot air is blown out of vents and immediately moves to the ceiling of the space. This leaves cold spots around the room as the hot air spreads slowly around the space. Radiant heating spreads out evenly, so an entire space feels warm, rather than having cold pockets.
It Has a Long Lifespan
Boiler systems have greater longevity than heat pumps or furnaces. For in-floor heating, the pipes in the flooring can last for decades, even when the boiler needs to be replaced. Even though in-floor heating is a more expensive installation than standard ductwork-based systems, it lasts long enough to pay for itself with its energy-saving power.
Radiant heating isn’t ideal for all homes, and installation is often best as part of new home construction or a major remodeling. The best way to find out if your home is suitable for a radiant heating system is to arrange for an appointment with an Acton, MA, HVAC contractor. We install all types of central heating systems in homes, from furnaces to in-floor radiant heating, and you can trust us to find the best way to warm up your home.
Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC has been trusted for over 30 years. Find out more about radiant heating from our experts.