Heating and cooling an occupied space with hydronic radiant surfaces
is efficient, silent, invisible, clean, controllable, reliable,
maintenance-free and extremely comfortable. This means that radiant
systems can improve comfort while reducing energy consumption for
heating and cooling, while radiant systems also have reduced operational
costs and maintenance costs.
Thanks to its high specific heat as compared with air, water is a much better conductor of heat energy.
- A nominal 3/4 water pipe can transfer the same heat energy as a 14 x 8 inch duct
- A hydronic circulator moving warm fluid can typically deliver
the same thermal energy as an air fan with 75-90% less electrical
Because radiant heating systems can heat a space with very low water
temperature, the efficiency of the heat source is typically improved.
This means that systems with fossil-fuel devices deliver better
efficiencies by operating in condensing mode, and air-to-water or
water-to-water heat pumps deliver higher coefficients of performance
(COPs). In many cases, heat pumps can be smaller and draw lower
electrical loads than if distributing heat via an air-based system.
Radiant heating allows a thermostat to be set as much as 4ºF (2ºC)
lower than it would be with traditional hot air systems without
sacrificing comfort. These lower operating temperatures coupled with the
superior heat transfer properties of water can reduce fuel consumption,
potentially saving up to 30% per year in heating expenses
Since radiant pipes are embedded in floors, walls or ceilings, there
is more available space on floors and less space lost to ductwork.
Many designers use radiant heating systems to improve energy
efficiency and comfort, and to achieve green and sustainable
certifications and recognition, such as LEED®.
Radiant heating and cooling systems are easily integrated into the
mechanical environment of a building and can be combined with geothermal
heat sources and traditional HVAC distribution methods for
high-performance hybrid systems. Combined radiant heating and cooling
systems provide uniform and efficient heating and cooling, and are a
cost-effective way for a building to achieve a higher level of energy