What Is Radiant Heating

September 15, 2021 | Heating, Radiant Heating, Underfloor Heating

What Is Radiant Heating

So, what is radiant heating? It involves the heating of surfaces which radiate heat evenly and efficiently throughout a space. Options for radiant heating include underfloor and internal wall heating systems, wall panels and ceiling panels.

Compared to traditional radiators which only heat the air around them, radiant heating systems warm the whole room effectively without leaving cold spots – and they are much quicker to heat up. Radiators must operate at a higher temperature to produce the same level of warmth as radiant heating systems operating at a lower temperature.

Smart radiant heating systems can be operated by apps which enable you to set temperatures throughout the home and quickly raise or lower the temperature of a specific room, reducing energy usage in unoccupied rooms while maintaining a minimum heat standard throughout the home.

Radiant heating removes the need for unsightly radiators and wall vents in a home and improves the quality of air compared to heating and air conditioning units which move pollen and other irritants around the home. Replacing traditional central heating or alternative systems with radiant heating systems, however, can be a costly and complex exercise in renovations.

Underfloor Heating

What is radiant heating when it is under the floor? Underfloor heating systems can be electric or water-based and can either be laid as cable systems or heated mats directly under the floor surface and heated using electricity, or as an underfloor water system where pipes pump water heated by a boiler or heat pump under the floor. The system heats the floor and the floor heats the room.

Both systems operate under most floor coverings including tiles, woods, laminates, and carpets. For maximum efficiency, hard surfaces such as ceramic tiles or stone, which provide limited insulation, offer the best results. 

Underfloor heating is becoming an increasingly popular trend and provides an energy-efficient way to heat a whole room quickly and effectively. However, the multiple benefits of underfloor heating are balanced out by the cost and complexity of installation.

Water-based systems are more cost-effective in the long run as energy bills are lower, however these are more expensive to install as they require more space under the ground, and a more time-consuming installation process. 

Water-based systems are more common in new-builds where they can be built-in before the floor goes down, whereas electric systems are quicker, easier and more cost-effective to install. In some cases these can even be DIY projects as they can be laid directly under the floor with minimal increase to the floor level, so these systems are a popular choice for renovations.

Wall Heating

Similar to underfloor heating, modern developers are choosing to integrate electric or water-based heating systems into the wall before plastering, producing the same benefits as underfloor heating.

However, another impracticality of installing integrated radiant heating systems is the difficulty of accessing them when they need repairing. In addition, there are risks associated with both types of system: for electric systems there is a fire risk, and for water-based systems there is a risk of leaks.

Wall and Ceiling Panels

Radiant heating panels can be hung on the walls and ceilings, offering the same energy efficient results as their built-in counterparts. They are typically aluminium-based panels which are also heated using electricity or water. 

The panels provide more heat closer to the source, which dependent on the height of a room can make ceiling panels less appealing as they will project heat onto the tops of heads, which can become uncomfortable.

The aesthetic of radiant heated panels is more modern than traditional radiators and adds more space back into a room, and what is radiant heating doing to break into the art scene? There are now a growing number of infrared radiant heating panels which are created to look like art pieces – including Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ and Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ – so you can make your home as unique as you are. 

If you’re looking for more advice on radiant heating in your home, get in touch with Rowlen today and we can give you the range of options available to you when it comes to keeping you warm and toasty. 

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