Heating systems (Radiant Heating)

Essay by moe143University, Master's March 2002

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Radiant Heating is widely regarded as the most comfortable, healthiest, and most natural heating process available. People are warmed in the same way as they are warmed by sunshine on a cool day. Floor drafts, cold spots, and dry air are eliminated. Low humidity levels, dust, air contaminants (mold, fungi, bacterium and viruses), all problems associated with forced-air heating, are greatly reduced and in many cases non-existent in a home with a properly designed radiant heating system.

Radiant Heat is based in principle on the primary source of heat we know -- the warmth of the sun. Hot water radiant heat, like natural sunlight, warms you and the objects around you instead of the air you breathe as other heating systems do. Radiant Heat also assures gentle draft-free circulation in each room of the home.

Where Does Radiant Heat Belong? Almost any floor surface can be radiant. It can be installed into new concrete slabs on gravel grade, or to cap an existing floor.

Depending on where you live, you can install it outdoors in order to melt ice and snow from driveways and walkways.

To understand how your home heating system must perform to keep you comfortable, you have to understand what makes you uncomfortable -- what makes your body feel cold or hot.

Your body has its own heating system which helps sustain life. Marvelous though it is, the human heating system alone can't keep you comfortable. For while the body generates heat, it also loses heat. Body heat is given off in winter by radiation, convection, and in a minor way, evaporation. Let's examine these forms of body heat loss in more detail:

1. RADIATION -- transfer of heat by direct rays from your body to cooler objects around you. Place your hand next to a block...