Radiant heating systems deliver heat directly to a home's floor and panels in the walls and ceiling. The systems rely heavily on radiant heat transfer, which involves infrared radiation providing heat directly from a heated surface to people and objects in the room. Radiant heating is the same as a hot stove-top item that radiates warmth to the rest of the room.

Floor heating is the name for radiant heating situated on the floor. Radiant floor heating, despite its name, relies mainly on convection, or the natural movement of heat inside space as the air heated by the floor rises.

Types of Radiant Heaters

  1. Electric Radiant Heating System: Electric coils create heat when electricity travels through them in an electric radiant heating system. These metal coils have a high resistance to electricity. When electricity travels through the coil, the resistance generates heat. Insulation is provided via polymer sheets wrapped around the coils.
  2. Hydronic Radiant Heating System: Hydronic radiant heating systems employ a boiler to circulate warm water throughout a home or floor via a network of pipes. While they are less expensive to run than electric heating systems, they have the potential to break pipes or leak.
  3. Air Radiant Heating System: In air radiant heating systems, heat transfers through heated air. These are the least efficient of the three typical radiant heating systems because air has the least ability to carry and retain heat.

Benefits of Radiant Heaters

  • Radiant heaters allow livable areas with invisible hardware.
  • They are cost-effective and energy-efficient.
  • They are compatible with¬†smart thermostats.
  • There are fewer restrictions on interior design.
  • Electric radiant floor heating systems don't need to be serviced or maintained regularly.
  • Radiant heaters are suitable for any flooring.
  • Installation is easy when new flooring is placed; electric-based radiant floor heating systems are simple to install.
  • Regarding air quality, radiant heat is a far superior option.

How Radiant Heaters Work

A radiant heating system is both efficient and straightforward to use.

  • A radiant floor heating system warms a room by directly heating the floor rather than warming the air in the room, using thermal radiation and electromagnetic waves.
  • Radiant heating systems warm the floor, which radiates up and is absorbed by other items in the room, thus warming the whole space.
  • Heated floors, in brief, employ radiant heat technology to warm the flooring, and the heat rises and disperses throughout the space.

Applications of Radiant Heaters

  • Inside big plants
  • Inside garages and loading docks
  • Heating tight warehouse aisles
  • Heating hoppers and dry paint
  • Preventing pipes and valves from freezing
  • Radiant flat panel heaters are used in space heating, drying and curing, water evaporation, and food processing
  • Used in addition to sterilization, material preparation, bonding and joining, and industrial manufacture and production

Choosing the Right Radiant Heater

  • Maximum operational (sheath) temperature, kilowatts, AC voltage, and maximum watt density are all important factors when selecting radiant heaters.
  • The maximum operating temperature is the highest temperature that the radiant heater's sheath can attain.
  • Radiant heaters' available wattage is usually measured in kilowatts (kW).
  • The AC voltage required to run the heater must be known.
  • The maximum watt density of a radiant heater is the number of watts it can deliver per square inch. Watt density is a valuable indicator of a heater's capacity to heat a substance fast.
  • The heated length must be known as it is the essential dimension of the radiant heater.

Why is a Radiant Heater Best?

Radiant heaters are superior to other types of heaters for various reasons. Below is a comparison of a few different heaters.

  • Forced-air heaters: While they swiftly heat a home, they may be noisy, unattractive, or trigger various allergies. Compared to radiant heaters, forced air heaters are focused towards the top of the room, meaning you'll have to turn up the heat (and spend more energy) to keep a space warm.
  • Boiler Systems: When compared to electric-based systems, water-based systems take longer to install, require routine maintenance, take longer to heat and cool, and are often only used in new construction.
  • Hybrid Heating: Hybrid heating systems are costly to install and require regular maintenance. They suffer from the same drawbacks as forced-air systems.
  • Space heaters: Space heaters can cause significant fires and burns. They're also easy to trip over, can trip your breaker, and can only heat a specific part of a room. None of these drawbacks apply to radiant floor heating.

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Marketing and technical director for Expert Electrical Supplies and Downlights Direct.

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