- Comfort: Radiant heat warms objects and surfaces rather than the air within a space.
- Fresh Air: These systems separate ventilation from heating, allowing windows to be opened without drastically affecting the interior temperature of a room.
- Versatility: Radiator and some in-floor systems can provide both heating and cooling.
- Quiet: The systems are quiet compared to a furnace; slow moving water carries heat through pipes in lieu of air being pushed through vents. Usually the loudest component of a radiant system is the pump or boiler. Noise is also reduced through the elimination of ducting which typically carries sounds – such as conversations – from one room to another.
- Cleanliness: These systems help reduce dust generation which is a benefit for those with allergies.
- Zoning: On a more complex system, a house can be zoned to control heating within different areas to allow for lower temperatures in unoccupied areas of the house.
- Energy Savings: Systems can be integrated into green technologies such as solar hot water heating; geothermal; high efficiency condensing boiler or even district heating.
- Lifespan: According to CMHC, if properly maintained a system can last 30 – 40 years. Piping life varies depending on the material, but will likely exceed that of the system boiler and pumps.
- Response Time: Compared to forced air, a radiant system can be slow to respond to desired temperature changes. As a result, depending on the system, night set-back changes can be difficult to accommodate due to this slow response time.
- Complexity: Radiant systems are not a do-it-yourself type of installation. Professional mechanical contractors are required to make modifications and maintain the system.
If aesthetics are a concern, new models of radiators look nothing like – and function better – than the large cast iron rads of years past. Manufacturers such as JAGA have a series of low-water-temperature radiators with thin profiles that can be integrated into millwork, mounted on walls or on the floor, blend in to the room, or stand out as a feature.
If a new heating system is on your horizon, a radiant system should be a consideration. For more information, feel free to contact KHA Design, your local mechanical contractor or CMHC.