Monday, January 4, 2010

Home Heating - Radiant Heating Systems

Radiant Heater Systems

I know of no radiant heaters that are designed to be permanently hard wired in residences, only ones for commercial use. However, there are numerous portable radiant heaters for home use. See them under the title Portable Electric Heaters. Note that all objects radiate, but to be useful radiators they must be at 115 degrees F or higher temperatures.

All open flames and fireplaces are radiators and so are all unshielded stoves.

So-called Floor Radiant Heating Systems

To start with note my reasons why floors are not used as radiators.

1. Useful radiant heat requires temperatures of 115 degrees F or higher.

2. Radiant heat does not heat the gases in air very well. Only solids absorb radiant heat easily and, so, air temperatures would heat very slowly.

3. If floors radiated significantly you would have heat absorbed significantly by ceilings and that's the last thing you want.

Now, the question is how rooms are heated by so-called floor radiation. The answer is simple: The air in contact with the floor is heated by conduction. This warmed air rises and mixes in particular in the first 5-6' above the floor where people are.

The significance of this is that it matters not what you call this system, but everyone that has it loves it!


Anything that warms a floor will do.

1. tubes carrying warmed water under a floor will do.

2. electric wires under a floor will do.

No special cleaning
Very even temperatures.
No drafts in any direction.
Savings of 25% compared to any natural convection heater.
No baseboard heaters and their cleaning problems.
No limits on furniture positions.

Expensive to install.
Slow on-off response times.
Possible heat loss to basement if' not well insulated.

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