Radiant heating is a process which transfers heat from a source onto the objects and people within an enclosure. The conduction happens through the electromagnetic waves that pass through the air and reach the surface area of the objects. The absorption of waves by the objects creates warmth. Since the process is independent of the medium, less energy is required to transfer the heat. The objects absorb and retain the heat for a longer time compared to the air. Hence, the system works more efficiently than the conventional heater.
The transmission of heat through the Electro Magnetic Spectrum (EMS) of the environment happens at a higher flux of the radiant heater. It is the energy output per unit area for every degree of heat generated. The transfer occurs at the higher frequency and lower wavelength. Hence, the intensity of the heat will be more. Since the radiation doesn’t heat the air, there is no loss of energy during the transmission.
The radiant heater panel consists of a pair of the solid cross-brace and the planks. The preferred material is aluminum. The planks (in the form of pipes) are bent in U-shape and spread across the length of the panel. The twin cross-brace hold the planks in position firmly. They are bound to each other with the help of an interlocking panel. The entire system is assembled and installed beneath the floor, wall or the ceiling surface.
A hot liquid passes through the plank from the entry to the exit point. It transfers the heat onto the panel, which in turn heat the room. The thermal coefficient of the liquid determines how fast the transfer happens and how long the objects retain the absorbed heat. The comfort and safety factors depend on the design and construction of the radiant heater panel.
Hydronics system works on the circulation of hot water through the radiant heater plank. Some of the systems may also use mineral oil. The water is heated by the boiler connected to the inlet at a distance from the panel. The piping system could be single, multiple, or the looping type, which is the trend in the modern radiant heaters. It works better as the circulation can be controlled depending on the heating requirement. The percentage of heat transfer is more (up to 9.58%), and the loss is considerably less or negligible. The introduction of the insulators into the panels has further increased the efficiency of the Hydronics systems than ever before.
The electric system uses a thermostatic panel which is heated by the A/C power supply. The panels in each room are connected to a radiation emitter. The system consumes more energy compared to the Hydronics system, and the running costs are more.
The infrared systems depend on natural gas for the heating. The fuel burning unit transfers the heat onto the panels, which in turn emits the radiation into the rooms. But this system is more expensive and less safe for homes. It may work better for the large-scale industrial plants.
The heating efficiency will remain almost the same for all the types of flooring.