From maintaining safe & regulated working environments to satisfying both product & people needs, radiant heating has many benefits.
What is Radiant Heating?
Radiant heating systems supply heat that directly heats the objects we want warm – from flooring to ceilings or walls in a building.
The heat warms these radiant heating panels and then via infrared transfer, the heat can warm the objects in the room and the people, too!
This technique of heating a room also relies on convection, which is the natural movement of heat around the room, which occurs when hot air rises.
What Types of Radiant Heating Exists?
Radiant heating systems range from electric systems to hydronic (water) floor systems. These range in terms of their cost-effectiveness and initial install cost, but it’s important to consider your specific requirements before you commit to a radiant heating system.
Give us a call if you wish to discuss your options and which option will suit your building.
HVAC Building toward a Sustainable Future
As heating is clearly one of the biggest costs both in terms of our carbon footprint and the money it costs us to heat our businesses and personal spaces, it is important HVAC companies continue to find more sustainable installation options.
The IEA (International Energy Agency) estimates that “Heat is the largest energy end use. Providing heating for homes, industrial purposes and other applications accounts for around 50% of total energy consumption.”
With that in mind, infrared radiant heating is moving more and more into the public domain as a more efficient heating system.
While it is not a fully renewable option, by combining renewable and more cost-effective systems together, energy objectives can be met and carbon footprints significantly lowered, especially with the use of a system as precise as infrared.
Radiant Floor Heating Systems
In the case of hydronic radiant floor heating systems, they require very little electricity. These are quickly becoming the most common. They work in a way that sees heated liquid from a boiler move through a network of pipes beneath the floor.
A variety of energy sources can be used to heat the liquid in the pipes, including standard gas- or oil-fired boilers, wood-fired boilers, solar water heaters, or a combination of sources.
The introduction of valves and thermostats in each room to produce a zoning effect allows only specific rooms to be heated and stops wastage.
As opposed to systems that require air movement to transfer the heat where there is energy lost on the duct systems, a hydronic radiant floor heating system has a very minimal energy loss.
What about Larger & Industrial Buildings?
Gas-fired infrared radiant heating solutions are becoming the popular choice for larger, commercial buildings, while hydronic radiant floor heating systems have been conquering residential and small property.
Gas-fired infrared systems have even been used in open spaces and sports arenas. But how does radiant heating work?
Infrared has the same energy heat transfer principles as the sun. It must reach an object in order to transfer heat. Therefore, infrared energy can penetrate a space with practically zero loss, only heating the objects or people in the space around it when it is needed, rather than wasting energy warming air or an empty room.
It sounds nearly impossible, but statistics prove that the introduction of a gas-fired infrared radiant heat system can achieve energy savings of between 30% and 50%.
How do they work in open spaces or areas where doors are frequently opened?
Gas fired installations work more quickly as well as have reduced waste, in comparison to boiler central heating systems, which is a significant advantage in outdoor areas. However, how do we prevent the loss of heat and therefore an inefficient heating system?
This is where things get really clever. Infrared is transferred by electromagnetic waves, meaning it can be incredibly precise. This is why gas-fired infrared radiant heating systems are notoriously successful in open-air sports arenas, outdoor patio areas, air hangars, loading bays and more.
Plaque Heaters & Tube Heaters
Plaque heaters and tube heaters are the key types of applications that are currently used in commercial and industrial buildings. The plaque heater mixes gas and air together, which sees the combustion transferred into a specific ceramic tile.
This panel or tile heats up to 950 °C which can then heat a specific space by infrared radiation via reflectors that are strategically placed around the tile.
The tube heater works in practically the same way, except the combustion of the gas and air takes place in a function-specific, steel tube (hence the name). The tube heater heats up to 580 °C and is slightly more suitable for buildings with a lower season.
Saving Money Accurately
As previously mentioned in our example of the hydronic (liquid-based) system, the ability to use zoning controls and only heat the spaces we require is integral in our mission to lessen our carbon footprint and be more cost-effective.
With the tube and plaque heaters mentioned above, the reflectors used are key in the zoning, however modulating controls are also part of the installation to monitor and specify the exact heating needs.
From maintaining safe and regulated working environments to satisfying both product and people needs, infrared has many benefits. In an air hangar, a plane will come in and be potentially freezing cold from the high altitude it has travelled at, however, the people working in there cannot risk this temperature affecting their working condition.
Again, in a loading bay or warehouse, perhaps a particular product stored there needs to be kept cool, but infrared allows specific areas to be kept at a warmer, working temperature so that the staff do not have to spend their entire day in cold conditions.
It is clear to see how this intelligent and flexible approach is changing the way we heat our houses and businesses. Both working towards a sustainable future and a more cost-effective solution for both people and corporations.