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Radiant heating Vs. Conventional Heating System

Heating your home or business is all about balance. On one hand, you want and need to be warm but on the other, you don’t have a bottomless pit of cash to pay high heating bills month on month.

There are many ways to make your home warm without huge heating bills – choosing the right heating system is one of them.

Radiant heat

The first form of heat we are going to examine is a radiant heating system. This is where objects in a room are heated rather than the air.

Underfloor heating is a form of radiant heat as the warm or hot water as is circulates in the plastic pipes beneath the sub-floor heat the floor above it. The floor covering such as stone, tile, laminate or carpet grabs the heat. In turn, the heat from the floor area heats the objects in the room – including you!

It is a gentler form of heat, much more comfortable too and one that has been in existence since early civilisation.

Convection heat

You are probably familiar with this form of heating, even though you may not be aware of it. Radiators and central heating systems is a convectional form of heat.

Hot water is delivered to the radiators in a room. In turn, this heats the air, causing the warm air to rise and then, as it cools, drop down again. This cycle is repeated several times during the hours of operation.

Which is best?

There are many benefits to radiant heating in a home;

  • Radiant heating is energy efficient – the water circulating in the sub-floor is at a lower temperature. This means that it is using less energy to heat the space.
  • It is healthier – many people with asthma and skin conditions can find that the air in a centrally heated home can become too dry; this can make breathing seem more difficul.t
  • Radiant heat doesn’t move the air – convectional heat cause the air in a room to swirl about and this means that air-borne dust mites, dust and other microscopic detritus is circulated around the space; this can feel unpleasant.

Conventional heating methods have been the norm for a long time in the UK. They are the forms of heat that we are used to, they are the ones we trust and to a certain extent, they are the one that we understand.

Central heating was introduced into UK homes in the 1930, steadfastly remaining the heat of choice for eight decades. However, even with modern, efficient, condenser boilers, central heating systems can be expensive to run.

There are also other drawbacks of conventional heating methods;

  • Hot spot and cold spots – around the radiator, it can be very hot or sitting directly in front of the fire can be almost unbearable. And yet there can be parts of the room that are cold. This is because the air may not be circulating in that spot, leading to uneven heating. Radiant heating ensures the whole floor is heated, thus the heat in a room is even and pleasant.
  • Inefficient – possibly one of the biggest disadvantages of a conventional heating system is that even though it provides a high level of heat, it does so through inefficient means. To heat a cold house, the boiler can fire up several times so that rooms reach the desired temperature. For many households, this means high energy bills that they can ill-afford.

Save money and still be warm!

We all know how important it is that we use less energy to heat our homes. This is not just about cutting back on expense, but about using less energy. This is because non-renewable sources of energy are running low and thus, we are relying on alternative forms of energy.

Although alternative energy such as solar panels, ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, biomass along with wind and tidal energy are becoming more reliable, we need to ensure that every kilowatt of energy we use to heat our homes is used efficiently – and we squeeze everything out of each kilowatt that we can!

This means insulating our homes better, irrespective of whether we choose conventional or radiant heating systems for our homes. With radiant heat, installers and manufacturers of underfloor heating kits will often include insulation boards for the sub-floor. This ensures that all the heat is radiated into a room, and not lost to the ground.

In summary

Radiant heat is a far more efficient and cost effective means of heating any property. It is a heating system that is perfect for any home and for any room.

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