Why radiant is so vastly superior to forced air heating
February 6, 2017
It’s estimated that 90% of homes in the US are heated using forced air. We’re accustomed to noisy fans kicking on and off, being too hot upstairs and too cold downstairs, wrapping ourselves in extra layers only to strip them off a short time later, and constantly adjusting the thermostat to try and keep comfortable.
But imagine the alternative – exquisite warmth beneath every step. With infloor radiant heat, there are no noisy fans blowing dust and allergens or drying out sinuses. Experience completely silent heat, improving indoor air quality while reducing the spread of airborne illnesses and incidents of asthma. Cold floors are a thing of the past, and energy is not wasted heating air that just rises to the ceiling. Use “zoning” to control the temperature room-by-room, saving energy and maximizing comfort for every occupant. Warmboard radiant heat makes all of this possible.
A typical radiant heated home in the United States can expect a 25% energy savings over a conventional forced air home. This 25% savings can be attributed to a number of factors including parasitic losses, lower ceiling temperatures, the ability to zone the home, and more. But Warmboard radiant heat, because of its superior conductivity, lowers water temperatures which maximizes your boiler’s efficiency, saving you even more money every year for the life of your home.
Architects have complete liberty with design because there are no floor registers or wall or ceiling chases. Furniture can be placed anywhere without regard to registers, vents or wall radiators. And rooms with high, open ceilings and/or floor-to-ceiling windows can be heated simply and efficiently.
The inside of a duct that supplies the air your breathe
Radiant heat is more effective because:
- Energy Use and Parasitic LossWith inherent flaws and imperfections in duct work, heat escapes the system and is lost to unknown parts of your house while increased air pressure in rooms can add strain to weather stripping, causing leaks. Also, air blowers often require 9x the amount of electricity as the pumps in radiant systems.
- Lower Ceiling TemperaturesHeat doesn’t rise – but hot air does. It’s the primary reason why so much insulation is used beneath the roof. In a forced air system, hot air his pumped into a room and rapidly rises to the ceiling which can cause a temperature swing of 10 degrees between the ceiling and the floor. This air stratification becomes worse in rooms with high ceilings. In a two-story home, the upstairs can be stifling hot while downstairs is too cool.
- Zoning reduces energy usageMost forced air homes have a single thermostat to control the temperature of the entire home. These “single zone systems” are the norm because forced air is inherently difficult and expensive to control. The result is inconsistent comfort – some rooms too cool, others too hot, and rooms in direct sunlight overheat depending on the time of day.
- Lower air temperatures for the same comfortEven on a cool, windy day, we can feel warm as the sun shines upon us. This is because the radiant heat from the sun allows us to be comfortable even with low air temperatures. The same is true in your home. With the warmth emanating from a radiant floor, you experience greater comfort with the thermostat set lower than those in a forced air home.
Ready for Radiant Heating?
Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122