There are several ways to transport heat from a hot body to a cold body:
- by conduction, in this case the heat moves on a material support.
- by convection, heat moves through the air creating convection currents.
- by radiation, the heat moves from the hot body to the cold body, without material support.
Any hot body radiates, it emits heat in all directions. This is the case with the sun. This heats the Earth by radiation (while it is 150 million kilometers from Earth), then the Earth heats the air by convection.
A radiant floor works the same way. It emits soft, diffuse radiation to heat the other walls and objects in the room, which in turn will heat the air.
Everyone agrees that heated floors are an unparalleled source of comfort in a home. If you are thinking of installing this type of heating in your home, this information will be useful to you.
Radiant heating does not use air as a vector of heat diffusion. Therefore, it is particularly suitable for applications with significant air renewal. It can be used to heat outdoor spaces such as café terraces, bus stops, but also indoor spaces such as warehouses, workshops, workstations. It does not heat the air, but the objects that are in direct contact with the floor.
With an underfloor heating system, the heat is distributed throughout the living space, starting from the floor. The heat is absorbed by the objects and redistributed throughout the room, thus creating an unparalleled feeling of well-being and comfort.
Radiant heating is based on a simple principle of allowing heat transfer from one surface to another. As nature always tends towards balance, radiant heat spreads from warm surfaces to cooler surfaces, until a balanced and constant temperature is obtained throughout the room.
The concept of radiant heating can be illustrated by the example of a stone being heated by the sun. It absorbs the heat from the sun’s rays and when you approach your hand you can feel this heat radiating from it and being redistributed into the environment.
Traditional systems heat ambient air, which naturally rises to the ceiling and collects there while the floor remains cool. To feel the heat, we tend to increase the temperature and overheat, which dries the air in addition to considerably increasing the bills.
A radiant heating system works differently. It does not overheat the air and will keep you warm at all times.
In addition, radiant heating offers a real source of savings. By heating the masses rather than the air, the radiant system allows you to reduce the temperature of the ambient air without affecting the feeling of comfort. Thus, you can reduce the temperature of a room by 5° C while maintaining the same level of comfort.* You will feel warm, when in reality the air is cooler. Efficient, durable, economical, healthy and environmentally friendly, radiant heating can offer energy savings of up to 30%.
Since the perceived comfort temperature (called the resulting dry temperature, measured with the Missenard thermometer) is higher than the air temperature, hot air losses from a building occur at a lower temperature than with a hot air system. This reduction in the temperature delta translates into a reduction in heat loss and energy savings. For the same reason, the temperature difference between the top and bottom of the building (stratification) is reduced, which has the effect of reducing heat loss through the roof.
In a building, because radiant heating does not use air as a vector, it becomes possible to differentiate temperatures in different places. Zone heating can therefore be provided without having to heat the entire space to a uniform temperature.
Another important advantage in an environment heated by a radiant system is the reduction of dust in the atmosphere. It does not produce forced air or convection, thus causing no air movement. The environment therefore becomes less allergenic, by reducing the particles in suspension in the air.