Our most recent home has radiant heat

The ranch house here in Chittenden County Vermont that we have been  looking at recently has Radiant Heat.  Did you know that?

Radiant heat is a fairly simple concept that relies on heating a big thermal mass. In our house the thermal mass is the concrete floor in the basement.  Obviously, the larger the thermal mass the more consistent the heat is going to be, the indoor temperature is apt to fluctuate less and therefore gives a more consistent temperature throughout the winter months.

Take a look at today’s photograph and you will see a series of pipes going down into the concrete floor, actually there are six of them on the right side of the picture.  On the left side of the picture you can see six more pipes, those pipes are the other end of each loop of pipe.

What happens is quite simple. Actually, warm water not hot, typically 140 degrees, is pumped into the loop that is buried inside the concrete floor, and at the other end of the loop the water is returned to the boiler to be reheated.  Along the way the water loses much of its heat into the concrete which is the Thermal Mass.

So, the warm water warms up the concrete which then radiates warmth into the room to keep us comfortable.

Hot water is often used for heat in Hot Water Baseboard heat, in that case the water runs about 190 degrees, or it is HOT where as in radiant heat the water is only warm.  Hot water baseboard heats a room via convection where air moved across the hot pipes and thus keeps the room warm.

Radiant heat is where warm water heats a big thermal mass which in turn heats the room by radiating heat into the room.

Many people love Radiant Heat because it is very comfortable.  Radiant is fairly expensive to install but its comfort level often justifies the expense.  Radiant Heat costs as much to operate, it is not less expensive to run.

What do you think?  Would you like Radiant Heat?

Call us at (802) 985-5855

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