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What is Radiant Heat?Basically, radiant heat is the transfer of heat from a warm surface to a cooler surface. Radiant energy travels through space without heating the space itself. It only turns into heat when it contacts a cooler surface. The Radiant Panel Association uses the following analogy to describe radiant energy: "Hold your hand over a cup of coffee and feel the heat. The logical conclusion is that heat rises. Logical maybe, but incorrect! 'Hot air' rises but 'heat' can travel in any direction. That is why you can feel the heat of the cup when you place your hand to the side of it."
Radiant heat warms the closest and coldest objects closest to the source of the heat, which radiates heat throughout that space evenly. In other words, radiant heat warms cold objects. Radiant heat will heat the floors, tables, and people.
What Does Radiant Heat Feel Like?
Have you ever strolled along the beach on a sunny day and felt the warm sand underneath your feet? Have you touched a mug that was warm because of the hot drink inside? If so, then you've felt radiant heat. Objects absorb radiant heat until they are the same temperature as the heat source, after which the heat slowly escapes to whatever mass is colder and closer.
Electric Radiant Heat
Electric floor heating systems are ideal for heating smaller areas. There is little or no maintenance involved over time, and they are the easiest types of systems to install. Electric systems are not as complex and make great do-it-yourself projects. Also, depending on the system type, little or no floor buildup is required. Though there are sometimes exceptions, Rullie Radiant Heat generally recommends heating smaller areas with electric radiant.
Hydronic Radiant Heat
Hydronic radiant floor heating is the most popular form of radiant heat, mainly because it has been around the longest. Hydronic systems are ideal for heating entire homes or buildings because they are generally less expensive and have lower operational costs when heating larger areas. When heating large areas, product and operational costs are usually less.