A Radiant Heat Boiler For Hydronic Heat

A radiant heat boiler for a hydronic radiant floor heating system

A radiant heat boiler is the starting point for a hydronic radiant floor heating system. People who own radiant floor heating system own them for different reasons. Some do because they seemed like the luxurious heating system to have, others because they are comfortable and are relatively quite. Radiant floor systems heat rooms more evenly unlike the force air systems and other types of heater and radiators that can only heat one localised spot at a time. The heat rises from the bottom up warming the body from the feet up.

With radiant energy one doesn’t have to contend with dust being carried by convection heating systems. Maybe for others the aesthetic of the system is the greatest plus.

It remains unobtrusively out of sight, not jostling for space with furniture or encroaching interior design plans. Not only that, they are virtually silent and no one would know that there’s even a heating system underneath your floor.

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Radiant heat stays on for longer periods and may result in less infiltration from outside air. You can save as much as 20% of energy or fuel if you switched from forced air systems to radiant energy. The most important part of a radiant heat system is the boiler and some would say the most expensive and the one equipment that is built to outlast all other parts, even up to 45 years. Radiant floors operate at temperatures that between 29-60 ºC or 54-71ºC depending on the radiant heating system.

Water stored in a radiant heat boiler is heated to a temperature close to the boiling point. The steam produced is piped out of the boiler. The boiler is heated using various fuels either, gas, oil, coal and even electricity. Most modern units do not burn fossil fuels like coal, but those that still do burn things like wood have that wood fired up by either oil or some other secondary igniters. There are generally two types of boilers:

Firetube Boilers

Firetube boilers also known as shell boiler:- the radiant heat boiler is surrounded by the water. In Firetube boilers the water surrounding the boiler is heated by the heat from the fire or gases within the boiler. Hot gases are allowed through the Firetubes several times before being let out. The tubes are usually set at the banks of the boiler. The Firetube boiler cab release up to 25000lbs of steam per hours and make up 80% of the boilers commonly used.

Watertube Boilers

In this type of radiant heat boiler the heating tubes are arranged vertically in a water filled shell. Watertube boilers are usually rectangular and have two drums arranged at the top and bottom. The top drum separates water and steam and the bottom drum collects the sludge.

Watertube boilers are heavy duty boilers that are ideally used when more steam is required. They can generate temperatures of up to 2120F. The steam generated at this temperature is then circulated through the use of radiators, piping and vents. s, it is essential to check the boiler and ensure that excess pressure is not built. To check the pressure build up, run your boiler for short durations of time. Furthermore, they have to be maintained regularly to keep them in optimum working condition because of the excessive amounts of steam and heat that can be generated

When is a boiler not a water heater?

There is some confusion that occurs in the plumbing and HVAC industry about what why a radiant heat boiler is not a water heater and vice versa. A boiler does the same thing that a water heater does but a boiler has a much complex function than the mere heating. Recent trends have however blurred the lines that set these two separate and distinctively from each other. In a domestic setting both heat water for domestic use but the water is not necessarily used for the same purpose and the energy is not used in the same way either. Heaters use an energy source to heat water for domestic use.

A boiler is merely a container in which water is turned into steam. The steam is sent to another point in the system for some other reason and because the whole system runs as a closed loop system, when the steam condenses, it gets rerouted back to the boiler to be reheated once more. The steam is either delivered to a radiator or some other convector and radiates heat to warm the immediate space or object. A boiler costs more than a water heater. Newer boiler system can provide hot water when needed as well as radiate heat. These double - duty systems or combination boilers are far more expensive but use less energy.

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To find more information, or to purchase a boiler, click here for Radiant Heat Boilers.

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