It sounds like an oxymoron - radiant heating cooling. The truth is this is a very efficient answer to cooling.
If you talk about the main energy users in many buildings and other properties, consider heating and cooling as major energy consumers. This is why it pays to be wise in looking for ways to heat and cool homes and buildings in order to avoid wastage of energy. On this note, the use and adoption of radiant heating cooling may be the best solution. When fitted inside the home or the office, this system will condition the air within the area so that you and the other occupants of the buildings will be comfortable no matter what the weather condition is.
This form of heating and calling is also known as the hydronic heating and cooling and should not be mistaken for the typical HVAC. The main difference lies in the fact that the system that produces radiant heating makes use of water distribution instead of the usual air distribution in order to meet the heating and the cooling demands of buildings and homes.
There are two ways that this system can work. You actually can install a different air conditioner unit, a small duct high-velocity system, instead of running cool water through your radiant heat system. Let's look at the cool water solution first.
How the Radiant Heating Cooling System Works
When using the radiant cooling system, the cold water is transported through panels and grids of tubing and these grids are usually fitted on the walls and the ceilings. What these panels do is to absorb the heat coming from the building or home, and effectively returns back these ‘heat’ to the HVAC. Keep in mind that the amount of air coming from the outside that is usually used to ventilate the interior of the home or the office is smaller compared to the amount of air needed by the panels to sustain the cooling properties.
But since the radiant heating cooling system works by cooling the area directly, thus the ventilation system is reduced to just the size needed to transport outside air inside. What is now required is just a fraction of the total air circulation capacity needed in one property. And because this is a system primarily run by water that can easily store heat and cold than air, then it’s logical that only a small amount of water will be used to circulate thus this will help lower down the costs of having the radiant heating cooling system.
Another advantage is that the system can offer the same amount of heating and cooling but the only difference is that the energy consumption is much less- up to 75 percent lower than the air-based systems.
Learn the Three Types of Hydronic Cooling Systems
There are three different designs that can be grouped under the radiant heating cooling system. For many offices and households, the most common choice is the panel system. The construction features aluminum panels that are fitted with metal tubes and all these are connected at the back of the panel. For this design, extreme consideration should be placed on the connection between the panel and the tubes.
Once the connections are not properly made, then this can only promote limited or poor heat exchange between the paneling and the tube. The end result is that your household will get increased temperature differences. A variation of this system is the adoption of the ‘sandwich system’ where the water flow paths are placed in between the aluminum panels. Thanks to this kind of arrangement, the usual issues with heat transfer are avoided.
Another variation of the system is the capillary tubes, and you can expect even heating and cooling from this system. If you are looking for retrofit applications, then this is the better choice owing to the flexibility of the plastic tubes.
The other variation of the system is based on the floor heating applications. The tubes here are incorporated in the core of the concrete ceiling. The storage capacity exhibited by the ceiling ensures perk load shifting. But since the thermal storage is used, controlling the system is limited. For this reason, the use of this system is recommended as an alternative cooling and heating source.
Another feature of this particular system can be found in the location of the cooling tubes. The higher portion of the cooling made by the system is made on the area just below the slab, and the rest (around 17 percent) is made above the room.
Disadvantages of Using the Floor Heating System
Though the benefits are packed, keep in mind that there are still some issues associated with this.
• The cooling capacity of the system is limited and the reason for this is that there is a small different between the room air and supplied water. • The floor surface temperature should not fall below 19 degree Celsius. • Also when using this, it is recommended to keep the dew point of the air indoors should be kept just below the temperature of the water used.
Is the System Right for Your Residential Property?
The most common and popular use of radiant heating cooling system is for office or industrial use. But this should not stop you from adopting the system for home use. There are a number of benefits for doing this. When fitted for home use, this will deliver better thermal comfort. Also, the floor heating will also stay away from recirculation air and the cycling air handling system.
The Small Duct High-Velocity Air Conditioner
This system will run separate from your radiant heat unit. The air conditioner is located in the attic or on the roof. Small openings are placed on the ceiling and this is where the cold air is released into the room. A company that specializes in this is Unico. These systems are more efficient that traditional HVAC systems because the cold air falls naturally, leaving you with a cooler feeling room.
No matter what option you choose, you shouldn't worry about air conditioning when you are considering radiant heat. The house will be nice and toasty warm in the winter and cool and comfortable in the winter with proper radiant heating cooling. Below is an example of the Unico air conditioning system being installed.