Warmboard Uses Aluminum to Radiate Warmth into a Home.
Warmboard uses radiant floor heat to warm your home from the subfloor. Warmboard acts as the subfloor. Instead of laying down the plywood and strapping PEX tubing underneath the subfloor, you install 4x8 sheets of Warmboard. The best time to install Warmboard is during new construction.
There are channels routed directly into the plywood, and a thick aluminum sheet is placed over the top of the plywood. Then you put down PEX aluminum PEX tubing into the Warmboard channels. The warm water that flows through the PEX-AL-PEX heats up the aluminum. Then the flooring that would be above the Warmboard radiates warmth throughout the room.
The most obvious Warmboard uses would be to heat your entire home. Many new construction projects that desire the best in comfort and extremely high efficiency opt for Warmboard.
The reason why Warmboard is a bit different than other types of radiant floor heat is because of its low thermal mass coupled with high conductivity. I know the previous sentence sounded complex, but it really is quite a basic concept.
First, let's look at how radiant heat is used in concrete slabs. PEX tubing is embedded into the concrete. Then warm water circulates through the tubing, heating up the concrete slab. This huge slab of rock, or large thermal mass, takes a long time to heat up. It also doesn't conduct the heat very well. Once the floor is warm, it stays warm for a long time because it is such a large mass. This is good if you want the room to stay warm, but bad if you want the room to cool off. Also, a large thermal mass that doesn't conduct well means it takes a long time to heat up when it is cold too.
With Warmboard, you are only worried about heating up a much smaller amount of material. The aluminum on the warmboard heats up very quickly. The finish flooring is in direct contact with the Warmboard and also warms up. This turns the flooring into a large radiator. The aluminum conducts the heat immediately, and the low thermal mass of this floor heats up quickly.
Warmboard uses the hydronic radiant heat more effectively than any other radiant floor heating system. In fact, at the bi-annual U. S. Department of Energy competetition, Warmboard has won multiple efficiency awards. It produces unparalleled comfort and response time, along with amazing efficiency.
One other way to increase the efficiency of Warmboard, or any radiant floor heating system is to create heating zones. This involves using separate thermostats for different zones in your home. For instance, if you don't use your bedrooms during the day at all, you can simply create a heating zone for this area. The hydronic heat will not activate at this time, saving you some energy.
Instead of simply having one thermostat that goes down at night, or when no one is home, you can turn down different areas of the home that are not in use. This can create another level of efficiency on top of the already superior qualities of radiant heat technology. Warmboard uses this type of zone heating scheme in almost all of its homes.
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