Radiant Heating System

For my architectural thesis I designed a new concept of homeless habitable units; this units allowed the homeless to access the qualities they liked about the street but yet improve their living conditions while subconsciously creating a visual connection with a vocational school that would hopefully end up poking onto their curiosity and making them want to take a step forward into re-state into society. During the final months of my thesis, I had to really get into every architectural design detail of the different units. How could the quality of living for a homeless increase while allowing them to still be homeless? Because it is easily uninstallable and affordable, I decided to include radiant floor heating into the units I designed. Since I found out all about the great qualities of radiant floors I am the biggest believer in this kind of energy efficiency innovation.

Recently I discovered that my apartment at one of the IIT residential buildings has radiant flooring, when I was telling a friend he thought that it was absurd and that I would freeze all winter, I decided to promote some awareness about radiant flooring [1].

Radiant flooring is more efficient than traditional forced air heating systems as it can cut energy consumption by as much as 30%. It also provide a more comfortable environment, and it’s absolutely safe tubing material system has made radiant heat a desirable heating choice. For most homes, energy requirements range from 10 to 30% less than with forced air systems[2].


The radiant heating installation turns the floors into a big radiator. Pextron tubing is evenly installed throughout the floor, warm water then circulates through the tubing heating the floor and the objects in contact with the floor[2].

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The unique features of radiant floor heating are particularly experienced in rooms with high ceilings. The warmth stays at people level without hot air stratification in unused ceiling space[1].

Radiant floor heating systems are more beneficial for a large number of reasons:

  1. Comfort: Radiant systems deliver consistent steady heat that keeps the environment evenly warm and toasty with nearly every flooring material.
  2. Higher energy efficient: With a radiant heating system you will save between 10 and 30 % in energy use vs. forced air heat. This is due to the low operating system water temperatures. Additionally you can set your thermostat lower and still be more comfortable with a warm floor and warmed objects around you; there’s less heat loss through walls and ceilings and from open doors and windows.
  3. Adds value to the house
  4. Versatile: Radiant heating systems can be installed during new construction or existing homes; over wood or concrete floors; it can heat only the rooms you use, rather than the whole house.
  5. Cleaner and easier to maintain With a radiant heating system there are no fans or drafts blowing dust around and no baseboard fins, filters, vents, or ducts to clean.
  6. Decorator Friendly: because all the heating elements such as the radiator, vents, and baseboards are no longer needed, there is more space in the house for different furniture arrangements and decorations.  
  7. Healthier: A radiant heating system has no dry air blowing dust and allergens around. Which makes it the ideal system for anyone bothered by allergies. Comfortably warm feet and a cool head is an old recipe for good health[3].

[1] Fluid Industrail Associates INC. (2007). Radiant Heat: Hydronic Radiant Heating System. Online: http://www.fiainc.com/energy-efficiency/

[2] Energy Efficient Radiant Heating Systems. (2010) Radiant Heat is Affordable and Green. Online: http://www.radiantec.com

[3] Oregon Department of Energy. (2011) Radiant-Floor Heating. Online: http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/Pages/res/tax/Radiant.aspx


One thought on “Radiant Heating System

  1. Pingback: The Heating System of the Future - Radiant Heating Panels | How to Build a House

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