Comfort Bear, back again this week to tell you about boilers. Why boilers?
Well, to be honest, they make me a bit nostalgic for the Arctic. That’s because some of the heating principles used in boilers are also used in igloos! The iconic snow houses were used to keep the Inuit people warm with a combination of three kinds of heating: conduction, convection, and radiation.
Likewise, depending on the kind of boiler, it may use variations of those heating methods. But we’ve found that the most comfortable and efficient boilers are the ones that use radiant heating. Today, we’ll talk all about them.
Radiant Heat Explained
So, what is radiant heat exactly? In nature, we find it everywhere. The sun makes you feel warm thanks to radiant heat, as does a campfire, a cup of coffee, and the hot asphalt.
Now, this isn’t to be confused with forced-air systems like furnaces and heat pumps. These heaters use air as the medium to transfer heat. While this is an effective means of heating in its own right, it’s quite a different feeling than the radiant heat supplied by boilers. Many homeowners have said for decades that, when it comes to comfort, forced-air heating doesn’t even compare.
Boilers have a couple of different methods for supplying radiant heat:
The most common application for radiant heating is found in radiators, the big metal heat exchangers that hang out on the sides of the room. We have a picture of one listed above in today’s blog image.
The boiler creates heated water, which then flows through all of the boilers in the home. The heated radiator is then able to radiate enough heat through the air to warm the inhabitants of the room.
Gradually, the heated water will cool down and need to be heated again to start the cycle over from the beginning.
One of the downsides of radiators is that they take up space (plus, they can be hot to the touch). That’s why many homeowners are now opting for in-floor heating systems. Although they use the same principles as a radiator, their construction is a bit different.
In-floor heating consists of tubing that is laid out beneath the floor or behind your walls. The tubing is laid out in close enough proximity and in the right pattern so that the entire room can be heated evenly. This tubing is then filled with hot water and will gradually radiate warm air into the home.
The drawback is simply that it might not be convenient to install it. Unless you’re making renovations at the same time, installation could be a bigger hassle than you’re anticipating.
Why Choose Radiant Heating?
Even with that in mind, the benefits of a radiant heating system might be enough to win you over. Some of those benefits include:
- Less moving parts: These systems experience less heater repair issues due to having less moving parts.
- More even heating: Unlike other heaters, radiant heating systems are much better at distributing heat through the entire room.
- No air quality issues: Forced-air heaters can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms by inadvertently unsettling dust and dirt.