We have a history working with water heaters and boilers—we know all about circulating hot water around a house to either supply water to taps and appliances, or to provide winter warmth for the rooms. Today we’re looking at the boiler system and the different ways it can send heat into your house to keep your family comfortable all through winter.
If you’re interested in installing one of these radiant heating systems in Clovis, NM or you have a current one that needs repairs, call us ASAP.
The Basics: Radiant Heat
Before we go into the specifics of heat delivery methods, we’ll talk about the general way that all boilers heat rooms. It’s called radiant heat, and it’s different than the heat you feel from a furnace or a heat pump. Any forced-air system like a furnace or heat pump delivers heat through convection heating, i.e. the movement of heated air.
A boiler uses radiant heat (which is why they’re often called radiant heating systems). This is when the temperature of an object is raised so that it sends out heat waves. These heat waves don’t raise the temperature of the air, but instead, transfer their heat to other objects. You feel radiant heat coming off the asphalt on a sunny day, or when you put your hand near a hot light bulb. A boiler heats hot water sends it to objects in the rooms to raise their temperature, and the heat from those object provides warmth.
And there are different types of objects that do this job.
This is the most familiar way boilers heat rooms. The radiator has been around for a long time, heating rooms before central venting was common. Radiators used to be cast-iron in the days when steam was still used rather than hot water. You still see radiators used today, with sleeker designs and more efficient heat transfer. They take up more space than other hydronic heating methods and can sometimes cause floor warping, so often homeowners look for other methods.
The Baseboard Heater
The baseboard heater has become the go-to replacement for radiators. They run along the baseboard of the floor, taking up much less space than radiators. They are also more energy-efficient. They are helpful near windows, where they put up a curtain of heat between the cold window and the rest of the room. They also generate their own rise and fall convection current.
Hydronic In-Floor Radiant Heating
This is one of the fastest-growing home-heating methods around. And for good reasons. These systems use tubes set into a subfloor of rooms so the hot water heats up the floor itself. This creates an even spread of heat rising from the bottom of the room. It not only helps save money and eliminates cold spots, but it also feels wonderful. Getting up on a cold morning to a toasty warm floor under your feet is one of the coziest sensations imaginable. The only drawback for in-floor heating is the extent of the installation—it’s usually best for new home designs rather than retrofits.