Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Radiant Heating’

Advantages You Can Garner from Hydronic Radiant Heating

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Radiant heating is not something that is often considered when homeowners are in the market for a new heating system. This is usually because the house is already set up to accommodate a forced-air heating system. The temptation to make the process easier by sticking with a similar type of heating system to the last one is also a factor. However, radiant hydronic heating actually has quite a bit to recommend it. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages that you can garner from installing a hydronic radiant heating system in your home.

Energy Efficiency

Hydronic radiant heating is a boiler-based system that heats the house by distributing hot water through it. The water flows through a network of pipes installed in the walls or subfloors of each room. As the water flows through the pipes, it transmits heat through them and into the room. This style of heating is much more energy efficient than forced-air systems. For one thing, water is a much better thermal conductor than air is. It heats up faster, and retains that heat for longer. For another, forced-air systems have to deal with duct leaks.

The US Department of Energy has estimated that the average forced air system loses as much as 20-30% of its output to duct leaks. A radiant heating system doesn’t use ducts, which allows it to deliver much more of its heat to the intended destination.


When warm air is pumped into a room, it will immediately rise to the ceiling and then lower as it cools. This not only makes it take longer for a room to warm up, but creates an uneven heating effect. Hot and cold spots are quite common in rooms heated by forced-air systems. Radiant heating warms a room much more evenly, with most of the heat staying near the floor where it is of greater benefit to the occupants.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of hydronic radiant heating, call Sound Heating. We provide heating services throughout Tacoma, WA.

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What Is a Hydronic Heating System?

Friday, November 7th, 2014

A hydronic heating system is a broad term for any system that uses water to heat a home instead of air. Radiant heating systems are the most common form of hydronic heating. In this post, we’ll discuss the various unique qualities of the radiant heating system, and the advantages it provides.

What is Radiant Heating?

Radiant heating systems begin by installing water pipes in each of the rooms to be heated. Normally, these pipes are installed in the walls or subfloor of a room. Occasionally, you’ll see these pipes terminate in a terminal like a baseboard heater or iron radiator. These terminals are becoming less and less common in the U.S., though.

Once these pipes are installed, they all are linked back to a central boiler. The boiler heats water and pumps it through these pipes throughout the house. As the water flows through the pipes, it transfers its heat to the pipes, then the wall or floor, and from there into the room. This is why the system is called “radiant heating,” because the heat radiates through solid objects. The heat then moves from object to object in the room, transferred by two objects touching each other, until the room is evenly heated.

Why Choose Radiant Heating?

In order to understand the benefits of radiant heating, you first need to understand the difference between water and air as thermal mediums. Water is a much better conductor of thermal energy than air is. This makes water a much more energy efficient way to transport heat. Radiant heating systems tend to warm a room faster, and keep it warm longer, with less effort than a forced air system. The delivery system is also part of this.

In forced air systems, warm air is blown through the ducts and into the room to heat it. The problem is that warm air naturally rises to the top of the room, only sinking as it cools. This defeats the purpose of heating the room in the first place. Radiant heating transmits thermal energy through objects instead of the air, avoiding this issue by keeping the heat closer to ground level where it can be appreciated.

If you’d like to know more about radiant heating, call Sound Heating. We install heating systems throughout the Tacoma area.

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