If you are shopping for a residential HVAC system, then the term radiant heating has a specific meaning: heating systems that spread warmth through living spaces by raising the temperature of objects in those spaces so heat waves radiate from their surfaces. Boiler systems that use radiators and baseboard heaters or in-floor piping are common examples, and radiant systems can also be powered with electricity.
For commercial and industrial purposes, radiant heating is something different, although a similar principle is at work, which is the radiant part. We’ll explain more below.
Radiant Heat vs. Other Types of Heat
There are three ways heat moves: conduction, convection, and radiant. Conduction heating is heat that moves through direct contact, such as the heat you feel when you place your hand on a hot plate. Convection heating is heat transferred through the movement of air. Forced-air heating systems like furnaces move heat around this way.
Radiant heating is heat that moves through the air without raising the temperature of the air: heat waves move from a heated surface until they contact another surface. This is the heat you feel from the sun, as well as heat coming off the pavement on a sunny day.
The Commercial and Industrial Radiant Tube Heater
Boilers are often used in commercial and industrial HVAC systems, both to deliver comfort to rooms as well as provide the proper conditions to protect equipment and facilitate process. But special radiant heaters are a different type of system altogether: radiant tube heaters.
The radiant tube heater uses an electrode to ignite a mixture of gas and air inside the tube. This creates a flame in the tube that radiates heat out in waves. This is similar to electrical resistance heating, where electricity passes through wires and causes the wires to glow hot so they emit heat waves. However, electrical resistance heating is expensive because electricity is an expensive energy source. A radiant tube heater burns gas and only uses a small amount of electricity to run. This low-intensity, sealed combustion is excellent for providing radiant heat to a large space. Radiant tube heaters are also more efficient than forced-air systems.
We often recommend radiant tube heaters for spaces with high ceilings or frequently open large doors. These facilities are difficult to heat using conventional forced-air systems, but radiant tube heaters can handle the job at 50% higher energy efficiency. These tube heaters also reduce movement of dust around a space, something that can be a problem with forced-air systems. You can also have radiant heaters that are ducted to help bring in fresh air to a space, helping to solve ventilation concerns.
If you wish to arrange for service for radiant heating in Whitby, ON, whether to install, repair, or maintain, you can trust to our more than 30 years of history and 100% satisfaction guarantee. We work with the best brands of radiant heaters: Schwank, Re-Verber-Ray, and Superior Radiant Products.