Radiant heating is an extremely ingenious means of distributing heat. This concept of heating was developed several hundred years ago buy the Romans. These people would build a so-called basement and foundation with pillars that would support large squares of stone, which made up the floor. A vent would be built on one end of the basement.
To heat the structure, a fire would be started in the opposite end of the basement from the vent. The heat and smoke from the fire would rise to heat the stone floor and then be expelled through the vent. The heated stone floor would then transfer radiant heat to all of the rooms' occupants to create an extremely comfortable environment.
In the late 1940's radiant heating became widely utilized in the United States by Sam Levitt an architect/builder in the northeast that built affordable track homes in a community he called Levitt Town. Mr. Levitt was a revered architect that was well known for his design and building techniques one of which was the utilization of radiant floor heating in a majority of his homes.
Unfortunately the pipe that is used today was not available at that time and metal pipes were used most of which have corroded to create leaks in the floors, but some do still function today. The advancements in technology have lead to the development of PEX and PEX-AL-PEX pipes (find their descriptions in the Tubing section)for radiant floor heating and Slimline hot-water radiant baseboard heating panels for perimeter heating.
The reason that radiant heating has become so popular is that it has several advantages over conventional heating systems. Radiant heating systems operate by heating the objects in the room first and then those objects in turn warm the air around them. Any object that produces radiant heat is refered to as a panel. A floor, wall or ceiling, if heated, are all also considered and refered to as radiant panels. These products have revolutionized the heating industry to the point that a great deal of well-known companies such as Lennox, Slant-fin, Weil-McLian and Burnham are jumping on the radiant heating bandwagon.
Many companies have found out through system problems and failures that simply the fact that they are well known in one industry does not make them experts in the radiant heating industry.
Radiant heat is regarded as the most comfortable and healthiest heating solution. Floor drafts, cold spots, and dry air, all problems associated with forced hot air heat, are eliminated.
||With radiant heat the room and every object in it becomes a radiator. The temperature of the room and the objects matches your body temperature thus eliminating heat loss from your body. You feel more comfortable at a lower temperature.