Radiant heating systems

April 27, 2010

 By Lorraine Cyr

This is a very old idea that is becoming popular again.  A long time ago the Greeks and Romans heated the floors of the baths with wood fires.  This made perfect sense heat rises.  Today we use several different methods to run heat through our floors.  In some areas of our country solar heat is not enough to heat a home in the winter but it can reduce your energy consumption from 10% to 90%.

There are two common types of heating systems.  Solar radiant air and solar hydronic floors both use the sun to heat the fluid (air or liquid) in the collectors and then feeds it through the flooring system.  In the air systems the solar collectors heat the air and then send it through air passages which are set in the concrete floor.  This type of system can be added to over the top of your current floor with just a few minor adjustments.  With the hydronic (water) system the solar collector heats the water which is sent to a storage tank and then it is pumped through the pipes in the floor.  The storage tank system provides easier control over floor temperatures and can be supplemented with a back up heating source such as on demand water heater, heat pumps or even a wood stove when solar energy is not enough.   

When choosing to use solar energy systems the initial cost is always higher.  In this case a radiant heating system for an average home will cost about $15,000 and a non-solar heating system is $4,000 to $7,000.  Many families ask why spend the extra money?  But now there are lots of rebates that make the cost less than a non-solar system. The Federal government is offering a 30% rebate, most States are offering a 5% and the utility companies are offering 15% on solar systems.  Families can now install a new solar system for less cost than a non-solar system.  Solar energy also reduces our dependence on foreign oil, reduces our carbon foot print and is good for our planet.  Radiant heat does not blow dust, pollen or other allergy causing bacteria around your house which a good health reason to make the change.  A solar heating system will last 2 to 3 times as long as a non-solar system.  In some cases with the proper maintenance the solar panel has lasted 50 years and the pump 25 years.  With this in mind even without the benefits of rebates solar is a good investment.

Why are you waiting???  NOW is the time to make the change.


One comment

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Solar Energy. Solar Energy said: Solar Energy News: Radiant heating systems http://bit.ly/bkMvhI […]

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