FAQ

What is radiant heating?

Radiant heating is a mode of heat transfer that, in terms of indoor climate control, is far superior to the the conventional convection heat transfer exhibited by forced air units.

A prime example of radiant heat is the relationship between the Sun and the Earth. The sun emits radiant energy that passes through space and is absorbed by the Earth.

The primary effect of radiant heat transfer is that it heats objects as opposed to air. As illustrated in this example, the space between the sun and Earth is not heated—the Earth is. All objects either radiate heat or absorb radiant heat based on their relative temperatures. Apply this concept to a comfort conditioning system—like Warm Floors™—and you can see that the warm water running through the pipes will radiate heat outward, first to the floor, and then beyond to other objects, raising the overall temperature of the space.

 

This radiant heat transfer process can be used in reverse when cool water is pumped through pipes and it absorbs first the heat from the floor or ceiling and then the heat from the rest of the objects in the room, reducing the overall temperature of the space. This is the basic process behind the Cool Ceilings™ system.

To learn more about how radiant works, check out How Hydronic Radiant Systems Differ from HVAC Forced-Air Systems

Why is radiant heating more comfortable than forced air heating?

Radiant heating is more comfortable than forced air because of the mode of heat transfer. 

Forced air units utilize a convection method of heat transfer, pulling in cold air, passing it over a heated element, and then circulating this heated air back out to a space. The heated air rises, pushing colder, more dense air down, which is again pulled into the forced air system. This is what is known as a convection current; and, unless you’re cake batter, it is very uncomfortable to sit in.

People commonly refer to the myth that “heat always rises.” This is inaccurate; heated air always rises. Hot air rises because, as it is heated, it becomes less dense than the air around it and therefore more buoyant. Heat itself, however, can be transferred in any direction, depending on the mode of transfer. Understanding this basic principle is important in understanding the distinction between HVAC and radiant technology.

What does hydronic radiant mean?

Hydronic radiant refers to a type of radiant system in which water is circulated through concealed pipes to condition a space by either radiating or absorbing heat. Hydronic radiant systems differ from electric radiant systems which use wires to radiate heat. Hydronic radiant also differs from solar radiant systems which use solar waves in places of pipes or wires.  

What project details do I need to receive a Warm Floors proposal?

To create an accurate, timely proposal, we will need:

  • Scaled PDF plans of project

  • Project address

  • Building areas to be conditioned and excluded

  • Existing concrete slabs, if any

  • Indicate if floors are slab-on-grade, wood-framed over crawl space, or other

  • Types of floor coverings to be installed, if known

  • Location and dimensions of mechanical room

  • For projects in California, Title 24 Heat Loss Report: heating and cooling load summary load only (typically not on plans)

  • Any special requirements or unusual conditions

  • Indicate if remodeling, adding ADU, or new construction

  • Project timeline

What project details do I need to receive a Cool Ceilings proposal?

To create an accurate, timely proposal, we will need:

  • Scaled PDF plans of project

  • Project address

  • Building areas to be conditioned and excluded

  • Reflected ceiling plans, if available

  • Ceiling construction configuration (i.e. suspended ceiling, ceiling with attic space, etc)

  • Location and dimensions of mechanical room

  • For projects in California, Title 24 Heat Loss Report: heating and cooling load summary load only (typically not on plans)

  • Any special requirements or unusual conditions

  • Indicate if remodeling, adding ADU, or new construction

  • Project timeline

Will I run out of domestic hot water if I install a hydronic radiant system?

No, the Warm Corp West team sizes your water heater based on your individual domestic and radiant needs. Every project is different and every hot water demand will be different. All relevant factors like the Title 24 for your home, the number of occupants, and the number of bathrooms will be considered before customizing your water heater choice. We will then add a 25% margin of safety to the sizing so that you have hot water even on the coldest days of winter.

Will installing a hydronic radiant system increase my water usage?

No, all Warm Corp West systems are closed systems. This means that the system is filled up initially with water and that same water is continually circulated through the pipes, requiring no further input. The only time the hydronic radiant system will use more water is during maintenance if it is necessary to flush and refill the system.

What makes the Cool Ceilings system so efficient?

The Cool Ceilings system is a water-based technology. Water as a method of conveying heat is more efficient than air because it takes 20 times less energy to move heat with water as it does air. Furthermore, the Cool Ceilings system uses a heat pump with a Coefficient of Performance (COP) twice that of conventional AC systems. 

Why cool from the ceilings?

Radiant heating is easy to do from any surface--ceiling, walls, or floors. Radiant cooling, on the other hand, is less flexible in location. Effective cooling strategy puts the cooling where the heat is maximum. Because hot air rises, there is more heat near the ceiling than there is anywhere else. With radiant cooling, we are actually removing heat via absorption. Therefore, Cool Ceilings absorbs heat from the point of maximum heat.

Why heat the floors?

We heat the floors because that is the coolest part of the human body. And everybody loves to have their feet warm!

What does COP mean?

COP (coefficient of performance) refers to a measure of the efficiency of a heating and/or cooling appliance.

Does the water within the hydronic system grow mildew, mold, or other bacteria?

No, the pipe is an inert plastic and will not support growth of mildew, mold, or other bacteria. Additionally, the system is a closed system; this means that the water is never changed and no air is allowed within the system. Most bacteria, mildew, and mold require air to form.

What if the pipe breaks?

Pex Pipe is extraordinarily durable and used for municipal water mains and drinking water systems; it will never leak unless it is damaged by an external force. If the pipe is damaged, it is easily repaired. Additionally, all Pex Pipe is guaranteed against manufacturing defects for 25 years.

Can I add Cool Ceilings to my existing Warm Floors system?

No, Cool Ceilings is not an additional system or an upgrade to an existing Warm Floors system. You cannot cool with a Warm Floors system. Cool Ceilings can only be installed in new construction. The best time to consider installing Cool Ceilings in your project is during the design phase. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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