Heat Loss According To The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Let’s start with the fundamentals and review a few laws of physics:
- Heat goes to cold
- High pressure moves low pressure
- Hot air rises and cold air falls
- Air that does not have a temperature differential hardly moves
Next, let’s examine the three main factors that affect the rate of body heat loss:
Convection: The transfer of heat by means of a liquid or a gas, such as air. This is the principle of heat transfer used by such things as electric convection heaters.
Evaporation: The process by which moisture is changed into vapor. As the moisture evaporates from a warm surface, heat is removed and the surface is cooled. An example of evaporation is the cooling that occurs when you step out of a hot shower.
Radiation: Warmth is radiated directly to cooler objects in the room, such as people, floors and walls. Radiant rays travel in straight lines. Warm objects radiate more than cold ones and no drafts are created.
Radiant heating is not about the heat loss of the room; it’s about the heat loss of the person in the room. Your body is a radiator. If you can control the heat loss of the individual, then you will feel comfort.
Convection vs. Radiant: Radiant heating heats your body and objects in the room, not the air. The warmth stays down around the floor where it is most needed.
Ideal Heating Curve: The ideal heating curve reflects the temperatures needed for optimum comfort and performance of the human body.
Forced Air Heating: Forced air systems have the greatest amount of wasted energy, with the heat collecting at the ceiling. Temperatures at the floor are considerably lower than required for personal comfort.
Convective Baseboard: Much like forced air systems, baseboards or radiators create convection currents that collect heat at the ceiling, leaving floors cold and rooms uncomfortable.
Radiant Floor Heat: Radiant Floor Heating systems create a comfortable living environment that directly addresses the heat loss and personal comfort of the people in the room.
Radiant Ceiling Heat: Radiant Ceiling Heating systems also create a warm,, comfortable area that directly addresses the heat loss and personal comfort of the people in the room.
Will a Radiant Thermal Heating System Work for Your Project?
Let’s find out together. We’re here to answer your questions, analyze your current heating system design and work with you to recommend the right heating solution for your project. Call us at 866.457.4600 or simply click on the link below to submit your inquiry!
David McKay says
Hello, I’m doing a remodel of our home in South Fork, Colorado, which is subject to some fairly cold wintertime temperatures (frequent nighttime temps below 0F, and occasionally dripping into 10-20 below zero at night.
Those temperatures were the reason we had a pipe burst in an upstairs shower while we were away, causing considerable damage and requiring most of our first floor ceiling to be demo’d to the joist, and removal of the floor coverings. A “blank slate” to some extent. 😕
The current method of heating is a very inefficient electrical baseboard system, in each room, running on 220V.
I am evaluating options as we begin rebuilding and with dry wall down from the first floor ceiling and floor coverings removed (concrete pad), I am interested in radiant options and needing info on cost to install and operate.
I am also concerned about whether radiant heat is effective enough for winter temps in our area. I have a friend who has a condo heated with radiant ceiling panels, and he is very unhappy with it. Arguably it is an old system (40 years+) and some of the panels don’t work, and they are in vaulted ceilings, (my place has 8 and 7 foot ceilings).
I have some admittedly crude sketches of the plan view of my place. What is the next step here?
Steve Kilbride says
Thank you for your questions! We’d be happy to go over your questions. Just give us a call at (toll free) 866-457-4600. I can only guess about your friend’s radiant system. It is likely an old cable in plaster and lathe ceiling. These systems can fail over time. We’ve replaced quite a number of these systems over the years.
A properly sized system will have no problem keeping you comfortable and operate efficiently in your climate. We often have projects in much colder climates.
Please give us a call and we can go over all the details.