Radiant systems can benefit your health
Radiant systems improve air quality by not circulating dust, dirt and other allergens. In a forced-air system, air is blown throughout the building to achieve a desired temperature. To complicate matters, when air is heated above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, such as when it passes through the heating elements on a conventional system, these particles become more reactive and irritating to humans (dust singe). Radiant systems not only prevent dust singe from occurring but also do not circulate these annoying and potentially harmful particles to begin with.
Spreading dust and other particles impacts families and workers. In a field study in Finland, visible dust on floors was found to correlate to such neurotic complaints as headache, fatigue and concentrating problems. Hydronic heating and cooling systems were found to contribute to less eye irritation and fewer throat disorders and other mucous diseases.
Many studies show that radiant floor heating reduces the dust mite population in dwellings. Dust mites are a major source of allergies for 20 million Americans. European studies indicate that dust mite populations are reduced as much as 90% in radiant heated homes.
Feel the difference - With radiant and hydronic systems you can feel the comfort.
Radiant systems so effectively radiate heat that the thermostat can be lowered by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit and still provide the warmth and comfort level of other systems. It is has also been found that radiant heat transfer better satisfies the comfort needs of human beings because it is more “natural” (like feeling the natural warmth of the sun).
The room feels more comfortable and the air seems better with radiant systems. Several studies show a better performance for stuffiness and perceived air quality at lower air temperatures. Mucous irritation complaints increase significantly at air temperatures over 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The annoyance of unhealthful emissions is correlated to the air temperature, and further correlation has been found with Sick Building Syndrome and the air temperature.
Temperatures are more consistent from the floor to the ceiling. Commonly with a forced-air system, your head will be warm while your feet are cold. In computer simulations, laboratory experiments and field studies, a clear difference is found in vertical temperature gradients between radiant and other heating systems. With hydronic heating or cooling systems, practically no temperature differences are found between the floor and ceiling. That is not the case with forced-air systems, where temperatures normally differ from 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit between floor and ceiling, while poorly designed systems show gradients up to 13 degrees Fahrenheit. In particular, the difference in temperature between ankle and head levels influences the perceived thermal comfort.