Although hydronic radiant heating systems have been around since the Roman times, radiant has remained a small, niche market — a ‘luxury’ item reserved mainly for the upper classes. However, with the onset of sustainable building practices and consumer demand for energy-efficient homes, new technologies are emerging to make radiant easier and more affordable for the masses.
New radiant packages that offer a complete radiant mechanical room in one preassembled, easy-to-install appliance are coming to the forefront for radiant system installations. With the housing crunch that continues to challenge the building market, many installers have seen an increase in remodel and retrofit projects. These “radiant appliances” make it very easy to install radiant in a renovated basement or in an addition.
The process is simple: Hang the panel on a wall, hook up the electrical, the thermostat and the radiant tubing. It removes the guesswork from radiant mechanical room installations and increases success when commissioning (starting up) the system.
These complete radiant panels typically include a boiler, manifold, pump, expansion tank, pressure-relief valve, isolation valves, thermostat and air vent. Depending on the manufacturer and BTU capacity, they can use various energy sources and can accommodate from 2,000 square feet of space for radiant floor heating (15 BTU per square foot) up to 4,000 square feet of space for floor warming applications (7.5 BTU/sq. ft.).
Some products feature outdoor-reset capabilities and also include a manifold with loop flow meters and supply-and-return temperature gauges for easy balancing. In some cases, installers may also need to an additional circuit breaker to support the product.
These radiant mechanical room panels are also ideal for a quick, heat-source add-on for situations in which the heating load was either originally undersized or the structure has been altered and the load has increased.To learn more about radiant mechanical room panels, visit www.uponorpro.com/radiantready.
Designed to make radiant floor heating a simple, accessible, cost-effective option for today's homeowner, the Radiant Ready 30E is a complete radiant mechanical room designed in a compact, preassembled, easy-to-install panel. Theinstaller simply hangs the panel on a wall and connects the tubing, thermostat and electrical power.To accompany the panel, Fast Trak knobbed mats provide a faster, easier method for installing crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing in overpour applications for basements, recreation rooms, bathrooms or any other area of a home. Both products are ideal for remodels, retrofits and new construction.
“When designing these products, we spoke with everyone from the installer to the homeowner to the building contractor to ensure we were meeting the needs of the market,” says Mark Hudoba, senior product manager, Residential Radiant Heating at Uponor. “We brought radiant floor heating to the North American market more than 35 years ago, and it is our commitment to make it simple and accessible for all.”
Written by Mark Hudoba. Mark is the senior product manager for Heating and Cooling at Uponor North America. Hudoba has Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Marketing, both from the University of Minnesota. He earned his MBA from the University of West Florida and is listed as an inventor on 10 patents. He is a LEED® accredited Green Associate, and a professional member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA)/International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). You can reach him at: email@example.com