Living in a comfortable, energy efficient home is important to homeowners looking to enjoy their private space while knowing they find comfort and sustainability without financial strain. Heating your home is most necessary for providing a healthy environment and hydronic in floor heating offers the best solution to providing that well-being.
In floor radiant hydronic heating provides even, quiet, draft-free heat. There are no supply and return registers or convection-reliant radiators, and there is less air leakage around doors and windows. The heat is evenly distributed from the floor level which is where we are allowing the temperatures where people are situated to be heated faster. The other benefit to radiant heat is that it is quiet and operates unnoticeably because it is installed underneath the floor.
(Pic: Hydronic heating for Basement and Entrance using the Ampex Panel)
Conventional forced heat means air is blown through dusty or dirty ducts which can circulate airborne pollutants throughout your home. With radiant heat, it is dust-free and can contribute to healthier indoor air quality which is beneficial to people who suffer from allergies, asthma and other breathing problems.
Ampex Panel for Radiant In-Floor Heating:
The Ampex Insulated Pex Panel by Amvic Building System has been specifically designed to provide easier, faster and the most cost effective installation and performance for Hydronic Radiant in-floor heating systems. The panel consists of expanded polystyrene insulation molded into a high impact polystyrene film. This combination makes for a stronger, more resilient interlocking PEX panel.
The design of the Ampex panel makes for a very durable and simple install on the job site. Because of its strength and stability, plumbers can handle the material with ease eliminating breakage, replacement and additional labour. The film on the panel along with the nubs, allows the PEX tubing to be walked in and locked into place, rather than constant bending to wire-tie or staple the tubing firmly into place cutting labour time and material costs. The size of the panels also increase productivity and precision when placing the panels on the floor. The 2×4 panels become easier to maneuver, easier to place and easier to identify leveling inconsistencies.
Energy and Cost Savings:
Hydronic radiant floor systems save energy and lower fuel bills because radiant heat performs better at lower water temperatures, enabling you to lower the thermostat. Further savings can be realized because running a high-efficiency boiler at lower temperatures will increase its lifespan. In addition, hydronic radiant heat is more efficient than other systems because it uses moderately low water temperatures to heat your home. In effect, the entire floor is a radiator, so it doesn’t have to be as hot as conventional radiators. Boilers can heat water to lower temperatures more efficiently than they can heat water to higher temperatures.
The Ampex panel with its high impact polystyrene film acts as a vapour retardant and provides high energy efficiency. The panel has R values from R10, R12, R14, and R16.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website, radiant heating has a number of advantages over other forms of heat distribution because: “It is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because no energy is lost through ducts.
Because of its energy efficiency and clean draft-free heat, concrete radiant floor heating offers numerous environmental benefits. Here are some of them:
- Less energy required to achieve better thermal comfort at a lower thermostat setting
- Water has 3,500 times the energy transport capacity of air
- Adaptable to various energy-efficient heat sources, such as solar and geothermal
- Improved indoor air quality
- Radiant systems that use PEX tubing vs. copper pipe expedite hot water delivery and reduce water waste. The walls of PEX tubing provide better insulation than copper
- Reduces building materials required for concealing duct work and compensating ceiling heights
- Provides more usable area, which allows for smaller spaces without sacrificing livability
In-floor radiant heating can also help contribute to green building points under two recently introduced national programs: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes (see A National Certification Program for Green Homes) and the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Program. The Radiant Panel Association worked with NAHB in developing its green home building guidelines, which were released in 2005. The RPA Guidelines for the Installation of Radiant Panel Heating and Snow/Ice Systems is included as a recognized design reference for earning green building points.
Radiant Heating Applications:
Snow and ice melting systems with hydronic heating circulate warm liquid through PEX tubing which is concealed in concrete, asphalt or sand. These systems can be easily installed in residential, commercial or industrial applications such as driveways, sidewalks, stairs, entrances, parking lots, ramps, helipads and much more.
Benefits of snow and ice melt systems are:
- Safety: Accidents are reduced or eliminated in common pedestrian areas such as ramps, sidewalks and driveways
- Reduced Maintenance: Eliminates the need for shoveling, plowing, salting and sanding. Incurs less damage on driveway, grass, landscaping etc., and less spend on salt/sand and other materials to remove snow
- Liability: Eliminates injury occurrence from a slip and fall from an unplowed or unsalted walkway or parking lot
- Increased pavement life: No corrosive chemicals or heavy equipment used to shovel or plow areas covered in ice and snow
- Comfort and Assurance: No reliance needed from a snow removal company to service their exterior building and provides additional well-being for employees
Some of the design benefits with a radiant floor heating system include the elimination of baseboards and floor vents (which can obstruct furniture placement), the ability to effectively use floor-to-ceiling windows without compromising interior comfort, and smaller ventilation ducting for greater ceiling heights.
Homeowners can choose to have hydronic heating throughout their entire home which can eliminate the need for forced air units and reduce utility bills. Typical common living areas for floor heating include the bathroom, the family room, the garage/driveway, entrances and even the kitchen. Best of all, radiant floor heating is compatible under any type of floor covering — carpet, wood, slate, tile, stone, laminate, and even concrete — making design possibilities endless.