The weather is not always pleasant outside, which is why humans have spent the majority of their history building shelters. Over time these shelters have become more sophisticated, even coming with their own ways to create completely different indoor environments via heating and cooling technologies. Radiant heating and cooling are some of those ways.
Most people probably do not know what radiant heating or cooling is. The main reason for this is because most installations still “blow warm or cold air” through buildings. Lack of know how the main reason is probably it has not really taken off in the United States yet. However, as consumers value comfort and awareness of contagion risks increases, radiant systems are starting to catch up. Do not be surprised, but yes, given its energy efficiency and with environmentalism and sustainability currently taking front and center it is only a matter of time until this technology migrates from luxurious buildings to mainstream construction. Educating construction companies and its employees is probably the main challenge.
Radiant cooling works by using panels or tubes with cool water flowing through them that reduce the temperature of ceilings, floors or walls and irradiate a pleasant sensation.
When used properly, radiant cooling can save money and be much more sustainable than traditional air conditioning. The use of this technology is much easier when installed in new buildings.
Radiant cooling is best suited to arid climates where the panels will not be subject to condensation. Condensation can occur in places that are humid. This condensation will result in the panels having to work significantly harder and thereby using much more energy than they would otherwise. The result is an increased cost of use and a diminished benefit in regards to sustainability.
The warm and dry deserts of the American southwest are proving to be a perfect testing ground for radiant cooling technology. Adobe homes built to be in tune with the natural environment are great potential candidates for radiant panels. Since adobe naturally breathes, the radiant cooling panels will have no trouble getting rid of any excess heat.
When combined with new construction methods that are being utilized in the desert, radiant panels can provide the ultimate eco home. Instead of spending a fortune on conventional air conditioning, people who make use of radiant heating will be saving money and reducing their ecological footprint.
Radiant cooling is a very promising technology that will likely become more popular in the near future. With pressures on the developed world to introduce more sustainable methods of heating and cooling, radiant panels will finally come into their own. Now is a good time to start thinking about the future.