Uponor Radiant Heating and Cooling: Superior Comfort and Energy Efficiency
A hydronic radiant heating and cooling system heats and cools a structure by circulating warm or cool water through flexible PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) tubing located underneath or within the floor. Because water has the capacity to transport energy 3,500 times greater than air, a hydronic radiant heating and cooling system can provide greater comfort to a space using less energy than forced-air systems.
Hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems are based on the principle of low-temperature heating and high-temperature cooling, also known as “low-exergy design”. This means the system creates greater output using less energy. Hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems can also be designed as “passive” systems that run primarily during off-peak periods when buildings are unoccupied.
The beauty of a radiant heating and cooling system is that one system can both heat and cool the structure. In fact, in some climates in North America, the system can be designed to transport heat from one side of the building to the other to heat and cool simultaneously throughout the day.
How Does Radiant Cooling Work?
Radiant cooling has gained momentum in North America because it offers the potential to reduce cooling energy consumption as well as peak cooling loads when coupled with building thermal mass.
A hydronic radiant cooling system uses embedded PEX tubing or surface-mounted panels that are designed to absorb and remove energy from a space, 50% to 80% of which is radiant energy. Just as in heating, a radiant cooling system uses the structure and surfaces of an area to transfer energy. In radiant heating systems, the energy moves away from the heated surface towards the cooler area. In radiant cooling systems, the energy moves towards the cooled surface from the warmer area.
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