We typically design homes that combine hydronic radiant heating with passive solar design, a hybridized heating approach we at Greenovision have coined, “Sun Smart” Radiant Heating. With this approach, the sun’s heat is passively collected, but is actively distributed throughout the home. SSRH sensibly captures the sun’s energy on sunny days and has two added benefits. The radiant system distributes the sun’s heat uniformly throughout the home and also efficiently produces heat during long stretches of cloudy days or extreme cold when passive solar heating is not as effective. This dual heating method is not only incredibly energy efficient, it relieves any worries homeowners may have about living in a home that is heated with passive solar alone.
Hydronic radiant floor heating is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses. People with allergies often prefer radiant heat because it doesn’t distribute allergens like forced air systems can. Hydronic (liquid-based) systems use little electricity, a benefit for homes that are off the power grid or in areas with high electricity prices. Hydronic systems can use a wide variety of energy sources to heat the liquid, including standard gas or oil fired boilers, wood-fired boilers, solar water heaters, or a combination of these sources. Despite its name, radiant floor heating depends heavily on convection, the natural circulation of heat within a room as air warmed by the floor rises. Radiant floor heating systems are significantly different from the radiant panels used in walls and ceilings.