The constant variation in loads means water temperatures along the primary circuit could vary over a significant range. How do you properly size a heat emitter if you don’t know what the supply water temperature might be, depending on what other loads are active?
The term radiant heating makes most people think about warm floors. Although it’s true there are many excellent applications for radiant floor heating, it’s not the only type of radiant panel that can deliver excellent comfort.
If you’ve never tried a radiant ceiling panel, I urge you to do so. I’ve used this panel construction on several projects and have always been delighted with the installation method, performance, and lack of problems.
The boiler can be configured to provide supplemental heat when the heat pump can’t quite keep up with the load. This allows the heat pump to be sized for 50 percent to 75 percent of design load while still providing the majority of the total seasonal heating energy requirement.
While it’s true geothermal heat pumps do offer excellent opportunities in combination with low-temperature hydronic distribution systems, they are not the only viable way to combine the heat-leveraging ability of heat pumps with the unsurpassed comfort offered by modern hydronic distribution systems.
Long before Americans had access to natural gas, propane, fuel oil, or electricity, and long before there were automatically controlled central heating systems, wood was the most commonly used heating fuel.
The combined cost of hydronic radiant panel heating, along with a separate central cooling system, often strains the construction budget to a point where something has to go, and that something is usually the radiant heating option. It gets trumped by a lower-cost forced-air system that delivers both heating and cooling, albeit often at reduced comfort.