CHICAGO - On a cold winter’s day, few things are as comforting as radiant heat. At the 2009 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), manufacturers highlighted their new products that are guaranteed to keep building occupants warm and toasty.

AmbiRad( introduced Vision radiant tube heating, which was developed for industrial and commercial environments in which there is a need for controlled heat in very large spaces, or where high air change and frequently opened doors are a feature of the premises. The company also featured SmartCom, its new heating control system that is compatible with radiant tube, warm air, and many other types of heating systems. SmartCom is capable of increasing internal comfort conditions while effecting fuel cost savings.

Legend Hydronics( introduced its VersaTherm snap-fit radiant floor system for new construction and renovations. Representative John Kirkland said this system snaps together in minutes, saving significant labor costs. Heat transfer plates, insulation, and channels for the tubing are all built-in, so panels snap together, tubing is installed, and then metal cover plates are attached to finish the installation. The company also highlighted its new Ambiance radiant ceiling system, which delivers heating and cooling. Kirkland said the system can save 25-35 percent in energy savings and can be used in new or retrofit applications.

Uponor( featured its new-engineered plastic heating manifold for radiant applications. Comprised of thermoplastic, high-performance, advanced materials, this new manifold resists corrosion, pitting, scaling, elevated chlorine levels and ultraviolet light and is suitable for use under conditions of high impact, heat, and moisture. The company also announced it is expanding its engineered plastic line to include 2-inch tees, elbows, and couplings for commercial plumbing applications. Another new product is Ecoflex® pre-insulated pipe in 1-, 1-1/4- and 1-1/2-inch ASTM sizes. Ecoflex features hePEX™ plus barrier tubing surrounded by closed-cell, PEX-foam insulation and covered by a waterproof, corrugated HDPE jacket, making it ideal for direct-burial applications.

Viega( highlighted the Climate Mat, which is the newest manufactured system of ProRadiant heating and cooling designed for light and medium commercial buildings. The Climate Mat system enables installers to do large areas of flooring faster and more efficiently than traditional floor systems. The newly developed spacer strips and clips are designed to securely hold ViegaPex barrier tubing during the concrete pour.

Watts Radiant( featured its new HydroNex line of modular, off-the-shelf control panels that are pre-assembled and pre-engineered for quick specifying and installation. The Source Select panel can switch over to a renewable energy source such as biomass, geothermal, or solar in order to save energy. The HydroNex geothermal panel makes it fast and easy to tie ground-source heat pumps into radiant heating or snowmelt systems. The company also announced the addition of 3/8-inch PEX-AL-PEX to its RadiantPEX-AL line, so the composite tubing is now available in sizes ranging from 3/8- to 1-inch.

Zurn( introduced its Alumicor PEX-AL-PEX heating system, which features a five-layer composite structure, making it durable and lightweight. Because the tubing holds its shape, it is ideal for most radiant jobs. The company also featured its new AccuFlow heating manifold system, which is available completely preassembled for ease of installation. If customization is preferred, the AccuFlow manifold components are also offered separately. Finally, the company highlighted its new commercial line of PEX tubing, fittings, and tools for plumbing applications.

Publication date:02/16/2009