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Radiant Heating Best Practices at AHR

Feb. 13, 2020
Steve Swanson, a veteran radiant trainer at Uponor, discussed some do’s and don’ts.

Caption: Steve Swanson, a veteran radiant trainer at Uponor, discussed the do’s and don’ts of radiant at the 2020 AHR Show in Orlando.

To provide the best radiant system for your clients, certain items need to be checked off the professional installer’s list, explained Steve Swanson, a veteran radiant trainer at Uponor, Feb. 3 at the 2020 AHR Show in Orlando.

  1. The closer the tubing, the lower the water temperature — resulting in better energy efficiency.
  2. Understand the different types of radiant installation methods and choose the best one for your client’s application.
  3. Insulate, insulate, insulate! About 2 inches of waterproof R-10 is best.
  4. Familiarize yourself with radiant walls and ceilings — they may provide a better heating option in certain rooms.
  5. Understand the R-values of finished flooring options and how they affect the performance of the radiant heating system. Carpet can be put on top of a radiant-heated floor but is generally not recommended. It is thick and can hinder performance of the system.
  6. Always do a heat loss calculation before designing the system.
  7. If you have the proper heat loss, you won’t oversize the boiler — a chronic problem in the industry, Swanson noted. Oversizing leads to short-cycling, which can burn out a boiler.
  8. Ensure that the panel surface temperature is not too high.
  9. Keep it simple — an overly complicated installation may look nice, but it may stress out the homeowner! Swanson showed numerous intricate radiant systems that were beautiful but intimidating.
  10. Beware of overzoning — this goes along with keeping systems simple and easy to maintain and service.

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