Types of Heat Emitters
Finned tube baseboard is very common in today’s hydronically heated homes. They have a copper tube with aluminum fins attached to it that is suspended in a steel shell. They are designed to work with 140 to 190 degree fahrenheit water. They are inexpensive and easy to add to most rooms. They use the convective heat principle to warm a room and are fast acting.
Cast Iron Baseboard
Cast-iron baseboard was popular in homes in the 1950’s and 1960’s because they were smaller than the old style radiators. They are made of cast iron and have internal channels for the hot water to flow through. They are designed to work with 150-190 degree fahrenheit water. They are quiet and hold heat well because of their mass.
Cast iron radiators have been the norm from the beginning of whole home heating in the 1800’s up until the 1950’s. They are also designed to work with 150-190 degree fahrenheit water. They are quiet, very beautiful and hold heat well because of their mass.
Toe Kick Heaters
Toe kick heaters are a great way to heat if you have no free wall space as in a kitchen. They fit under the cabinets and the only part that is seen is the grill, which is cut into the toe kick of the cabinet. Basically they have a small coil of copper pipe and aluminum fins just like in a car radiator and a small squirrel cage fan behind. When the coil gets hot the fan blows across it into the room from under a cabinet. These units are very quiet and can heat a room with no problem.
Panel radiators have been popular in Europe for decades and we are now starting to see them here in the US. They are made from stamped steel and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. The nice thing about them is they can each have their own thermostat. Also they heat in two ways, radiantly and convectively. They are fast acting and can complement a radiant infloor system.
Radiant Infloor System
Infloor heating or radiant heating uses PEX pipes that are under the surface of the area to be heated. This could be the concrete floor of a shop, a wall in a shower or the ceiling of your living room. Radiant heat is considered the best type of heating because of its efficiency and comfort. Since radiant systems heat objects in a room rather than the air, it is perfect for rooms with high ceilings like storage buildings, shops and even jet airplane hangars.
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