When discussing home heating system options, Bob Claridge thinks outside the duct.
The owner of Bobcat & Sun Inc. in Bend, Claridge points out that heating the air around us is only one layer in the process of achieving comfort within our homes. "Maintaining comfort is not just a matter of supplying heat to the body", he said. "Warm will always move to cool in a process of equilibium. Instead, it's a matter of controlling how the body loses heat."
Optimal comfort, he says, is felt when heat leaves a person's body at the same rate it's generated. If body heat is released faster or slower than the rate it is produced, a degree of discomfort is felt. "Cold surfaces within an otherwise warm room -- like large windows or cold floors -- can cause this discomfort, even if a room is 70 degrees, Claridge said. The solution? Radiant, or InFloor heating systems.
Installed underneath a room's flooring (even walls and ceilings, if you'd rather) radiant heating systems are made up of a series of electric cables or warm water circulated through tubes. As the surfaces warm, they emit waves of radiant heat that move through the air and strike objects like walls, furniture and people. The heat produced quite literally radiates, much like heat from the sun or a hot stove.