Four Ways to Use Water to Save on Heating & Cooling | Home Design Find
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Four Ways to Use Water to Save on Heating & Cooling

Radiant Floor green
Warm floors

Radiant flooring provides a much more healthy heat.  If you are considering solar hot water heating, or a ground heat pump, this is a great time to think about the advantages of radiant floors as well. Because they both circulate water through the house, radiant heating is the perfect match for solar hot water or ground heat pumps. The health benefits of radiant heat are even greater. No dust is circulated.

If you are laying tile or stone you can lay simple flex tubing right into the mortar. Or you can use a modular unit system like Warmboard. Each sheet is tongue-and-grooved together, with channels in it for the radiant tubing to nestle in safely below the surface. A layer of aluminum is bonded to the plywood, creating a conductive surface for the radiant tubing to deliver its heat.

Radiant walls green
Warm walls

Radiant heating in walls is less well-known, but it works in the same way as radiant flooring. Unlike heat from conventional heating systems (hot air rises) radiant heat does not travel upwards, but warms the body in the same way as the sun does, through long-waved horizontal infrared radiant heat.

You can also use a modular radiant flooring product like Warmboard horizontally on walls too. The modules come in four foot wide segments. Again, if you will have a concrete, plaster, clay, or stone wall, you can peg the tubing right into the mortar in the wall.

Cool Wall green

Cool walls

As opposed to conventional air-conditioning units that use a lot of energy circulating large amounts of air to cool a room, using radiant cooling to circulate cool water inside a radiant wall is very energy efficient.

Air conditioning generates an aggressive kind of cold which can cause a temperature shock when people enter the room. The dust stirred up by the air-conditioned circulating air and the mites it contains are extremely detrimental to health. But  organically healthy natural radiant cooling feels like walking into a grove of Redwoods.

Radiant Cool green
Cool floors

A cool floor is an ancient technique for creating a comfortable cooling effect, outdoors and indoors. Most people are familiar with radiant heating. What is less known is that the same radiant tubing can carry cold water too, to create a super ambient climate in summer. Instead of running the hot water through your radiant floor, simply circulate cold water through the radiant tubing system. The plumbing has to be set up so you have the option of running either hot or cold water through the radiant system.

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10 Comments so far to “Four Ways to Use Water to Save on Heating & Cooling”
  1. Frank Hanlan Says:

    Using hydronic heating in walls sounds like an interesting idea but I can't think of a place that I would use it in a standard house.

    Warmboard sounds like an interesting product but the aluminum coating really does not fit as a green product given the huge amount of energy required to produce aluminum.

  2. Amy Says:

    I recently finished remodeling my home and used a radiant panel called The Complete Radiant Panel. Similar to Warmboard, although not a subfloor, the aluminum was made from recycled material. We did a lot of the work ourselves, and for a remodel, it was great since we could just lay it over the existing subfloor.

  3. Susan Kraemer Says:

    And…? How is it working out?

  4. Susan Kraemer Says:

    You have a point: aluminum – very energy intensive. So regular hydronic tubes would be the more energy efficient way to go. No aluminum – no warmboard; just embed the rubber tubes directly in the mortar.

  5. suite Says:

    Is it working?

  6. Greg G Says:

    The cool walls and cool floors trough radiant cooling sounds good, but does it create condensation in humid climates?

  7. iriart Says:

    cool walls?
    i find this first,the thought is great.

  8. pextubing Says:

    Last cool floors it is really cooling in summer! I love this floors

  9. Warm floors Says:

    pex tubing I love this floors too )

  10. Beach Furniture Says:

    In Buenos Aires this week large areas have had the eletric cut for a day or 2 to conserve it for christmas day – big rise in temperature the last few days means every air con unit in the city was on…

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