Effectiveness of Radiant Ceiling Heat
Heating a room using radiant ceiling heat can provide a good room temperature and is very energy efficient. This means that installing radiant heating into your ceilings will let you save on heating bills and even go some way towards diminishing your greenhouse gas emissions. Using Radiant ceiling heat can also provide a uniform heat across the room, rather than locating it near the radiator, and hoping that it will travel to other areas. Some people are surprised by how well a radiant ceiling heater can warm a room, but are still concerned that it is not the most efficient way of using radiant heat.
How Radiant Ceiling Heat Works
The logic of using radiant heat in the ceiling can seem lacking. Everyone knows that hot air rises. Using a ceiling heater, therefore, seems to be contrary to the purpose of warming the room. However, ceiling heating can work very efficiently, and it is fully capable of warming a room. It does this by transferring heat created in the ceiling to the surrounding area, through a process called 'heat radiation'. This technique means that heat travels through the entire room, the hot 'rays' traveling from the radiant heat element until they reach a surface. Unlike normal heaters, which heat using convection, or warming air nearest to the source of heat, radiant ceiling devices use a much higher percentage of radiation transference.
Warming the Room
The heat moves away from the ceiling, traveling forward until it hits a surface, such as a wall, floor or item or furniture. Items which had not previously been exposed to heat are now warmed by the radiant device, and are typically slightly warmer than the surrounding air. Areas which are 'colder' are more likely to attract heat rays to it, meaning that it will warm up more quickly. This means that you will eliminate problematic 'cold spots', which are not usually touched by conventional heating systems.
Radiant ceiling heat is also more efficient if you only wish to heat a portion of a room. Zone heating can be focused upon an area, for example computer terminals or a dining table, where more heat is needed on a regular basis. This is more efficient than simply using a conventional radiator, which will attempt to heat up the entire room using convection regardless of where the heat is most required.
One of the biggest problems with convection heat is that it can be easily blocked by furniture or by supporting walls. Large sofas in front of a convection heater will block off any warmth from entering the rest of the room, although the back of the sofa will become hot. Radiant ceiling heat avoids this by descending equally across the room, so that large items of furniture won't prevent the heat from warming corners or isolated areas. This is much more beneficial, and also means that the heater requires a lot less energy to warm the room to an acceptable standard.
Radiant ceiling heat can be more effective at warming a room than conventional heating systems such as radiators, and will help to reduce fuel costs if used wisely.