Cooling Options with Radiant
Not too long ago if you wanted cooling in a radiant heated house, you would need to either buy a redundant and costly ducted forced air cooling system, use whole house fans or swamp coolers – or do without.
Gas or oil-fired radiant heating systems that require cooling can use super efficient mini-split systems for spot cooling or, again, go to a whole house cooling system (expensive).
A better option is to use a geothermal or air-to-water hydronic heat pump that generates chilled water that can be used for cooling. This chilled water can be distributed in different ways.
Chilled Water Distribution
Radiant Ceiling Cooling
Not so cool for Residential Homes
Radiant ceiling cooling is a great theoretical comfort solution however, in a residential setting, the need for ventilation and humidity control to avoid condensation on the ceiling are both very complicated and expensive.
Hydronic cooling in the ceiling is best left to commercial projects where ventilation and dehumidification mechanical systems are already part of a project.
Fan Convectors: A new generation of super-efficient and quiet non-ducted fan convectors are now available for chilled water cooling. These can be used for spot cooling and whole house solutions connected by PEX tubing to the mechanical room thus eliminating ducting. There are many low visual impact “in-wall” and “on the wall” solutions from different manufacturers.
Air Handlers: More conventional ducted chilled water air handlers can also be used for both spot cooling and whole house air conditioning. These can be integrated with ventilation and HRV systems.
The information on this page is provided as a description of current trends in radiant heating and related equipment. We are not providing engineering advice for any particular project. The mechanical contractor and mechanical engineer can assess the different options available and apply them as they think is best for a particular project and client.
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