The Best Air Conditioning for a Radiant-Heated Home

Professionals installing an underfloor heating system

Radiant heating systems provide a number of advantages, especially in locations that enjoy colder or temperate climates. Through infrared radiation, delivered via in-wall or floor systems, heat is transferred to the people and objects in the room, providing a comfortable indoor environment. However, incorporating air conditioning to radiant-heated home requires careful consideration.

How Does Radiant Heat Work? explains that radiant heating, when installed properly, can be far more efficient than most conventional systems. It eliminates heat loss, which is common in duct and baseboard systems and prevents allergens and irritants to circulate.

Some technologies, such as liquid-based or hydronic systems, consume little electricity, making it a sound choice for residential and off-grid applications. A variety of energy sources, including solar water heater and standard heaters, may also be used and combined to facilitate radiant heating.

Cooling in Radiant Heat

However, unlike conventional heating, radiant systems require specialized cooling techniques. It may require an entire ducting or piping system, as well as dehumidifiers. Window units are a popular choice among homeowners, especially in regions where cooling needs are minimal.

In other words, knowing the ideal AC unit for radiant heat depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the home, energy sources available, the type of ductwork running through the house, and overall insulation performance, among others.

Ventilation ductwork may also be used for cooling but may require a separate system to control humidity. Heating and cooling loads may vary every month, which means that humidity levels will also fluctuate.

Having ducts for AC can become problematic unless the house is tightly sealed with good ventilation control. In the cooling season, moisture will enter the home, which can be aggravated by domestic inputs, such as cooking and bathing, as well as condensation from AC evaporator coils.

A radiant floor heating system can offer numerous cost and energy savings to homeowners. But, when it comes to adding air conditioning, it is crucial to choose the right system or unit, as incorporating the wrong AC can result in undesirable results.