Radiant heating offers many benefits that make it a popular choice for homeowners in the Cleveland area. It's generally more energy efficient than forced-air heating, partly because it requires no ductwork, which tends to leak conditioned air. Also, residents who suffer from allergies appreciate that radiant systems provide heat without blowing air.
Radiant system troubleshooting can be tricky, however, since there are many variables unique to each home that affect the amount of heat you get from the system. Here is an outline of some of the key points your heating and cooling contractor will check in your system when looking for the source of a problem:
- What your floor, subfloor and floor covering are made of, and the R-values of those materials will impact the design and performance of your system. If these items change after the original design assumptions are made or after installation, the system must be re-evaluated to make sure it will continue to meet the needs of the building/home.
- Whether the floor covering has changed since the radiant system was installed. These changes may necessitate an adjustment in the water temperature, not to exceed the floor manufacturer's specifications.
- The basic design of the system and how the tubing was installed to determine whether it is adequate for the space.
- The location of the supply and return manifolds.
- How well the water circulator is functioning, which can be determined by testing the supply and return temperatures after the system has warmed up. This information will indicate to your contractor whether the system is over- or under-sized or if the flow restrictors need to be adjusted.
- The circulator motor for proper amperage (and to make sure it's running).
- The mixing valve that maintains temperature by blending hot supply water with cold water from the return pipe. Your contractor will compare the mixed water temperature to the valve setting and adjust or replace the mechanism if necessary.
- The outdoor reset controls that increase and decrease water temperature in response to outdoor temperature fluctuation.
- The Volt-Ohm meter may be checked for proper resistance and whether the sensors may need to be replaced.
If you need some help with radiant system troubleshooting, contact the professionals at P.K.Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. If your radiant heating system is having trouble, we will identify the source and make your system right again.
Picture Credit: USDAgov