Perhaps the best matched heating system for any heat pump is radiant floor hydronic heating. The reason is simple, the lower the design temperature the higher the performance of a heat pump. Radiant floors typically require between 110-120 F supply temperature and larger systems can be as low as 80-90 F. This lower design temperature/higher performance is true for any type of heat pump including geothermal systems. Matter of fact, all modern hydronic heating is designed around lower temperatures; condensating gas boilers, solar thermal and heat pumps all work better at lower design temperatures.
Radiant floor heating is ideal for a heat pumps because of its lower design temperature but also because it has a larger buffer mass versus other heating emitters. A large mass allows the heat pump to have to make smaller temperature shifts but at the same time the mass can hold large amounts of energy reducing the short cycling of heat pumps. The Arctic Heat Pump can adjust its frequency to match the load, this results in the highest performance output. Because radiant floor is a very stable heat mass the Arctic Heat Pump can tune itself to match the load and hold its frequency to match the load much better than other types of emitters that dissipate the energy quickly. As an example, a forced air furnace has little mass and is much harder to maintain an exact temperature, it requires more on/off cycles.
Types of Radiant Floor installations- There are four main ways to introduce radian floor heating when using a heat pump. The more mass you have the better so concrete slab or suspended slab are always best. There are also some good products that use aluminum plates and can be installed between joists or above the plywood subfloor.
Complete Hydronic Control
The Arctic Heat Pump can integrate into any radiant floor heating design and replace any gas or electric boiler. Using a buffer tank we can set the heat pump to perform at the minimum design temperature and hold that temperature with in the buffer tanks. From here the system can deliver heat to any part of the house by removing the energy in the buffer tank.
Hydronic radiant floor cooling can also be accomplished via radiant floor cooling. This is done by monitoring the dew set point in the system to avoid condensation. The Arctic Heat Pump now chills a buffer tank and the control system uses the chilled water to remove heat energy from the floor. Remember heat energy always moves from hot to cold so the chilled floors act as a big sponge to absorb hot air from the building.
If you are thinking of adding radiant floor heating let us help. We can supply you with all the materials and controls for any type of radiant floor heating project including correctly calculating and supplying the PEX and manifolds, controllers, and pumps. We also have aluminum plates for between joist or above subfloor installations. We will supply you with a full CAD drawing to give to your contractor or you can DIY with our plans. We use only quality equipment such a Caleffi, PAW, Grundfos, RESOL and our prices are hard to beat! Visit our free hydronic radiant heating design page to get more details.