The most important properties for excellent thermodynamic performance and radiant heat output are high conductivity and low thermal mass. Warmboard has both.
The importance of conductivity
The primary purpose of any radiant heat panel is to conduct heat to the living spaces of your home. Warmboard has been optimized for maximum conductivity, which means maximum heat delivered from each drop of heated water. In fact, Warmboard is 2-5x more conductive than any other form of radiant heat.
- Lowers the water temperature needed in the tubing which saves energy
- Makes floor temperatures more even, and more comfortable
- Allows wider tubing spacing, reducing the cost of tubing, manifolds, controls and the labor to install all of these components while increasing system reliability
- A more responsive system that can quickly adjust its output to precisely match changing heat loads, ensuring a constant "just right" interior temperatures
- Ensures your home will quickly come up to the desired temperature after vacation set back
- Allows you to save energy by using the nighttime setback feature on your smart thermostat because your home will get back to the desired temperature rapidly in the morning
- Gives you tremendous freedom of floor covering choices including the use of luxurious wool rugs which are simply not viable options with other radiant panels with low conductivity
- Protects fine hardwood floors by warming them so evenly as to not cause internal stresses or aging
- Greater freedom to use ultra high-efficiency heat sources, such as condensing boilers and water heaters, solar thermal, photovoltaic, heat pumps, fuel cell cogeneration, etc…
- By lowering water temperatures, significantly extend the life expectancy and reliability of all components in your system
- Provides greater reserves of performance when outside temperatures fall to very low levels (Warmboard comfortably heats structures from Fairbanks, Alaska to a research station in Antarctica)
- Enables the price of a radiant system to be recuperated more quickly through significantly lower operating costs
Because of the paramount importance of conductivity, it should be the first criterion in selecting a radiant panel. The history section explains why many systems in the past have used concrete in one form or another to conduct heat; but concrete does not make sense in modern wood framed homes.
When was the last time you used a frying pan made from concrete? Hopefully never. Concrete is not a product designed to conduct heat. Warmboard however, was. The aluminum adhered to our radiant panels is hundreds of times more conductive than concrete. We use an especially high grade of aluminum which is 30% more conductive and 8x thicker than the alloys used in other radiant panels. It is stamped and pressed to the board, covering the entire surface. Others in the industry use little more than store-bought aluminum foil in isolated areas of their panels in an attempt to "conduct" more heat. With Warmboard, your finished floor is in direct contact with our radiant panel, so heat flows unobstructed from the plate, through the floor and into your living space.
This high conductivity not only transfers heat faster and more efficiently, it also means you can achieve greater comfort using the lowest water temperatures in the industry. And lower water temperatures means a lower heating bill every month.
Watch video: Gypsum Concrete (12" tubing spacing)
Why a low thermal mass is important
Weather seems to change more quickly than ever these days. Last week was hot, this week it's cold. You enjoy the warm heat on a sunny day, then the clouds blow in and the temperature drops rapidly. You need a system that can respond quickly to the changes in our environment - both inside and outside your home. Fast response is one of the most important characteristics of a radiant heating system. Products with a high thermal mass will cause significant delays between when heat is needed and when it is finally delivered.
It is not unusual for the owners of slab-based systems to wait many hours before their homes are warmed. Warmboard responds quickly and you can feel the heat in only 20 minutes - a stark contrast to a high-mass system. You'll get the right amount of heat, right when you want it. And you'll save energy while you do it too.