Radiant systems have a hot and cold reputation. They provide comfort across a broad range of conditions yet require rigorous, detailed control to accommodate thermal lag and avoid moisture problems. Radiant systems can save energy, but they also place specific demands on buildings, making them challenging to use in some situations. They have the potential to reduce capital costs but can be inflexible, limiting future changes.
To realize the benefits and avoid the pitfalls, hydronic radiant systems must be designed, modeled, and operated correctly. Perhaps more than any other conditioning approach, hydronic radiant systems depend on holistic, integrated building design.