Radiant HVAC — what is it? Heating is done in three ways in buildings — convection, conduction, and radiation. Heating and cooling with air is common in most building HVAC systems. Heating and cooling with conduction is not really practical in building HVAC systems. Radiant HVAC is being used more and more in today’s buildings.
Going back to the basics of heat transfer: Heat travels from the hotter body to the cooler body. Radiant HVAC embraces this basic engineering principle. Put a cold panel in a room, and the heat from the warm human body radiates to the cold panel, causing the human to feel cool. If there is a differential in temperature between two bodies, there will be heat transfer by radiation. Heat transfer can be used to cool and not just to heat in HVAC systems, although to be more precise, it is really not conditioning the air as in the HVAC term letters of “AC.”