How to use radiant heating in different climate zones
You can incorporate radiant heating into many types of HVAC systems, depending on where the home is located.
For instance, Bosch is introducing an inverter ducted split system heat pump that serves as the cooling system, and it can also be used for heating in climates where the air temperature is not so cold.
"The inverter ducted split is an air-to-air heat pump, so it offers heating down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, typically. You start losing the heating efficiency when the temperature drops below freezing. So the best performance is available when you can actually change the switchover temperature, so if the temperature is just below 47 degrees, the system switches over to a fossil fuel combustion system. That way the heating needs are not compromised at all,” according to Shilai Xie, product manager of Bosch Thermotechnology Corp.
"In warmer clients, like south of the Mason Dixon line, the inverter system itself is sufficient because it also has built in resistant electric heating. So for a couple of days out of the year when it's really cold and your heat pump doesn't satisfy your need, you have backup heat.
"For northern climates an inverter split system heat pump, which is better than a standard heat pump, still won't satisfy all the heating needs. In this type of situation I would suggest homeowners have an inverter heat pump together with a hydronic air handler and a tankless water heater. That would be the perfect solution.
"For northern climates both systems may be installed in the same home. For southern climates you need a heat pump, so you’re still using a ducted system, but you're getting the benefit of the radiant circulation through the air handler in to the ductwork.
"Basically you don't have a radiant heating system anymore if the budget is a concern. If budget is not a concern, I still recommend having a forced system for cooling and a radiant system for heating. That is by far the most comfortable system."