A major difference between radiant ceiling panels and radiant floors is their response times. Since radiant ceiling panels have a lower thermal mass, necessary adjustments can be made much faster than they can for radiant floors. This becomes very important when a radiant system is used for cooling.
To maximize cooling capacity, our system keeps the temperature of our panels just above the dew-point to avoid condensation. If the dew-point of an environment abruptly changes, radiant ceilings can quickly adjust their target temperature to avoid condensation. Radiant floors, however, have a longer response time, so they must stay further from the dew-point to account for any sudden change that may occur, lowering their cooling capacity.
Additional factors to consider include the fact that radiant ceilings avoid obstructions that would affect the efficiency of radiant floors, like furniture. Lastly, although radiant floors may be sufficient in commercial buildings where occupants are always wearing shoes, this is not the case in residential buildings where radiant floors may provide an uncomfortable experience for occupants when used for cooling.
Can you think of any other benefits radiant ceilings have over radiant floors? If so, drop them down below!
Panel install photos courtesy of Bay Area installer, @hydro_tech510 on Instagram!