Hydronic heating and cooling systems are considered the most efficient, greenest technology known to man for the efficient distribution of warmth and cooling; in other words, the ideal human comfort experience. For people who may not know what hydronics are, here's the definition:
Hydronics: A means of transferring the energy required for heating and cooling buildings utilizing water as the primary medium in an effort to maintain good human comfort and conserve energy resources.
And while we are in definition mode, allow me to introduce a couple of other terms that are critically important.
Comfort: My definition of comfort is being in a state of wellbeing, or not being aware of your surroundings. In this state, you are not hot, nor are you cold. Your sinuses are not too dry, nor is it too humid, and there is not a lot of noise in the background associated with the delivery of comfort. In short, if you have to think about your physical condition, you are probably not comfortable. Simply stated, if you are truly comfortable, you will not be thinking about it.
Mean Radiant Temperature: Mean radiant temperature, or MRT for short, is one of those things that cannot (normally) be seen by the bare human eye, but is the primary dictator of excellent human comfort. By definition, MRT is the temperature of those solid items surrounding your body. When the MRT is high, human comfort is achieved with a lower air temperature. When the air temperature is high, good human comfort is achieved with a lower MRT. MRT can be seen using an infrared camera, but most people do not have access to this wonderful technology.
Controlling heat loss from our bodies by manipulating the MRT will guarantee that most people will be comfortable under all conditions. As can be seen from the above graphic, radiational losses account for nearly half of the human body's heat loss.
DBA Radiant Professionals Alliance, 1832 S. Utica Street, Denver, Colorado 80219, www.iapmo.org.