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Hydronic Cove heater

I am dreaming up a heat emitter....maybe it exists. I have a contractor with a garage/caretaker unit and he want a hydronic system. We had a meeting yesterday and he liked the idea of the "Cove" electric radiant heaters. Has anyone seen or used a hydronic radiant ceiling heater. Not a forced air unit or a stand alone gas unit a radiant hydronic? He doesnt want to use a radiator because of the lack of wall space. Probably end up install radiant ceiling but thought I would ask. Thanks for your thoughts
Jeffrey Campbell


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,918
    There is a simple tradeoff in radiant heating: the area of the surface emitting the heat vs. the temperature of the emitting surface. On the one hand, you have various gas or electric fired radiant heaters, running at an emitter temperature around 800 to 1200 F. You can get a lot of BTUs out of those with a small area -- such as the little electric radiants. On the other hand, you have a hot water radiant panel running at -- at most, safely -- around 200 F. You need a lot more surface emitting area to get the same heat output.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Simply Rad
    Simply Rad Member Posts: 183
    I understand surface area vs supply temps vs output. I have used alot of different heat emitters over the years. One option would be panel radiators which are much smaller surface area than the floor but when sized correctly, even a medium temps 140F design, can heat the space. Just trying to find a heat emitter that could be mount high and radiate down. I have learned the hard way the fan coil unit heat do not work very well, even when over sized for low supply temps to handle load. The unit blow cool air and cycle a lot....load fan noise because it was oversized.
    Jeffrey Campbell
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Jeffrey, Yes, I have done it with extruded aluminum heat transfer plates snapped onto 1/2" copper, painted (pick a color) and controlled with TRV's. Works OK for "maintenance" heating, but (obviously) has limitations as it pertains to acceleration and recovery. Call me if you'd like.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.