Radiant Panel Sizing in Four Easy Steps

Radiant Panel Sizing in Four Easy Steps

For any heating system, proper sizing is critical to performance – and infrared radiant ceiling panels are no different. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is how to size our infrared ceiling panels correctly. When we help someone size a system, we typically perform a heat loss calculation to determine system sizing. The following are some guidelines you can use to size panels for smaller projects, or when you don’t have all the information necessary for a heat loss calculation.

 

Step 1 – Measure the space

The size of the space is one piece of information you simply must have. Measure the length and width of the room and calculate the square footage by multiplying the two together. For example, if your room is 12 feet wide by 15 feet long, then the room size is 12 feet x 15 feet = 180 square feet (sf).

Step 2 – Estimate the necessary wattage

Next you need to estimate the amount of heating you’ll need. This is where a heat loss calculation comes in handy. However, there are some general guidelines we use that will get you pretty close.

  • Supplemental System (i.e. a ductless or forced air system is doing most of the work): 2 Watts/square foot (W/sf)
  • Super Insulated Room (meets US EPA Energy Star standards or above): 4.5 W/sf
  • Normally Insulated Room (meets current code): 6 W/sf
  • Low Insulation/Drafty Room: 7-9 W/sf

Step 3 – Determine the watt density (intensity)

Now you need to look at the mounting height (this is usually the ceiling height) of the panel to determine appropriate watt density. The higher the watt density, the more intense the maximum output of the panels.

  • 50w/sf – eg a 120AIP4-400 is 400 watts over 8 square feet of panel – 50w/sf. This watt density is best suited for lower intensity applications, like ceilings under 8′ in height.
  • 62.5w/sf – eg a 120AIP4-500 is 500 watts over 8 square feet of panel – 62.5w/sf. This watt density is the most versatile – readily used from 8′ ceilings up to 9’6″.
  • 93.75w/sf – eg a 120AIP4-750 @ 750 watts over 8 square feet of panel = 93.75w/sf. This watt density is best used in places where higher intensity is desired, such as high draft areas or ceilings over 10′.

Step 4 – Determine # of panels

We have a rule of thumb for coverage to get started here – take the square footage of the room and divide it by 20. Then, divide that number by either 6, 4, 3, or 2, depending on what panel size you think will work best in the room. Finally, round that number off and you have the number of panels you should use!

Let’s use these steps in an example. Let’s say our example room is 12’x12′, with 8′ ceilings. It has normal insulation.

Step 1 : 12 * 12 = 144 sf

Step 2 : Normal insulation = 6 W/sf – 6 W/sf * 144 sf = 864W

Step 3 : Watt density should be at least 62.5 W/sf (eg a 6′ 750W panel, or a 3′ 375W panel)

So, we should use either a single 6′ 1000W panel, or two 4′ 500W panels for this room!

Ceiling panels in a backyard cottage by Model Remodel + Live, Work, Play

After this step, you’ll have to make a few judgement calls on the system. First, you need to make sure your wattage requirement determined in Step 2 is met by the panels you picked in Step 3 & 4 – if not, you’ll need to adjust your selection. Second, do you want more, but smaller panels, to achieve more even coverage in the space? You can use a single 6′ 750W to achieve the same heating as two 3′ 375W units. You could even use three 2′ 250W!  Some people like the symmetry and distributed coverage provided by smaller units; others prefer to simply install a single larger unit – the choice is up to you.

Fall Infrared Heating Open Houses

Fall Infrared Heating Open Houses

Join us for an open house! Mighty Energy Solutions will be opening our home showroom to building professionals and homeowners on the following Tuesdays this fall: September 25, October 16, and November 6. This is an opportunity to see Infrared Radiant Ceiling PanelsRadiant Cove Heaters and our BioSmart Wall Heaters in action. Heating season is almost upon us and now is a great time to think about how to efficiently heat your home. Pacific Northwest rainy seasons can be tough, but not with Infrared Radiant Heat! These products provide a warm, cozy, and healthy heat all year long. Come experience this comforting heat for yourself!

September 25 | October 16 | November 6

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

3108 SW Webster St

RSVP’s welcomed but not necessary. Drop in anytime, no formal presentation.

Infrared Heat in 4-Star Built Green DADU

Infrared Heat in 4-Star Built Green DADU

This 2+ story DADU (detached auxiliary dwelling unit), by Living Shelter Design Architects, is heated solely with infrared radiant ceiling panels. Certified Built Green 4-Star, the project features an extremely tight building envelope and healthy finishes for superior indoor air quality. Total living space is under 650 square feet, so the expense of installing ductwork or a heat pump system just didn’t make sense.

heat panels in DADU interior

Instead of forced air, the owners chose cozy and efficient infrared radiant ceiling panels. Heated by an electric infrared coil, these heaters radiate energy downwards. They heat the people and objects in the room directly, much like the sun. Spaces warm up faster & stay warm longer with very little electricity and zero maintenance. By choosing electric infrared heat, these homeowners also eliminate the added costs of installing ductwork.

Flexibility

Living Shelter designed this DADU as a multi-use space to add square footage to the owners’ already full home. They can use it as a space for guests, furniture storage and staging, and living space for future college age kids or renters. Because they are on the ceiling, the infrared radiant panels allow maximum flexibility for space use and layout.

Longevity –

The design/build team selected materials and finishes with the aim of creating an extremely durable structure that will provide this family with the space they need for decades. And the infrared heating system is no exception. The manufacturer provides a 20-year warranty and the heaters have an expected lifetime of over 40 years. This makes the radiant ceiling panels are the longest lasting heaters on the market. They will continue keep the space cozy for many years to come.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) –

Zero ductwork means that the homeowners also eliminated the risk of dust or allergens being blown around their space. With infrared heat they will also avoid the dreaded feeling of dry blown air in the winters.

Read more about infrared ceiling panels here. 

Built Green Conference: September 13

Built Green Conference: September 13

Each year, the Built Green Conference beckons the brightest and best in green building from across the Northwest and Mighty Energy Solutions is honored to sponsor this great event once again. Attendees receive valuable, cutting-edge information on green building and sustainability through an array of immersive topics. From building science to policy, from post-occupancy research to discussions on equity, affordability, and community issues and more, the full-day conference offers education and insight for all. We look forward to seeing you there!

September 13, 2018 | 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM | Register Here

Lynwood Convention Center | 3711 196th Street S.W. Lynnwood, WA 98036

We’re Especially Looking Forward to these Sessions:

portrait of Vien Truong

9:00 AM – Keynote from Vien Truong – This year’s keynote speaker is Vien Truong, one of the country’s foremost policy experts and strategists on building an equitable green economy. She serves as CEO of the Dream Corps, and leads Green For All, a national initiative that puts communities of color at the forefront of the climate movement and equality at the center of environmental solutions.

Vien has developed numerous energy, environmental, transportation, and economic policies and programs at the state, federal and local levels. She has advised on billions of dollars in public investments for energy and community development programs – including helping to create the biggest fund in history for low income communities.

 

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Development and Displacement: A Discussion on Equitable Social Impacts

Not only does displacement have negative environmental impacts as it contributes to sprawl, but it has major social ramifications as well. People who were previously rooted in their community are having to leave and this separation is painful and unhealthy both for individuals and communities. At the same time, as a region with a rapidly growing population, we must accommodate more people in urban areas. How do we develop while minimizing displacement? This discussion will grapple with this complex question, as panelists talk about creative ideas to maximize both social and environmental good through affordable housing, robust communities, and innovative policy.

panelists for conference session

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Mayor’s Forum on Green Building

We often hear about Seattle policy, but some smaller cities in our region have taken large steps to support green building too. Did you know that Kirkland was a leader in expediting permits for green building? Or that all development in the Issaquah Highlands had to be certified to green building standards? Or that Arlington allows more height for green or affordable buildings in its downtown?

The mayors from these three cities will share information about the green building successes that have been achieved in their cities and what visions they have for the future. Come learn what these cities have planned for green development and how you can contribute to their progress.

Shift Building Symposium: May 30th

Shift Building Symposium: May 30th

Are you designing, engineering, or building high performance buildings? Are you looking to live or work in an environment with fresh clean air and hot water? Are you interested in how high performance building is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy one building at a time? If so, please join as at the ShiftBuilding Symposium on May 30, 2018 at UW-Bothell!

Mighty Energy is proud to sponsor ShiftBuilding and help bring professionals together to share and learn about new applications that heat, clean air, and warm water more efficiently than ever before. Learn what these systems are doing to the building market today and where to find them.

Featured speakers Shawn Oram and Skander Spies will present Professional Development Hour sessions and workshop tracks with industry representatives who will connect you with information about products for high performance construction. You’ll also hear case studies from these experts and connect with UW students graduating into the mechanical engineering field. The event begins with a networking lunch with trade associations and additional partners.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 | 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm

UW Bothell & Cascadia College, Mobius Hall

GET TICKETS

Top 3 Most Effective Uses of Infrared Heat in Green Building

Top 3 Most Effective Uses of Infrared Heat in Green Building

Infrared radiant heat systems provide versatile warmth that is both cozy and efficient. Powered by electricity, radiant heaters directly warm humans and objects without noisy fans, bad smells, or dry air and dust blowing around your house. Imagine the immediate all-encompassing warmth that feels like stepping into the sun, when you walk into your bedroom. Radiant heating systems are flexible and can be customized for any room layout. They complement any décor by mounting on the ceiling or upper wall and become almost invisible. Below are the best solutions for heating our buildings and homes more sustainably with radiant heat:

1) Hybrid System with Ductless Heat Pump

ductless heat pump headinfrared radiant ceiling panel surface mounted in bedroom

A ductless mini-split heat pump (DHP) is a great energy-saving solution for heating larger open spaces like an open concept great room. A single unit installed high on the wall can output 12,000 BTUs and save you more than 50% on your energy bills. However, DHPs struggle to spread heat down hallways and around corners. Unless you leave the doors open all the time, DHP’s can’t effectively heat bedrooms or bathrooms. Installing a second or third DHP head means running extra piping which quickly becomes messy and costly. This is where infrared radiant heat comes to the rescue! Instead of additional DHP heads, electric radiant heaters can be installed in rooms that the DHP fails to reach. As a supplemental system, radiant heaters will provide enhanced comfort, and zone control, while complementing the unbeatable efficiency of a ductless heat pump. Radiant heat also offers much faster heating response times than a DHP (approximately 5-10 mins) because it is warming humans and objects directly.

2) Zone Control for the Whole House

Infrared radiant heat can effectively and efficiently heat your entire home, with 1-2 units per room. By placing a thermostat in each room, you can heat only the rooms you are using. With an average 30% energy savings over cadet or baseboard heaters1 , infrared radiant heat warms objects and surfaces in a room directly. This means everything in your space will be an even temperature and furniture will become part of the thermal mass that will continue to provide soft warmth. Thus, occupants feel warmer faster and stay warm longer, lower air temperatures, adding even more energy savings. Additionally, with no need to dry the air out to an uncomfortable heat with noisy fans, ductwork, or moving parts, radiant heaters provide superior indoor air quality for your family.

3) Avoid Extending the Furnace for an Addition

infrared radiant ceiling panel flush mountedWhen planning an addition to your home, the question often arises of whether to extend an existing furnace system. Adding ductwork can be quite costly, involve a complicated install, and may end up being less comfortable and efficient due to heat loss from the extra ductwork. Any time you want to heat any part of the system, the entire furnace has to fire up. You also run the risk of overworking your furnace or finding out that you need to install an entirely new one. Zoned infrared radiant heat is a great alternative to a furnace extension. There is no need to install more duct work and radiant heaters are as simple to install as a ceiling light. Affordable, comfortable and efficient heat makes radiant the ideal alternative to locations that an existing furnace can’t reach. Unlike vents and ductwork, radiant heaters are completely silent, require zero maintenance, and have the longest expected lifetime of any other products on the heating market. Talk about a great long-term investment! For more information, email info@mightyenergy.net