“What exactly is radiant energy?” Hold your hand over a hot cup of coffee and feel the heat. The logical conclusion is that heat rises. Logical maybe, but incorrect! “Hot air” rises but “heat” can travel in any direction. That is why you can feel the heat of the cup when you place your hand to the side of it. Radiant energy transfer is caused by a warm surface giving up its heat to a cooler surface.
Whenever there is a temperature difference between two surfaces, both surfaces will attempt to equalize. Radiant energy travels through space without heating the space itself. It only turns into heat when it contacts a cooler surface. Our human comfort relies just as much on radiant heat transfer as it does on air temperature, yet the majority of heating and air-conditioning professionals think only in terms of air temperature. As a result, Americans are missing out on a truly comfortable living environment in their own homes or places of business. By controlling both the air temperature and the radiant transfer, radiant panel systems deliver a comfort that is unsurpassed.