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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/my-thought-was-that-surface-area-of-the-20113931.aspx

Subject:  Re: Radiant Heat System Date:  1/7/2004  9:36 PM
Author:  NoIDAtAll Number:  44367 of 128375

My thought was that surface area of the conductive material increases
efficiency and effectiveness of heat transfer. Car radiators, A/C 
evaporators and condensers use fins to, I think, increase area that air 
is exposed to and thereby work more better in the transfer of heat. And,
a 4-row auto radiator is generally more effective than a 
3-row radiator, everything else being equal.

At first, I thought that, maybe, considering something like a
grid with pipes running from the water heater through the joists 
perpendicularly and returning back through the joists to the water 
heater with pipes connected to those, running parallel to the joists, 
might be a thought that would expose the air inside the joists to much 
more warm pipe surface area - something like this:

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Then I thought, "That's a LOT of copper pipe" - expensive. And, I 
remembered once helping to remodel a house with radiant heat and it's 
being built on a slab with the heating pipe embedded in the concrete 
floor, with no wood flooring on top of it, and it worked very well in 
keeping the house very warm without a supplemental heating source. I 
thought maybe one could drop the sub-floor a couple of inches 
below the top of the joists, embed the pipes in concrete in that cavity 
and tile directly over the concrete. I dunno - And, if it's just a 
matter of keeping the floor somewhat warmer, w/o trying to heat the 
room, it probably isn't worth the extra cost, time and work. 


Bob  

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