Radiant heating can be an efficient and effective way of heating a room. Radiant heating technology allows the floor, walls and furniture to be warmed, rather than heating the air. This means that much less energy is expended in creating the same amount of warmth. However, there are some drawbacks to using a radiant heating method, one of them being the long-term effect that it can have upon furniture.
Effects of Radiant Heating on Furniture
Radiant heating can help you to protect your furniture by moving it out of sunlight and preventing it from being burned by radiators. The furniture can also be placed in any position in the room, making it ideal for small rooms with a lot of chairs and other items. Radiant heating means that these pieces can now be placed in the best position, away from sunlight and drafts.
However, there are also some reasons why radiant heat can have a negative effect upon furniture, and this is to do with the way in which the heating system works. Radiant heat often takes a while to warm up each day, leaving items in the room to feel the chill. This cold-hot-cold system can sometimes cause furniture to expand and shrink repeatedly during the course of a day.
Wood is particularly vulnerable to the effects of rapid changes in heating, particularly exposure to extremes of heat and cold. Radiant heat has more direct contact with the furniture, and a long-term effect of such heating will doubtless be that the wood will either warp, split or crack over time. In order to protect furniture from such an event, it is a good idea to check your wooden furniture regularly for signs that it is being affected by radiant heat.
Leather is another material that is very vulnerable to changes in heat. Leather sofas are always fashionable, and with time, exposure to a direct heat can cause the leather to crack or change color. While the effects of radiant heat are not as severe as that of direct contact with a radiator, long-term radiant heat use can still cause the sofa to age, and leather may start to look worn and tatty.
Metal furniture presents a different problem to wooden or leather items. Here, the effects of radiant heat upon chairs or tables can be discerned by touching them. Metal of course takes on the temperature of items touching it, so heating the floor below a metal chair can cause that item to become very hot to the touch. It is a good idea to remove items of metal furniture from a room where radiant heat is being used, as they absorb heat and cold very quickly.
Cloth chairs and sofas are perhaps least affected by the impact of radiant heat, even over the long term. Materials such as cotton and wool can take on the warmth of surrounding walls and floors without becoming seriously warped or damaged. In fact, they may be better off with radiant heat than using a system such as a radiator, where direct contact can cause burning or charring.