Among all types of buildings, places of worship represent the most challenging projects with the most specific needs, given their historical and aesthetic constraints that discourage invasive and overly visible installations.
These projects usually involve very high spaces, in which conventional heating would entail prohibitive consumption due to the vast volumes of air that would need to be heated. Furthermore, given the intermittent use of these facilities, thermal inertia cannot be leveraged, since these sites are not heated most of the time.
Nonetheless, the need for a comfortable environment in this case is an even more indispensable requirement due to the personal, social and meditative functions associated with these venues.
Consequently, on the one hand, heating a church requires high peaks of thermal performance, while on the other hand, careful attention must be paid in order to heat only useful areas and keep down costs.
Unsurprisingly, in recent years radiant technology has become the preferred solution for places of worship.
- While consuming less than half the amount of energy compared to conventional technologies, radiant systems make people feel toasty warm, pleasantly heating their bodies in a direct manner.
- Heat radiated even from great heights does not coalesce near the top, but drops down to man-height, where it is pleasantly perceived by the congregation.
- A radiant heating system does not take long to be activated and heats people almost instantaneously.
- By virtue of thermal efficiency, radiant systems make it possible to obtain the same personal heating sensation, while offering up to a 70% reduction in consumption compared to conventional units.
- The spot heating function of the system, which localizes areas with differing degrees of hot and cold, or even shuts off the equipment in certain areas, allows considerable savings, especially in areas where daily functions are seldom carried out. This means that it would not be cost-effective to heat the entire environment.
- Given the imposing height of churches, it would be virtually impossible to heat such a building via a technology that must first heat all the air. Radiant technology prevents air masses from accumulating in upper areas where precious heat remains unused.
- Radiant energy does not heat air, but people, focusing heat where it is needed. It is not subject to high dissipation, as is the case in hot air technologies, which are affected by openings and dispersions in upper areas.
- Radiant heating also means avoiding convective motion, which, especially in ancient buildings, can raise dust that is harmful to people and artistic artefacts. As a result, the air is kept cleaner and healthier.
- Since there is no air ventilation, a radiant appliance is also totally noise-free, a critical issue in religious sites where unbroken silence is an essential part of the personal experience.
- The installation of a radiant appliance, especially in the case of the Fraccaro models which are tailor-made for places of worship, is reduced to a minimum. This means that they are minimally invasive both structurally and in terms of aesthetics, in cases where architectural intervention is often restricted and camouflaging devices is a legal obligation.
- Both the installation and maintenance of radiant systems are reduced to a minimum, in terms of complexity and time frame, thereby cutting costs for the congregation and eliminating inconvenience in highly sensitive contexts, such as religious communities.