Fact & Fiction: Radiant Temperature v. Air Temperature

yogaWe occasionally get inquiries from our yoga studio customers asking why their thermostats are not reaching the desired temperature. Assuming our yoga thermostat is programmed correctly, it can obtain temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, but there’s a little more going on behind the scenes that help explain why the displayed temperature on your thermostat may not be hitting those high numbers.

Thermostats have sensors in them that measure the air temperature in a room. However, unlike traditional, forced-air heating systems, our infrared radiant systems do not directly heat the air. Instead, they heat people and objects directly, which in turn will heat the air due to natural convection. For this reason, the air temperature in the room is actually lower than a radiant temperature.

For example, on a chilly winter day, it might be below freezing outside. However, when the sun breaks through the clouds, it causes you to warm up and maybe even shed that thick winter coat you’ve been sporting! This is because, like our heating panels, the sun is emitting infrared radiation that heats you directly. The air temperature didn’t get noticeably warmer, but the second the sun hit your skin you instantly started to warm up.

The exact same concept can be applied to radiant heating in a yoga studio. The air temperature is not directly affected by our heating panels and therefore will often be cooler than the actual radiant temperature in the room. We recently visited a studio that shows the perfect example of this. As you can see, the studio’s thermostat is giving a readout of 93 degrees Fahrenheit.

93 degree air temperature

However, when we use an infrared thermometer to measure the floor of the studio, we get a temperature rating of just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. What this means is the people and objects in the room, including the floor, are being heated up to that 100-degree mark, as opposed to the 93 degrees that the air temperature is at.

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For hot yoga, this is a very good thing and allows for a more comfortable environment. With radiant heat you won’t need harsh, blistering-hot air blowing through the room to reach desired temperatures. Instead, you can enjoy the soothing sun-like warmth transferred to your body by the heating system overhead.

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