This section is dedicated to investigating and reviewing the different uses of radiant heating throughout the home. In addition to product reviews and advice we've also included various articles, such as the one below, which relate to radiant heat in the home. Please use the menu on the right hand side of the screen to navigate from room to room.
Article: Homeowners enjoy the comfort of radiant heat in their bathrooms, kitchens, or family romms
Many homeowners love the look of tile, wood, or laminates but dread stepping out of their soothing shower onto cold tile, especially during those frigid winter months. And many love tile or wood in their kitchens and living areas but worry about their little ones playing and pitter-pattering on cold floors. That’s why so many are opting for electric radiant heat to warm up their floors.
The installation of electric floor heating systems is not new: heated floors have been installed under bathroom and kitchen tile in the United States for the past 10 years and the warming products continue to gain popularity. Many in the kitchen and bath industry expect electric radiant heat to continue to play a big role among homeowners who crave comfort features.
Joan McCloskey, editorial marketing director for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, told homebuilders at the 2003 International Builders Show that warm floors in the bathroom is on the list of must-have comforts.“ Our bathrooms set the mood for the day and homeowners want it light, comfortable, and cheerful,” she said. “Toys in this room and the master include heated floors, little refrigerators, steam showers with multiple shower heads, soaking tubs, towel warmers, fireplaces, and coffee nooks.”
These thin electric floor heating mats have been very popular in bathrooms and kitchens for a long time. However, the installation of these systems under carpet and floating laminate floors was not practical because they needed to be embedded in a layer of thin set cement, which you normally don’t use when you install a new carpet or laminate floor. As a result, very few people would opt for radiant heat under carpet or laminate. Up until now: Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has given the thumbs up to WarmlyYours’ EnvironTM system, a radiant heating system that can be directly installed under carpets and laminate floors, without cement.
It is the first time that UL tested and approved a floor warming mat to be installed directly between the pad and the floor. “It’s very easy to install,” says Julia Billen, owner and president of WarmlyYours. “You can do it yourself: all you need to do is tape the EnvironTM system on the underlayment pad then lay the laminate or carpet over it, and your floor can get warm. It takes a few seconds.” The heating mat is then hardwired to a thermostat with an infloor temperature sensor taped to the heating mat. The thermostat needs to be wired to a regular 110-volt circuit by an electrician.
In addition to providing warmth, these new floor heating mats are energy efficient. Because it is under the carpet or laminate and over the foam pad, it provides additional insulation from the cold sub-floor. The EnvironTM iis constructed of an ultra-thin heating wire that exists in four layers of foil, quickly and efficiently distributing heat. A 120 square foot coverage would probably cost about 40 cents a day, on average.
Other benefits of radiant heat include:
- Silent operation - There’s no hum or whistle of a forced air system.
- Energy savings - Evenly distributed heat from a radiant floor heating system can allow the thermostat to be set two to four degrees less than in a forced-air heating system. This can reduce energy costs by 10 to 40 percent.
- A healthier home - Forced air systems can spread dust, pollen, and germs. Dust mites and molds love carpet but don’t like warmth. European research performed in 21 households shows a 50 percent reduction in domestic dust mite populations in the households with radiant floor heating, thereby improving the quality of life (particularly for allergy sufferers).
- Even, quiet warmth - Even wood, tile, or uncovered concrete floors can benefit from a radiant system.
- Radiant heat is less likely to dry out your breathing passages and skin.
Visit WarmlyYours.com if you would like to purchase a system for your own home.