Using Electric Radiant Floor Systems as Primary Heat Source
Using Electric Radiant Heating for Your Whole Home
While many homeowners install in-floor electric heating in one room, it is also growing as a primary heat source for the whole house. Even in frigid cold cities, more and more people are using electric radiant heating to warm their spaces. Electric in-floor heating is also desirable for its cost effectiveness; oftentimes, electric radiant heating only costs about 20 cents a day.
One of the great benefits of electric floor heating is that not only you warm your floor, but it has the potential to heat your whole room, so even in cold cities like Chicago and Toronto, electric floor heating can be very effective as a primary heat source. The warm floor acts as a large heating surface, radiating heat in the whole room from the floor up. Your whole room, from floor to ceiling, will become warmer with radiant heat. Let's talk now about the benefits of radiant heating.
Comfort is the number one benefit. Every one in your family will love the exceptional comfort of walking out of radiant heated floor. Just imagine walking barefoot on a warm floor in your own home, and how nice that must feel. Most likely, every single one of your customers would like to have a radiant heated floor in their own home. Energy efficiency is another benefit of radiant floor heating. Electric floor heating costs little to operate. Heating a large bathroom floor is like operating three light bulbs. It will cost you only about 20 cents per day.
Heating a kitchen floor is like operating six light bulbs and will cost you only about 40 cents per day. As you can see, electric floor heating is very energy efficient and will not add much to the electricity bill at all. To find out exactly what the cost is to operate your electric floor heating system, an operating cost calculator is available on our website at warmlyyours.com.
Electric floor heating is also the healthiest form of heat. Traditional heating systems like forced air systems are not only noisy, but they also blow warm air and dust all around the house. They drive the air in your home and they don't exactly create a healthy environment for your family. On the other hand, radiant heat systems radiate heat evenly from the floor up. They are silent and they do not blow dust and allergens around your house. Radiant heat has been proven to be great for allergy sufferers and it is a great heating source for your family.
When installing electric floor heating as a heat source, you need to pay special attention to your subfloor. When the subfloor is a cement slab or crawl space, we strongly recommend adding a layer of insulation first. This will increase the energy efficiency of your floor warming system. Floors installed over a cement slab or a crawl space typically get very cold. Imagine stepping outside barefoot on a cold winter day. A cement slab almost feels that cold. If you install your electric floor heating system without any insulation, the cement slab or the crawl space will absorb most of the heat and the floor will not get very warm. When installing new floors over a crawl space or a cement slab, we highly recommend to add a layer of insulation. It will dramatically increase the energy efficiency of your electric floor heating system and the floor will get a lot warmer.
There are several types of insulation you can use. We recommend cork. Cork is a very good insulator and most cork floors hold a high R value, that will then keep the heat up. Simply use mastic to install your cork installation and then position your electric floor heating system right on top of the cork. There are also insulated backboards out there that would also work very well. The Warmly Yours technical support staff can guide you during the project with proper advice, but definitely think about insulation when dealing with cement slabs or crawl spaces.
Some rooms have very poor insulation overall. For instance, sun rooms, we have large windows, very thin walls and a lot of heat loss. In these types of rooms, electric floor heating may not provide quite enough heating capacity to keep that room at a comfortable 70 or 75 degrees, even when insulation is installed over the subfloor. If you are planning to use electric floor heat as the only source of heat in that room, we recommend that you get a heat loss calculation. This will tell you precisely if electric floor heat can be used as a primary heat source. You can use our online tool, called the Heat Loss Calculator, found at warmlyyours.com, to get a free heat loss calculation. You can also call our technical support staff, and we will be happy to do the calculation for you at no cost.
Remember, we at Warmly Yours are the experts who can give you the right advice. We are there for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so please feel free to reach out to us whenever you need help.