Frequently Asked Questions About Radiant Heat
Why should I use low-voltage radiant heat?
Actually, Warmzone's line- and low-voltage systems are equally energy efficient. (Read the article: The Myths of Low-voltage versus Line-voltage Radiant Systems) Line-voltage ComfortTile floor heating systems are the most recommended floor heating solution, but low-voltage is also a viable solution, and is the system of choice for heating roof edges and valleys. Low-voltage radiant heat is safe, reliable, efficient and provides a long-lasting solution to warming your floor or roof. The low-voltage FloorHeat and RoofHeat STEP polymer heating element also has an excellent 20-year manufacturer warranty.
Warmzone offers electric and hydronic radiant heat systems. Hydronic systems require large boilers that take up space, and typically can require costly maintenance. The boilers need to constantly operate to keep the fluid at the necessary temperature. The tubing used for hydronics requires disruptive floor buildup and the concrete used to cover the tubing adds cost and structural weight to the building. If the tubes crack, the liquid leaks. During the first year of operation, some boilers may require multiple maintenance visits to operate at the correct settings. The electric systems only need to be adjusted once by the installer. The system then diagnoses itself automatically every 30 minutes thereafter and is only on when it needs to be. FloorHeat and Warmzone CT heat cable add minimal floor buildup and weight. With the electric radiant heat systems you can rest at ease knowing that your floors will be luxuriously warm when you awake!
How reliable is low-voltage radiant heat?
The radiant heat systems have no moving parts which makes them very reliable. Correctly installed, the systems require virtually no maintenance. There are no parts to lubricate or clean, and no filter to change-ever. In fact, the vast majority of the systems, including the ones installed over 20 years ago, have not needed a single maintenance call!
How big of an area can I heat with this type of radiant heat?
Each system is custom designed. There is no minimum and no maximum to the area the systems are capable of heating.
Is low-voltage safe?
Low-voltage electricity is a very safe type of electricity. If you wanted, you could hook up the system, turn it on, and walk directly on top of the heating elements and not receive a shock, even if you were soaking wet. All you would feel is nice soothing warmth produced by the radiant heat system.
Is there a fire hazard?
When correctly installed, these radiant heat systems present no fire hazard.
How big is the control unit and where does it go?
The control unit is almost the size of a small microwave and is hung conveniently on a wall in the garage, attic or crawlspace. The control unit houses the transformer and the 'brains' of the system.
How efficient is low-voltage radiant heat?
The system is between 97% and 100% efficient. Several other types of radiant heating systems are much less efficient.
How is the radiant heat created?
A step down transformer sends a low-voltage current (between 8-30 volts) through the FloorHeat/RoofHeat STEP element. The resistance of the FloorHeat/RoofHeat STEP creates enough radiant heat to safely warm the floor surface and heat the room, or melt the snow of your roof or driveway. Uncomfortable cold tile and hardwood are warmed to a pleasant temperature determined by you. The radiant heat created is evenly distributed throughout the room. There are no cold spots or loud fans blowing dust particles around the room. Your driveways and walkways will be snow-free.
How much energy do these radiant heat systems consume?
Energy consumption is affected by many variables such as system size, elevation, outside temperature and how well the home is insulated. We can determine how much it will cost per continuous hour to operate the system once we know about the variables.
How much will it cost me to melt 800-square-feet of snow on my driveway during a typical storm?
The average operational cost for a snow melting system is approximately $0.44 per 100-square-feet per hour. This figure is based on a system producing 37 watts/sq. ft. with a kwh rate of $0.12 per hour (the national average kwh is $.12/hour). If you know the square feet of the area you want to heat and your kwh rate, you can calculate the operational costs with this formula: heatable sq. ft. times watts/sq. ft., divided by 1000, multiplied by your kwh rate. The example equation would be: as follows: 800 (sq.ft.) x 37 (watts) = 29,600 (total watts).
29,600 divided by 1,000 = 29.6 kw per hour (This is what the power company will charge per one hour of operation.)
The average utility rate is .12 cents, therefore: 29.6 x .12 = $3.55. The cost of operation would be $3.55 per hour.
How much will it cost me to warm my 110-square foot tile bathroom?
In Colorado, it would cost less than 3 cents per hour to operate the floor warming system!
Who installs your radiant heat systems?
A certified electrician runs the power to the transformer. Any skilled craftsman can install the system.
How do I find out the pricing of a radiant heat system for my home?
Warmzone and its dealers will custom design a system according to your desires. Pricing for your custom system will depend on the amount of square feet you want to cover and what will be the finished floor surface. Contact us for more information.
Who do I contact to purchase a radiant heat system?
Radiant heat systems can be purchased directly from Warmzone.
Are your products good for remodeling?
Our low voltage radiant heat systems are excellent for remodeling projects. The systems are controlled by a single compact control unit that can be installed up to 100 feet away from the room being heated if necessary. Using our systems to heat an additional room makes the designing of that room easy and slick. No ductwork is needed and there's no need to worry about weight load. The heating element is installed directly under the finished floor surface and out of sight. You will never know the system is there, except when you turn it on and feel the luxurious warmth it produces.
Does your product only work on floors or it can also be run through the wall ?
The heating element is usually only used in the floor for heating, but we can splice the element to a cold lead and run it thought the wall to heat two rooms divided by a wall. FloorHeat can actually be installed in a wall and covered to produce more heat for the room if needed. This is not a very common application, but has been done to produce more heat for rooms with vaulted ceiling and substantial heat loss.
Can a single system be used to heat two different rooms on separate floors?
Our largest FloorHeat system (zone) will cover approx. 700 sq. ft., and our largest heat cable zone 475 sq. ft. Every zone has its own control unit, heating element, and thermostat. You can jumper from one room to another (even if they're on different floors) on any system. We can produce enough heat on our systems to heat your entire home, or simply provide a supplemental heat and warm your floors.
How much do your systems cost?
Costs vary greatly depending on the size of the area being heated. The systems can be as low as $5.50 / sq.ft. when heating areas around 475 sq. ft., and over $10 / sq. ft. when heating smaller areas under 200 sq. ft.
Is there anything that monitors the system to ensure it is working properly?
The circuitry in the control unit constantly monitors the system to ensure it is working properly. All of the heating element is uniformly heated. If there is any trouble with the system, it automatically turn itself off.
How hot do your systems heat the floors?
On average people will set the floor to be around 70 degrees, but depending on how the system is designed, it is possible to heat the floors to over 100 degrees.
Can your systems be powered by solar energy?
As long as you can supply enough power to the system, it can run off any electrical source. Here is a break down of the power requirements for different sized systems:
● FloorHeat systems heating a 21 to 300 sq. ft. area require a 240 v. 20 amp breaker
● FloorHeat systems heating a 300 to 740 sq. ft. area require a 240 v. 30 amp breaker
Are there any advantages as to which type of floor your system works best with or it works the same with all?
Some floor surfaces will heat up a little quicker than others, but once the floor surface is up to temperature, the system has equal effectiveness. Our systems can heat any floor surface to a temperature that will be desirable.
Does your product have the capability of operating by itself and turn on automatically when it is snowing?
Yes, you can either activate the snow melting systems with a manual or automatic device. The automatic device detects moisture in the air, as well as the temperature to activate the system.
What is FloorHeat?
FloorHeat (and RoofHeat) is a 9" and 12" wide polymer heating element that is flat and is self-regulating. It is used to add warmth to cold floors, total space heat and melt ice and snow off roofs.
Does it require any floor buildup?
No. Because it is "paper thin" no floor buildup or construction alteration is required. This is not the case with many other types of radiant heating systems.
Does FloorHeat use a thermostat? How is it activated?
Each system uses an attractive programmable thermostat. The thermostat can be programmed to measure floor temperature, air temperature, or it can be set to be on at desired times.
How is FloorHeat secured to the floor?
With a wood sub floor, the FloorHeat can be directly nailed or stapled through. With a concrete sub floor, the FloorHeat can be glued down. Whomever is installing the flooring on the radiant heating system can do so as if the FloorHeat were not even there. Plastic lathe (not metal lathe) should be used when using tile on top of the FloorHeat.
What kind of floor can I put over FloorHeat?
Virtually any floor surface can be installed directly over the FloorHeat, including tile, slate, marble, hardwood and carpet.
How does FloorHeat and radiant heat systems affect hardwood flooring?
The FloorHeat, and the heat produced by it, have no negative effects on hardwood, or any other type of flooring.
What if I want to heat my existing floor, can I still use your floor warming system?
Yes, if you have access to underneath the existing floor, we can install our system in the floor joists.
How long is the warranty?
FloorHeat comes with a comprehensive 20-year manufacturer's warranty.
How long has FloorHeat and RoofHeat STEP been in use?
This low-voltage system was first used over 20 years ago. Since then thousands of FloorHeat and RoofHeat STEP systems have been sold worldwide and are still working perfectly.
Can I use RoofHeat STEP under a metal roof?
Yes, you can use RoofHeat STEP under a metal roof for snow melting. However, for best results, it is usually recommended that self-regulating heat cable systems be used under metal roofs.
What is heat cable?
Heat cable is a durable heating cable that is chemical and gasoline resistant. Heat cable is used primarily for snow melting and floor heating systems, and Warmzone offers industry leading, self-regulating heat cable to provide the best roof de-icing possible.
Can heat cable be put in a concrete new pour?
Yes, the heat cable is secured to the remesh and then the cement is poured as usual.
Do I need to insulate underneath the new pour?
It is recommended that 1-inch rigid insulation be placed under any area to be snow melted prior to the pour.
What if I already poured my driveway, can I still install your snow melting system?
Yes, we can saw cut grooves in your driveway or walkway and install the heat cable in the grooves. No insulation is needed for this application.
Can heat cable be put in asphalt?
ClearZone heat cable is an industry leading heat cable designed to withstand the extreme heat associated with asphalt installations. The system can be installed in fresh asphalt installation as well is in a retrofit applications. No insulation is needed for this application.
Can I use heat cable systems inside to warm my floors and heat my room?
Yes, as long as it is placed in a mud bed or thin set. ComfortTile is the most popular - and most trusted - heat cable system.
What happens if my driveway shifts and the heat cable breaks?
Because of its durability and innovative precautions taken during installation, breaks in ClearZone snow melting cable are rare but fixable. The break is easily located by using a device called a Tick Tracer. A small block of concrete surrounding the break is cut out, the cable is spliced together and the hole is refilled. This simple solution is not available with hydronic snow melting systems.
Can I use heat cable under a metal roof?
Yes, self-regulating roof heating cable is recommended under metal roofs.
How long has ClearZone heat cable been in use?
ClearZone heat cable is one of the most trusted cables in the industry and has been in use for over 20 years.
What is the warranty?
ClearZone heat cable has an industry leading, comprehensive 10-year manufacturer's warranty.
How are the snow melting and roof deicing systems activated?
Several options are available. The most common is an aerial mounted snow switch that turns on the system when it senses moisture and the temperature is below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. A gutter mounted sensor, a pavement mounted sensor and a 12-hour timer are also used in conjunction with activating the system. You won't have to worry about turning on the system in the middle of the night. You can now wake up to beautiful snow on your lawn and not have to waste time and energy shoveling it off your driveway.
Does the snow melting system extend the lifetime of my driveway?
Yes, because you won't have to use abrasive shovels, salt and sand on your driveway. Snow and ice also cause much more damage than a thin layer of water.
What kind of floor can I put over heat cable?
Any flooring that uses a mud bed or thin set can be put over the heat cable. Remember, no buildup is necessary because of the thinness of the cable.
How is it secured to the floor?
A variety of methods can be used to anchor the cable to the floor. HeatShield insulation panels are also commonly used and dramatically increase the efficiency of heated floor systems.
Does heat cable require any floor buildup?
FilmHeat and FloorHeat systems are virtually paper thin and require no floor buildup. ComfortTile heat cable is only 3/16-inch thick and is placed directly in the thin set or mud bed, which are both much thicker than the diameter of the cable.