9 Lies You’ve Believed about Underfloor Heating

July 27, 2020

If you are looking for the truth about underfloor heating, look no further! We’ve compiled the top 9 most common underfloor heating lies we’ve heard in our 25 years of business, for you to review

1. Underfloor heating is expensive

If you are reading this, you’ve made it farther than most. Many people do not have underfloor heating because it never even crosses their mind as something they can afford. Maybe they’ve experienced it in a hotel, or in a friend’s home, but in their own home? Within their budget? No way! Think again.

Underfloor heating has come a long way and new systems on the market are efficient and easy to install. The cost of purchasing a system and getting it installed varies on the size and scope of your project. Water systems are more expensive to purchase and install but provide lower long-term running costs whereas electric systems are competitively priced but rely on electricity which typically has a higher running cost.

Material cost for the Warmup DCM-PRO electric system with a smart WiFi thermostat in a 80 sqft bathroom would cost about $765. Installation costs will be added on by your flooring installer and are typically $5/sqft. The size and scope of your project may impact installation costs and so will the choice between water and electric.

Trends come and go quickly. The comfort from a radiant heated floor is guaranteed for life and sure to stay in style. This is $1,000 you’re not likely to regret spending on your bathroom remodel!

Warmup Radiant Floor Heating

2. Electric underfloor heating costs a lot to run

While electricity is viewed as expensive, systems can be zoned and programmed to be cost-effective. While an electric system may not be the right choice for everyone: (1) electricity is 100% effective, (2) radiant floors only draw electricity for a limited duration (then radiate the heat out) and (3) electric systems can be powered with renewable energy sources, like solar panels.

To give you an idea of cost, an average bathroom system utilizes about 300 watts, so for some people, that’s just about the same as the lights over a mirror with fice 60-watt bulbs. In dollars and cents, it costs about $5/mo to operate that system in a bathroom for a few hours in the morning and evening. On a larger scale, a whole-house system in a 3,000 sqft space would run about $150-200/mo in the winter months.

3. Underfloor heating can not be used as a primary heat source

While it is true some underfloor heating systems can only provide supplemental heat, it is not true of all underfloor heating systems. With a heat loss calculation, it is possible to design an underfloor heating system that provides enough heat to be the sole heating source. With flexible options like the Warmup Radiant Floor Heating, it is easy to vary heat output from 11-20 watts per square foot based on heating needs by varying the cable spacing. Warmup also provides insulation layers that can further reduce power requirements yet deliver enough heat into the room.

Warmup Radiant Floor Heating

4. You can only heat under tile

While it is true tile and concrete are the most popular types of floors to heat, floor heat can be installed under any type of flooring.

Tile and concrete are popular for needing heat to remove the chill but a fun fact is that carpet and tile are actually the same temperatures. Neither one is colder than the other and the same is true for any type of flooring! Tile is simply a better conductor, robbing us faster from our body heat (through our bare feet) which gives us the impression that it is cold. In a house heated at 70F, any flooring will be 70F. So, while the complaint is not that carpet is cold, the room is cold, and a floor heating system can solve that under any flooring type.

Smart thermostats on the market like the 4iE have capabilities to heat within limits. Pre-set limits exist for tile, carpet, vinyl, and laminate. If you have a maximum floor heating temperature specified by your flooring manufacturer, this setting can be customized inside a Warmup controller.

5. Underfloor heating is only for new homes

There are two main hypes of underfloor heating: hydronic and electric. It is true that hydronic underfloor heating is better suited for new builds but electric underfloor heating is great for new builds or renovation projects where the flooring is being replaced. Thinking, “No way! It will raise the floor height!”? Please, keep reading.

6. Heating your floors raises the floor height

As floor heaters are installed directly beneath your floor finish, there may be some impact to floor heights but in many cases, this floor build-up will be 3/8” or less, as the heater can be installed directly within a layer of tile adhesive or fitted directly into the subfloor itself. If you’re adding floor heating as part of a renovation project, consider installing one of Warmup’s low-profile electric systems like the StickyMat

Warmup Radiant Floor Heating

7. Underfloor heating is likely to fail and cause major damage

While not all systems are created equally, there are options on the market that offer maintenance-free convenience and lifetime warranties. The key to securing that lifetime warranty (and never having to use it) is simply following the instructions! The rare cable failures we see are often installation errors or jobsite product damage. The top 3 installation errors we see are easy to avoid. They are:

alligator multi-meter floor heating test

  • Failure to test the cable before, during, and after installation (see our testing video)
  • Improper placement of the factory joint – either in the wall or not embedded under the floor in thinset/leveler (see our time-lapse installation video with tips)
  • System wired to the wrong voltage (see our wiring video)

8. In the event of underfloor heating cable failure, I have to rip up my entire floor

heated shower bench DCM-PRO

In the rare event that cable failure does occur, Warmup has free tool rental options available for locating a break before removing any flooring. By going about cable failure in this manner, it is possible for a break to be located and repaired with minimal flooring removed. With knowledge of the system under the floor provided and the right tools on-site, Warmup is happy to assist in pinpointing a system failure. Once located, you will want a qualified electrician to perform the repair. We do have videos to offer him/her support but if you’ve followed advise from #7, you can avoid this altogether!

9. I can not install underfloor heating on my own

Since many people believe “underfloor heating is likely to fail and cause major damage” they would never in a million years think of installing it in their home themselves. Think again! Some underfloor heating systems are DIY friendly. From tiny homes to 1,600 sf homes, we’ve seen Warmup customers tackle their own installations that have stood the test of time. Worried you’ll have questions along the way? We’re available 24/7 to support you.

Warmup Radiant Floor Heating

Click here to Buy Warmup underfloor heating

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Safety Tips for Shoveling Snow

January 26, 2011

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Most people love winter season, but one thing which everyone hates about winters is the snow menace. Shoveling snow is probably the most hated activity of the winter months that poses significant health risks. Snow shoveling is a daunting task and the overexertion caused by this activity can sometimes lead to health complications and even death. This demanding task puts pressure on the heart and can cause heart attack; especially at low temperatures, when blood vessels contract and the heart pumps faster to get blood to the extremities. Besides heart attack, there are various other problems that a person can face because of shoveling snow. Due to the repetitive lifting of heavy weight snow, one may put strain on the muscles and back. In order to avoid such complications, one needs to take preventive measures to stay safe.

Before you plan to shovel snow, you must consider your health condition. In case you have heart condition or back problem, you must certainly avoid snow shoveling. Even otherwise, do not jeopardize your health and check with your doctor if you are fit to shovel snow. Apart from health condition, also consider your physical condition. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or are out of shape, you must proceed with caution. Before you start this physically challenging activity, you must stretch and warm-up like you would do before a strenuous activity. You must also drink some water to remain hydrated.

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In case you are planning to shovel snow yourself, there are few simple things that you need to keep in mind. Foremost, avoid lifting snow-filled shovel as much as possible because it can be strenuous; instead try to push off the snow from the driveways, sidewalks or walkways. However, if it unavoidable and you do have to lift snow then you must face the direction in which you are lifting, but avoid twisting. On feeling sore or fatigued, you must stop shoveling for few minutes, take some rest and then start again. You must avoid over-exhausting yourself at all costs to avoid risk of heart attack. If it is extremely cold and you begin to feel its effects, stop shoveling and take rest, go inside for a while.

There are certain snow shoveling safety tips that you must always follow, such as you must never shovel immediately after you wake up. Lying down all night leads to build-up of fluid in the disc and a minor accident like fall increases risk of slipped disc injury. Dress in layers to keep yourself warm, and you can shed off layers as you become warm. Make sure to wear slip resistant boots and eye gear. In order to keep snow from sticking to the shovel, you can spray or rub some lubricant on it. It is advisable to keep the load lighter and take frequent breaks. Once you have cleared the snow, spread some rock salt to avoid icing.

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In case you have a snow thrower, ensure to follow all the safety guidelines to avoid injuries. Even after shutting off, the augur blades can continue to rotate and one can reach into the snow thrower and suffer injuries. In such cases, people tend to break fingers or damage tendons, while some injuries are worst and can result in maiming or amputations. Hence, whether you shovel snow manually or with the help of high-powered snow thrower, be careful and take measures to avoid accidents or injuries.

Safety First!!!

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Snow no longer a menace

June 27, 2010

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Snow, even though beautiful can be dangerous and lead to accidents with varying degree of outcomes. However, one can easily avoid the menace by making use of the snow melting system. This is extremely helpful in removing the snow and ice from the driveways, walkways, stairways and garages, among others. Hence, you can bid goodbye to a messy winter by installing the snow melting system.

The snow melting system is generally installed on the exterior surfaces and concrete driveways to keep them snow-free and safe year round. It also eliminates the hassles of plowing, icy spills as well as backbreaking shoveling and de-icing. In addition, it also secures the concrete from the potential damages caused by snow-removal equipment and corrosive de-ices. Generally, installed in concrete, asphalt or under pavers, during the construction; these can also be retrofitted into the existing slabs.

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The snow melting system offers a cost effective way of eliminating the snow menace. Further, these have minimal maintenance requirements as these have no moving parts to wear out. Moreover, the advancement in the technology provides it with ‘artificial intelligence’, where the system is designed to function only when necessary. This technology provides it with advanced temperature and snow sensing controls that automatically turn on when snow is falling. Hence, the snow melting system helps in conserving power, along with reducing the operation costs. Further, in comparison to the salt and chemicals used for melting snow, it is also an environment friendly option.

When it comes to the installation of the snow melting systems, there are certain points that you need to keep into consideration, such as; you have to determine the area where you want to install it, along with deciding the places where you have to install the junction boxes. You also need to determine the heat output required to have optimum heating, which mostly depends on the weather conditions. You must have a proper layout; take extra precaution while deciding about the installation of systems on the stairs and ramps. Further, care must be taken to ensure that the mats and cables are evenly spaced over the entire area to have uniform heating, with better results. If needed, you can take assistance of experts, to ensure that the design you have selected will work properly. Moreover, it is always advisable to work out a plan in advance, rather than regretting later in case the plan fails. Generally, the snow melting systems are installed in the driveways, parking areas, walkways, ramps and stairs.

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Using the ‘intelligent’ snow melting system eliminates the problems encountered due to snow, as well as adds value to your home. It not only helps in avoiding injuries sustained due to slipping on snow, but also eliminates the hassle of plowing and shoveling after snowfall. Snow melting systems not only prove highly beneficial & convenient but are absolutely safe as well. Therefore, before the start of this winter season, invest in the snow melting system to set your mind at ease and have a pleasant time.

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Radiant Snow melting A must for your winter preparation

May 10, 2010

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Although the winter season brings with it beautiful snowfall and visually appealing scenes, one of the major problems associated with this season is that of accumulated snow around the house. Not only is snow accumulation on driveways problematic, but snow can also make stairs and patios dangerous and prone to accidents. Every year, a number of individuals slip and hurt themselves due to accumulated snow. It is for this reason that a product was required that could effectively melt away snow from drive ways, stairs and side-walks.

Thankfully, technological advancements have resulted in a revolutionary product in the form of electric snow melting. The concept of a snow melting mats or spools is relatively simple, yet quite effective. A snow melting mat can be easily installed beneath your driveway, side walk or stairs to ensure that the area remains free from accumulated snow.

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One of the most widely preferred uses of a snow melting mat is beneath a wheelchair ramp. Anyone with a person in a wheel chair in their home would know how difficult it gets to clear out accumulated snow from the wheelchair ramp. Now you can easily install a snow melting mat beneath the wheelchair ramp and keep it safe to use all year round.

A numbers of people spray their drive ways and other snow affected areas in the house with harsh chemicals and salts to keep them snow free. Although effective in the short run, this method can significantly erode and damage the areas, and can result in a lot of repairs and maintenance expenses in the future. Further, depending on your specific snow melting requirements, the electricity consumption of these snow melting mats can cost you less as compared to hiring a professional snow remover.

Most of the snow melting mats or spools that you find in the market these days can be installed beneath different types of surfaces; be it concrete, asphalt, tile or brick. Further, you can also cut these mats according to the shape of a particular area to ensure maximum utility. This adaptability of snow melting mats ensures that you can use these mats anywhere in your home to ensure complete safety during the winter season.

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It is due to such benefits and high adaptability of these snow melting mats that these are becoming a necessity for homeowners in the winter season. Not only can you ensure a snow free drive way, side walk and stairs, but can also save on the efforts of manually shoveling snow. Further, keeping the surrounding areas of your house snow free would also result in a significantly reduced number of accidents. This would ensure that you keep the liability claims against you to a minimum. Further, in case the area that you want to make snow free is of irregular shape you can use snow melting wires instead of a mat. These wires will offer the same benefits as that of a snow melting mat, with the added advantage of applicability in areas of any shape or size.

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