Radiant Floors – Electrical
A system that consists of electric cables built into the floor. Systems that feature mats of electrically conductive plastic are also available and are mounted onto the subfloor below a floor covering, such as tile. Because of the relatively high cost of electricity, electric radiant floors are usually only cost-effective if they include a significant thermal mass, such as a thick concrete floor, and if the electric utility company offers time-of-use rates. Time-of-use rates allow homeowners to “charge” the concrete floor with heat during off-peak hours (approximately 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.). If the floor’s thermal mass is large enough, the heat stored in it will keep the house comfortable for eight to ten hours, without any further electrical input (particularly when daytime temperatures are significantly warmer than nighttime temperatures). This saves a considerable number of energy dollars compared to heating at peak electric rates during the day.