April 26, 2012

Radiant Floor Warming Design

Filed under: Radiant Floor Heating — tiburon @ 2:48 pm

Radiant floor warming is a wonderful addition to any living or working space. The warm floor makes the space the most comfortable in the entire building.  Designed to provide years of trouble free service, high quality floor warming systems are designed to last substantially longer than the flooring covering itself.  Given their long life expectancy and the repair/replacement expense incurred if the heating element or tubing gets damaged or, improperly installed, a significant amount of time should be devoted to the design, product selection and installation of radiant floor warming system.

 

Design

Designing a radiant floor warming system is relatively easy, provided; a few simple rules are followed.  Listed below please find a list of simple rules for designing a radiant floor warming system:

1)      The design should deliver 7.5 to 12 watts (25 to 41 Btu) per square foot to effectively warm floors.  The National Electric Code limits the maximum heat that should be installed in the floor to 15 watts per square foot.

2)      Only the floor areas where the occupants will stand or walk require warming in order for a radiant floor warming system to effective.  Radiant space heating however may require different coverage to satisfy the requirements of a Heat Load or Loss Calculation.

3)      Proper spacing of the heating element or tubing is very important because the human foot is very temperature sensitive and even a few degrees temperature differential will be noticed.

4)      The spacing of the heating element or tubing will vary depending upon the R-value of the insulation below the sub-straight, the sub-straight material, what ever will cover the heating element or tubing, and the floor covering.

5)      Keep the heating element or tubing away from the base of the toilet and/or bidet because the wax ring that makes the drain water tight may be compromised by the heat.

6)      Determine if it is desirable to heat the shower floor or the shaving bench.

7)      Avoid one size fits all products that require the project to adjust to the radiant floor warming product rather than the other way around.

 

Once the design is complete the best products for that design can be determined and a final selection made.

 

Product Selection

 

Often times, product selection occurs simultaneously with the design process.  The nature of the design process helps focus on the advantages and disadvantages of different technologies and thus helps determine which are best suited for the project.  At the very minimum the design process should help eliminate most of the competing radiant floor heating technologies from further consideration leaving less than a hand full for further evaluation.

 

Remember number 7) under design and do not allow the product to control the project.  Since many competing products are available and they differ in technology, quality and warranty coverage, most buyers are well served by contacting a radiant floor warming professional to assist in determining which is best suited for their needs and their project.

 

Installation

More difficult than design and product selection (but equally deserving of attention to detail), is the proper installation of the radiant floor warming system.  As a matter of fact incorrect installation and/or product damage during installation are the two leading causes of problems in the radiant floor warming industry.

No doubt the best way to insure proper installation is to choose a product made by a manufacturer that has a comprehensive installation manual, offers unlimited technical support and has been in business for more than a couple of years.

 

 

Steven Bench is Managing Member of Heatizon Systems a leading manufacturer of radiant snow melting, floor warming, roof snow and ice melting, pipe warming, and radiant space heating products located in Murray, Utah.      

April 17, 2012

The Benefits of Radiant Heat

Filed under: General,Radiant Floor Heating,Snow Melting Systems — tiburon @ 10:21 am

The Product

Z Mesh, Heatizon Systems bronze mesh heating element, is so advanced that it can be installed under non-conductive roof coverings, ceramic tile, stone, laminant flooring, carpeting, and hardwood flooring. Typical installations for Z Mesh include total space heating, roof snow melt, and floor warming. Z Mesh is made to go on something…like concrete and wood sub-floors and sub-roofs.

 

Heatizon Tuff Cable heating element is a very durable coated copper cable that is chemical and gasoline resistant. It is designed to be installed in asphalt, concrete, tile mortar bed, thin set, or a Heatizon Heatsink Kit. Typical installations for Tuff Cable include total space heating, floor warming, snow melting, and roof snow melt. Tuff Cable is made to go in something…like asphalt, concrete, a sand bed under pavers or a heatsink kit.

 

Benefits or Advantages:

Radiant Heat is more comfortable and efficient than forced air or convection heating. In space-heating, occupants feel more comfortable even when the space air temperature is maintained lower than typical forced air heating. Radiant heat results in less heat-loss from a room. Forced air registers and baseboard heat strips are always located on outside walls between windows. These systems heat air that comes in contact with the external windows and walls to temperatures much higher than the desired room temperature. This results in more heat-loss from the space. Heatizon System’s products provide a uniform heat flux from the floor into the space, resulting in less heat-loss from the room.

Mass Warming results in less temperature variations in the space being heated. The flooring material is heated by the element which then radiates the heat into the space. The floor surface can be maintained at a very uniform temperature which prevents the hot and cold temperature swings that occur as other systems cycle on and off. Warming the mass of the floor results in what is called thermal capacitance. This allows the space to remain warm even when extreme temperatures occur. Essentially, heat energy is stored in the mass of the floor and other objects in the space. This applies to any type of floor–wood, concrete, tile, etc.

Efficiency of the Heatizon Systems products is excellent. When compared with a heat pump, forced-air furnace or baseboard heating system, Heatizon Systems low-voltage products are more efficient watt for watt. An article in the July, 1996 ASHRAE Journal, “Radiant Heating for Thermal Comfort” reported on experimental results comparing a heat pump, baseboard heat and radiant heat. The radiant heating system consumed 33% less energy than the heat pump system and 52% less energy than the baseboard system.

Reliability of Heatizon Systems products are superior. The entire system is solid-state, has no moving parts to wear out, and has nothing that requires routine maintenance. There are no water lines to break or crack. Our products have been satisfying the needs of hundreds of customers since 1979. Both z-mesh and Tuff Cable are easy to repair in the event they get cut or damaged. The controls allow for power failures or spikes, yet brings the system back on-line as quickly as possible.

Comfort of radiant heat is superior because the radiant heat flux is uniform throughout the heated space. There are no “point-source” hot spots like there are in baseboard and forced air systems. Thermal comfort is sustained as the system cycles on and off, because the heated mass temperature remains almost constant.

Convenience of installation is superior to any other system. There is no ducting to deal with, no lost floor or wall space. Other than a thermostat, Heatizon Systems products are out of sight. Retrofitting is easy. Adding the system to an existing space is much easier than installing a hydronic or high voltage system.

Safety is a major advantage of the Heatizon System. Heatizon Systems products are ETL listed to UL standards 1673, 1693, and 1561.

Quiet and clean. The Heatizon System produces no more noise than a light fixture. There is no fan starting and stopping, no filter to change or clean, no valves to wear out, and no pipes to rattle.

Life-Cycle Costs are less, especially when heating exterior concrete surfaces. The cost to replace a driveway, sidewalk or patio is many times the cost of the Heatizon Systems products.

 

Typical Installations:

Finishing a Basement is an excellent application for Heatizon Systems. Z Mesh heating element can be placed directly on the concrete with padding and carpet installed over the top.

 

Tile is cold to step on in bare feet both summer and winter. The Heatizon Systems Z Mesh or Tuff Cable heating elements can be installed under tile in bathrooms, kitchens, entries, etc. making them nice and warm to the touch.

 

Hardwood Floors tend to be cold. Z Mesh can be installed between the subfloor and the hardwood floor and maintains the surface at a constant temperature that is comfortable to the touch.

 

Nurseries or anywhere that babies crawl is ideal to keep warm. Small children are always close to the floor. Heatizon Systems floor warming products keep them from getting chilled.

 

 

Driveways, Sidewalks and Porches can be kept clear of snow and ice. Heatizon systems nearly 100% efficiency keeps operating costs reasonable and helps your concrete last longer, because it is not subjected to salt or snow-melting chemicals.

 

Handicap Ramps are of no value if they are not clear of snow and ice.

 

Parking Ramps and Loading Docks are often sloped and difficult to clear of snow and ice.

 

 

Remote Locations and Moderate Climates where electricity is the only utility available are ideal applications for installing the Heatizon System.


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