Radiant Floor Heating - Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to offering world-class radiant floor heating products, Eagle Mountain is dedicated to providing a wealth of information so that our customers have a thorough knowledge of the principals, technology and benefits of radiant floor systems.
Below is a sample of the questions we get asked. We hope you will find them informative.
Cost / Savings
Operation / Comfort
What is radiant floor heating?
Radiant floor heating is a comfortable and efficient form of heating where warm water circulates through flexible, specially designed tubing (PEX) installed within the floor. The heat radiates evenly up through the floor warming people and objects in the room and providing more comfort for less money.
What makes radiant floor heating so comfortable?
Unlike traditional heating systems that just warm the air, radiant heating warms the floor and the objects in contact with the floor. The entire floor distributes a consistent, even, and quiet heating. There are no drafts and radiant floor heating takes the chill out of cold tile, marble and wood floors.
Why is radiant heat superior to other heating methods?
Unlike other heating methods, radiant heat heats the floor surface and surrounding objects instead warming the moving air. With radiant heat, every object in the room becomes warm and gets transferred to cooler objects such as people, thus maintains an even, satisfying warmth with no air currents.
Radiant heat also enables you to feel comfortable at a lower thermostat setting, so your fuel bills will be lower. The system is also quiet, requires very little maintenance and operates more efficiently than any other heating system while offering superior comfort.
Can the floor get too hot?
No. A properly designed radiant floor heating system will deliver comfortable warmth that's a pleasure to walk on - especially in bare feet! If additional heat is needed to satisfy the heat load, additional warmth can easily be added by installing radiant walls and/or ceilings.
Will radiant heat damage my hardwood floors?
Radiantmax systems are designed for use with low water temperatures which result in floor temperatures only warmer than room temperature. The radiant temperatures from sunlight hitting the floor on a summer day far exceed to temperature of our radiant floor systems.
Since floor temperatures are kept more uniform during all the seasons of the year, the expansion and contraction of the hardwood is minimized.
We already have a concrete floor in the basement. Is it too late to install the Radiantmax Floor System?
Not at all. A gypsum system is perfect for remodeling or retrofit projects. Gypsum is a light weight concrete product this is installed over the existing slab. It's great for putting radiant comfort in a basement or anywhere in your home.
Is it possible to just heat the ceramic floor in our master bath?
Absolutely. Radiantmax floor systems let you heat only those rooms you want to heat. The bathroom is a big priority for people who don't like to step onto cold tile.
We're not ready to make this investment right now. Can we rough the system in for the future?
You bet! Our Radiant Ready option is perfect for you! The PEX tubing can be installed in the slab during construction and you can complete the system later. This adds relatively little to the cost of a poured floor, but can add a great deal to the value of your home later.
If I have radiant floor heating, can I still have air conditioning?
Sure you can. In fact, separate heating and cooling systems really make the most sense. Radiant floor heating keeps the heat near the floor where it does the most good; and air conditioning ductwork is placed only where it is needed to cool your home. The result is optimal comfort and efficiency all year 'round.
Can carpet be installed over a radiant floor?
Yes. Carpet will however slow the transfer rate of heat into the living space due to its insulative qualities. Typically, increasing the number of aluminum heat transfer plates in the system will offset the increased lag time created by carpet.
How is a Radiantmax system installed?
The Radiantmax system is designed to be installed by a person with good mechanical abilities. There are also some electrical connections to be made which should be done by an electrician. We provide all the necessary instructions and drawings to install the system.
What skill level is required to install radiant floor heat?
Radiantmax systems are designed to be installed by a reasonably skilled handyperson. Only basic tools are required and minimal plumbing and construction experience is needed.
Laying down the radiant tubing is best done with two people – on to uncoil the tubing and another to secure it in place. The mechanical aspects (plumbing the system, running the thermostats wires, etc.) can often be handled by one person. Radiantmax sells a complete installation package, with pre-assembled and tested manifolds, mounting hardware, plumbing and electrical schematics - everything you'll need to make the job as easy as possible.
How much design assistance can I get?
Radiantmax technicians are eager to assist you with every step from planning to installation advice. We've designed our systems with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. Our systems are simple and highly effective. What differentiates Radiantmax from our competitors is that we have years of expertise providing our customers with complete system integration. If you get in a jam, just give us a call for help.
How far apart should the heat diffusion plates be spaced?
Diffusion plates are generally spaced 8-12" apart. For areas requiring more heat, such as bathrooms or carpeted rooms, the plates should be spaced closer together or even continuously.
Do all the "loops" need to be the same length?
Ideally, yes. Unequal length loops create unequal pressure resistance in which the shorter length will tend to get the water first. Uneven heat is the result. If you need multiple loops, try to ensure that they are nearly equal in length.
How much tubing can go in one zone?
A zone basically means an area in which the temperature can be individually controlled by its own thermostat and pump. One thermostat monitoring the temperature in a given area and one properly sized pump, can in theory, supply thousands of feet of tubing. In most cases, however, zones are much smaller. The important thing to remember is that most zones consist of multiple parallel loops.
For the best efficiency, a loop should be no longer than 300 feet since the hot water loses too much heat after it travels through 300 ft. of tubing. An efficient radiant floor system should have only a 5 to 15 degree differential between the water going to the floor and the water returning to the heat source. Multiple loops can be combined into one zone with a manifold.
What if I need help during the installation?
Radiantmax offers toll-free technical assistance for any questions or potential complications which may occur on the job-site. We continue to provide free technical support to the original purchaser for the life of your system.
What is PEX tubing?
PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing is a specially designed plastic tubing with distinctive properties that make it ideal for radiant floor heating and plumbing systems. Several billion feet of PEX tubing are in service worldwide, along with on-going product testing and monitoring, prove its dependability.
What if the tubing leaks?
Leaks are not a concern with PEX when the system is properly installed. With a life expectancy of over 100 years, PEX tubing has withstood the most extensive tests in the industry for over 30 years.
Can your tubing be used for potable water?
Yes. All tubing sold by Radiantmax is rated for potable domestic water use and is approved by most building codes.
Cost / Savings
How much do your systems cost?
The system cost can vary depending upon home size, heat loss, system feature and customization. Radiant floor systems can cost more than a standard builders grade HVAC system up front, however the comfort provided, reduced maintenance and lower operating costs all contribute to making radiant the winning choice.
Since Radiantmax sells directly to homeowners as well as contractors, you can savesignificantly since there are no distributors involved. We provide you with all the quality components you'll need along with a design plan to install your own radiant heating system....and save thousands of dollars in the process. Radiantmax has years of experience working with homeowners, builders and architects. Since we specialize in DIY-installed radiant floor systems, we will design a radiant system to suit your needs and budget perfectly.
How do I get an estimate?
Just send us a blueprint! We take your blueprint and calculate the heat loss, determine the number of zones, and manifold locations. We select the system components based on your heat loss, fuel type, number of zones, and your budget. We price the package including freight costs, delivered right to your project!
Operation / Comfort
How do I control the different zones?
Radiantmax manufactures zone control panels specifically for your application. All necessary pumps, zone valves, fittings and electric controls are built right onto a panel that easily mounts next to the boiler. All you need to do is run two lines to the boiler, and two lines to each manifold location. The fittings tighten with a wrench! Our systems are designed to make filling and purging simple. Our electric controls utilize push-in wire connections that makes power and thermostat connections easy.