Nuheat - Electric Radiant Heat for Your Home
Radiant Heat Reviewer welcomes Wally Lo, a Product Manager with Nuheat. Wally was kind enough to answer a lot of questions about electric radiant heat, and what situations it is right for.
David Tiefenthaler - There are many different types of radiant heat - electric, hydronic, radiant panels, and even air heated radiant floors. What type does your company specialize in?
Wally Lo - Nuheat specializes in electric radiant floor heating. A mat, similar to an electric blanket, is adhered onto the subfloor using thinset and tile is installed on top. We have a wide variety of Standard Mats which are squares and rectangles of various dimensions and we are the only manufacturer who has the ability to make Custom Mats. If you have an odd-shaped area, send us your room dimensions.
In three days, we will ship you a Nuheat Custom Mat that is custom made to fit your room. You’ll be hard pressed to find any product in any industry where you can have something custom made for you in three days. If you have a triangular floor as an example, you send us the dimensions, and in three days, we’ll ship you your Custom Mat. Once you pull the mat out of the box, you’ll notice that it fits the precise dimensions of the room you want to heat.
DT - What advantages does an electrical radiant heating system have over other forms of radiant heat?
WL - Hydronic floor heating systems involve embedding water tubes in the concrete slab before the concrete is poured (ie. when the house is being built). Hydronic systems work by circulating hot water through the tubing and the hot water heats the concrete which then heats the floor. Inherently, there are benefits of electric floor heating systems:
1. Faster heat up time – the electric heat mat is closer to the tile surface than water tubes embedded in the concrete. This results in a faster response time between when the system turns on, and when you can feel the heat.
2. Costs less – installing a hydronic system will require a boiler and sophisticated placement of the water tubes. All Nuheat requires is a dedicated electrical circuit and traditional electrical wiring.
3. Zoning – Nuheat is easier to zone heat which means it’s easier to heat areas independently of one another. Although you can zone hydronic systems, it is much easier to do so with Nuheat.
4. Renovation friendly – it would be very difficult to install a hydronic system in a retrofit/renovation application. Nuheat Mats are perfect for renovations. You simply install the Nuheat Mat just before you re-tile.
DT - People that have radiant heat seem a little overzealous about it? Why do people love radiant heat so much?
WL - Tile is cold no matter where you are. People love radiant floor heating because of what we call the “ahhhh…” factor. When you step onto a warm tiled floor, when your feet feels the warmth from the tile, you feel your entire body warm up. Once you have heated floors, you can’t go without it.
DT - In Europe, radiant heat is actually a preferred method compared to forced air. Why is America a little slow to catch on to this trend when the people that have actually experienced radiant heat products love it so much?
WL - Well, we’re not sure why actually but we know the consumer awareness level in increasing in North America. Popular home improvement TV shows are featuring electric floor heating whereas a few years ago, you would rarely hear about it. More and more homeowners at tradeshows come up to us and say, “Hey we saw this type of product on TV. Can you tell us more about it?” It’s definitely an awareness thing and it’s improving year after year.
DT - What type of flooring works best with electric radiant heat, or do you have different systems for different floor types?
WL - Natural stone, tile, and marble floors are naturally the coldest so you’ll notice the biggest difference with that type of flooring surface. However, Nuheat can also work with laminate and engineered wood floors.
DT - How do you control the temperature of the floor and air with an electric radiant heat system? Can you have multiple thermostats for different rooms?
WL - Nuheat has a selection of programmable and non-programmable fashionable thermostat options. Our Solo and Harmony thermostat are designed by Nuheat so you won’t find these stylish thermostats anywhere else.
You can absolutely have multiple thermostats for different rooms. In fact, that is the most energy-efficient way to control your Nuheat Floor Heating System. Having a different thermostat in each room will allow you set a different heating schedule for each area. For example, I have my bathroom, kitchen, and living room all on separate thermostats and schedules. This ensures you are only heating areas where you’re spending your time and not consuming energy unnecessarily.
DT - I have a little bit of talent for do it yourself projects. Could I try to install this on my own, or do you recommend professionals install your products?
WL - Nuheat is perfect for DIYers. It truly is the easiest electric floor heating system to install. In fact, the National Tile Contractor Association (NTCA) awarded Nuheat as the most preferred electric radiant heating system in the industry voted on by 7500 NTCA contractors and subscribers.
DT - Is it easy to find someone to install an electric radiant floor system?
WL - Absolutely. We have an installer search tool on our website. People can input their zip code and the website will produce a list of registered installers in your area.
DT - When is the ideal time to install electric radiant heat?
WL - The best time to install Nuheat is when you are replacing your tile or your engineered/laminate wood floors. You simply install the Nuheat before you install the new flooring.
DT - Can you explain why a lot of people that use a warm floor heating system say they actually keep the air temperature lower than they used to with forced air?
WL - Well, when your feet feel warm, your body feels warm. You can literally feel the heat travel through the rest of your body the second your feet touches the warm floor. Many homeowners turn down their forced air systems by a few degrees because they don’t notice the difference if their feet are on a warm floor.
DT - Let’s say I am in a tile floor bathroom where the floor is cold. How long does it take for the floor or the air temperature to heat up?
WL - It usually takes about 30 minutes for the floor to heat up. Our programmable thermostats have a built-in “early start” feature. It calculates how long it took the floor to heat up the day before. The thermostat will then turn the floor heat on in advance of your scheduled time so that it is at the preferred set temperature at the specified time. For example, when I step into my bathroom at 7:15am on weekdays, my floor is already warm.
DT - Can you briefly explain the process of installing a radiant system under a tile floor?
WL - Nuheat is like a thin electric blanket. You simply adhere the Nuheat Mat to the subfloor using the same thinset you use to install your tile. After it’s adhered to the subfloor, you tile directly on top of the Nuheat Mat.
DT - How does this system “heat up?” Is it like the coils in a toaster or an electric oven?
WL - It’s just like an electric blanket. A thin resistance wire produces the heat and this wire is embedded between the two fabric layers of our Nuheat Mat. It is the wire that produces the heat for the floor.
DT - Nuheat also has a line of freeze protection products. What problems can these electrical radiant heat system solve?
WL - There are several applications for the Nuheat Freeze Protection products. One application is a heating cable that can be wrapped around pipes to prevent them from freezing and/or bursting during cold winter months. Another application is the same heating cable being installed inside gutters and downspouts to ensure ice doesn’t form inside the gutters and downspouts and block the water from draining. A third application is embedding heating cable into concrete or asphalt driveways and walkways to melt snow and eliminate icy/slippery conditions for vehicles and/or pedestrian traffic.
DT - How long does a typical system last? Are these systems energy-efficient?
WL - Once the Nuheat Mat is installed, it’s protected by a hard surface above (the flooring surface) and below (the subfloor) so there’s really no way to damage the system once it’s installed. There are no moving parts that can break in the Nuheat Mat system so it really can outlast the life of your floors if not your home. Also, Nuheat Mats come with a 25-year warranty so homeowners can have the peace of mind knowing that their investment is protected.
WL - As for energy efficiency, Nuheat produces 12 watts per sq ft. If you take a 10 sq ft area, the Nuheat Mat will use approximately the same amount of electricity as a 100-watt light bulb. It literally is pennies per day to run. Our website at www.nuheat.com has an energy cost calculator where homeowners can enter in their electricity rates and floor area and it’ll calculate approximately how much it will cost to operate Nuheat in their home.
DT - What separates a Nuheat Floor Heatying System from other electrical radiant heat products?
WL - To contractors, it truly comes down to the ease of installation of the product. We hear from contractors all the time who love Nuheat because of how easy it is to install. The contractors can guarantee the product will provide even and consistent heat for their customers with no cold spots. For homeowners, we also have a wonderful Customer Care Team available to answer any of your questions not to mention a fantastic website which has interactive programming tutorials for our thermostats and various tips on how to save energy.
DT - Thanks Wally Lo for answering all these questions. One more before you go. Where can someone find products to purchase?
WL - People can come to our website and type in their zip code in our “Where to Buy” tool. They can also call us at 1-800-778-9276 or email us at email@example.com and we can put them in touch with the right people.
Here is a very brief overview of how Nuheat is installed for a tile floor.
- Information about Nuheat Mats
- Electric Radiant Floor Heat
- Warm Tile Floors
Return from Nuheat to the Radiant Heat Reviewer Homepage.