Warmup Radiant Heating Blog

Continuity Testers – Why They Are Not Enough - April 22, 2014 by Dave Mckiever

One of the great things about under floor electric radiant floor heating is that there are no moving parts involved, hence no maintenance costs once installed.  Therefore, the most crucial part of your installation is to make sure that there is no damage done to your wires before you cover them in thinset or self-leveler.  To help you in this respect, Warmup offers to provide free continuity testers for our customers.  By connecting this device to your floor heating system during installation, it will sound an alarm if a complete break occurs, thus allowing you to pause and repair.

Multimeter pic

Unfortunately, if only a nick occurs during installation, the alarm will not sound.  This is why it is an absolute must that you check the resistance readings of your floor heating system before, during and after installation with a digital multimeter (pictured above) as stressed in all of Warmup’s manuals.  A nick can turn into a break through use and if not detected early, you will be looking at more work to repair it once your floor has been installed.  Think about it, when you go for a checkup with your doctor, don’t you want to be advised, not only of an existing serious health condition, but also of any condition that will worsen over time if not addressed immediately?  The same principle applies.  Once the damaged portion of wire has been identified, you can use one of Warmup’s repair kits.  Just using electric tape will not cut it.  Feel free to contact us with any questions.

In Floor Heating Insulation Boards – Why Use Them? - April 11, 2014 by Dave Mckiever

Why In Floor Heating Insulation Boards from Warmup are a great investment.

Warmup Insulation Board - 500x500

Consumers are actively encouraged to insulate their homes as this leads to energy savings. While not always ‘required’, insulating is almost always ‘better’. That is why Warmup, the only Primary Heating Radiant Electric supplier is actively promoting and delivering insulation boards on many of its jobs. Installing the heaters on top of an insulation board can bring significant savings as it improves the heat up time of the heating system and results in lower energy bills and energy usage.

Facts:

  • Boards replace cement boards: no dual expense needed. However, they are not aimed at resolving non-structural floors or compensate for excessive deflection.
  • Boards are ¼” thick
  • They act as a 92% thermal break: that means that only 8% of the heat can be “lost” downwards.
    • Up to 25% of the heat is lost over ¾” plywood
    • Up to 67% of the heat is lost over concrete slabs

Energy efficiency: less heat up time

The reduced heat up time is the main source for energy savings when using under floor heating insulation boards.

The insulation boards reflect the heat upwards into the flooring material and stop the heat from absorbing and escaping to the sub floor. The boards provide a high thermal barrier to cold rising from the subfloor, helping the floor to keep warm even when the desired room temperature has been achieved.

The boards, made from waterproof extruded polystyrene, have a high thermal insulation property. Also, the heat up period for a floor to reach the desired temperature can be cut from as much as 2.5 hours down to just 20 minutes. This means that the energy required by the heating system is required for shorter periods, in our tests, about 78% less time “on.”

Insulation board - heat up time chart

Cost reduction: less heat required

Another important source of savings, both on materials and in consumption costs, is the reduced amount of wattage required to achieve desirable temperatures. When you need to compensate for a drafty crawl space or a cold basement slab, you need to oversize the heater (more cable, more watts). When the heat loss is reduced (insulation boards), less material and cable is required. In the example of the NADWS cable system from Warmup, you can widen the spacing from 2-1/2” or 3” up to 4” spacing. This can lead to 30% to 40% savings on materials alone. This is especially valuable for modern installations powered by solar systems, or in remodels where the supply power is limited.

Design Advantage

Warmup Insulation Boards are only ¼ “thick.  This reduces the impact on your floor levels. They are 100% watertight, ideal for “wet” areas, and cut with a simple utility knife.

Staining & Painting Concrete – Pros & Cons - April 2, 2014 by Dave Mckiever

Concrete-flooring

Whichever you decide to do, one thing is for sure, either option is better than looking at the ole’ plain grey concrete floor .  Since there is so much information out there on the pros and cons of painting or staining concrete, how to do it, who should do it and so forth, we thought we’d help with a few links and ideas.  To help simplify things, let’s start with some advantages that everyone in the business of making concrete floors look pretty agree upon:

  • Green – Not the color, but with regards to being good for the environment.  No trees are cut down, no unused materials that contribute to the mountains of trash that already exist, and of course concrete is recyclable.  Follow these links for more information:

http://www.epa.gov/wastes/conserve/imr/pdfs/recy-bldg.pdf

http://www.concreterecycling.org/why.html

  • Health Benefits – Concrete flooring is a good option for those with allergies in that they do not provide a welcome environment for dust mites.  See this link on the HGTV website – http://www.hgtvremodels.com/home-systems/use-concrete-slab-as-finished-flooring/index.html
  • Can Last Forever – This type of flooring is durable and can handle punishment, although if you juggle sledge hammers for a living, and are not that good, you will have some cracks here and there.  Nonetheless, at least you wouldn’t have to replace the whole floor.
  • Heat Is Possible – Concrete floors don’t have to be cold if you insulate and install radiant heat underneath.  Follow this link for details: http://www.warmup.com/us/in-slab-heating.phtml.  If you have any questions regarding heating under concrete flooring, feel free to call us at 1-888-927-6333.

Now for the cons that some have expressed about the concrete floor option:

  • Echo Chamber Effect – Observations have been made that concrete floors help to transmit sound..sound…sound.  You might not want this effect.  However:  You can mitigate this effect through the use of throw rugs, wall coverings and drapes, or your own furniture.
  • Can Last Forever – I know, this was also mentioned as pro.  The con part is that if you stain your concrete floor you are stuck with your design.  If you decide to paint a concrete floor it has been pointed out that it is easier to re-paint and re-seal your concrete floor, but that doesn’t make it easy.  Of course there is an escape clause in the form of installing wood, carpet or vinyl after the fact.  Follow this link to see how this can be accomplished: http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Flooring/Wood-Flooring/installing-wood-flooring-over-concrete/View-All
  • Cost – Most say that this is not a con at all since concrete is inexpensive when compared to other flooring options.  However, when you get into custom designs your cost goes up and may not be so cheap after all. Then there is the labor cost.  While many DIYers say that while painting concrete is not that hard to do, you might still decide to hire a professional which adds to the bottom line.  Pretty much everyone who advocates staining concrete says to definitely go to a professional for installation.  Even DIY enthusiasts seem to agree on that point.   Shop around and get some quotes for professional installations.  Follow this link for a guide to what you can expect to pay for a professional installation: http://concrete.networx.com/info/concrete-floor-stain-costs/
  • Cold – In the summer a concrete floor will keep your floor a little cooler if out the direct rays of the sun.  This is a good thing. But what about during the winter?  There’s the rub.  Cold weather means cold concrete if you do not plan to insulate and install radiant heating underneath.

So even though there is more information out there on this subject, this should at least get you on the road to making a decision regarding whether to go with a nicely painted or stained concrete floor.  It is definitely worth considering, especially with radiant heat!

Tiling Under or Around the Toilet? - March 28, 2014

  From experienced tile professionals to part-time DIYs, there are differing opinions on whether to tile under or around the toilet.  While either method will work, the vast majority seems to favor tiling under the toilet (check out the forum links below).  Here are some top reasons why:   Less cutting involved – less frustration trying to […]

Warmup at JLC Live New England - March 19, 2014

  Warmup In Floor Heating Systems to Attend JLC Live New England World’s best-selling electric floor heating brand will showcase hottest spring products at March 21 and 22 show  Danbury, Conn. – Spring is the time that many homeowners transform their kitchens and baths with new flooring, countertops, appliances and other upgrades. These renovations provide […]

Shedding Some Light On Sunrooms - November 22, 2013

So you like sitting in the sun, but don’t like sharing time with the bugs.  You like the rhythmic sound of rain hitting the roof, but don’t like getting wet (who does?).  Watching the snow fall can be a peaceful and enjoyable experience, but not so much when you try reading your favorite book outside.  […]

Warmup Celebrates a Grand Opening! - November 5, 2013

We were excited to recently dedicate a brand new, environmentally friendly facility to better enable us to continue providing cutting edge electric radiant heating solutions worldwide.  Warmup’s new building features hydronic heating and electric heating powered by PV and hydronic solar panels.  With all employees and Warmup’s top clients from around the world gathered, Sir […]

Read This Before You Start Shoveling Snow This Winter - October 29, 2013

More than just being a pain in the back (no pun intended), shoveling snow this winter could be downright hazardous to your health.  One study that analyzed data from US emergency departments over a 17-year period found the following: 195,000 emergency room cases 67% were males 1647 deaths With this information in mind, we found […]

Slip & Fall Accidents – The Terrible Truth - October 18, 2013

The sad truth is that most of us have either suffered the results of a slip and fall accident or know someone who has.  The Icy stairs, walkways and driveways that come with winter don’t help matters either, do they?  Here are some sobering statistics to consider. Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency […]

When Is a “Shed” No Longer Just a “Shed?” - October 9, 2013

To answer this riddle you need look no further than what Patricia has created in her back yard.  She turned her shed into a beautiful “Yoga Retreat” by adding a Warmup electric floor heating system under the floor.  Even though it may be getting chilly outside, she merely sets her programmable thermostat to turn on […]

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