Radiant floor heating systems work well with alternative energy sources

Radiant floor heating systems work well with alternative energy sources

Many electric radiant floor heating systems are compatible with alternative energy sources, including solar, wind, and hydro power.

The direct current generated by solar panels is passed to an inverter for producing alternating current so that the electricity can be used by appliances in the home. For example, systems from FloorHeat System Inc. can use any surplus power generated by the solar panels can be stored in a battery system or exported back to the grid for credit.

People who want to live off-grid or be as energy independent as possible, install hybrid systems such as solar/wind to maximize their capacity for maintaining consistent energy supply.

On days when the sun isn’t shining, a wind system can help maintain power generation. Hybrids can also address preferences that people have for one type of heating over another. For example, even though geothermal systems can provide all the heating requirements of a home, there are several reasons to complement a geothermal system for cooling with InfraFloor heated floor systems for heating.

First, some customers want to avoid spreading allergens throughout the home caused by blowing warm air through the ductwork. Second, geothermal heat pumps produce convection heat. With convection warming, a significant amount of heat is lost in the ductwork; as much as 35% according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Convection heat (warm air), rises to the ceiling where even more heat loss occurs.

In contrast, heated floor systems, like the sun, feel warm even when the air is cool because electric radiant floor heat is attracted to people and objects. Heated floor systems only indirectly warm the air. As a result, homeowners can turn down their thermostats 5 or 6 degrees and still feel as comfortable with heated floor systems as with convection heat. Utilities report a savings potential of 3 percent to 5 percent for every 1 degree the thermostat is dialed down.

The American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers quantified the radiant heat savings this way: "The average 65°F radiant comfort temperature with 59 F day/night setback should reduce building heat load by 25 percent to 35 percent over convective systems."

Heated floor systems can be installed room by room with individual thermostats so there is no need to heat all rooms to the same temperature or to heat rooms that are not being used.

With reduced building heat load of 25 percent to 35 percent, the elimination of heat lost in the duct work and the potential for room by room installation, significant energy savings is achievable with electric radiant floor heat systems.

Read more about energy-efficient heating and cooling.

Topics: Flooring, Fuel Cell for Homes, Heating & Cooling, Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Radiant Heat, Wind Power

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