Radiant Floor Heat | Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Terra Therm
PO Box 428
13128 240th Ave.
New Richland, MN. 56072
Phone: 507.463.3213
Fax: 507.463.3215
Sales@radiantmadesimple.com

So, why radiant floor heat?

Radiant floor heat is the most comfortable heat available. Warmth radiates from the floor warming our bodies and the objects surrounding us. The radiant heat energy that we pay for rises from the floor to the ceiling instead of being blown in from the ceiling and staying up by the ceiling as with forced air heat, escaping through the ceiling or through open doors.

Why does Radiant Made Simple refer to only basement and garage radiant floor installations?

Radiant floor heat is most effective in basement or garage concrete floors that are either at ground level or below ground level. Garages and basements commonly meet these conditions and have relatively well-defined heat losses. Less common applications include home additions, workshops, storage sheds, small commercial buildings etc. Such structures may have more widely varying heat losses. For such applications contact us with a description of your radiant heat floor plans. We are happy to help you choose the appropriate product.

Can radiant floor heat be added later?

Unfortunately, there are no low-cost ways to add radiant floor heat to an existing garage or basement concrete floor. If you are building, now is the time to install radiant floor heat.

What if I want to use radiant heat on a framed floor?

Radiant Made Simple relies on high mass material such as concrete to act as a radiator to distribute heat to the occupied space. Without the high mass material, more complex strategies not appropriate for do-it-yourself installation need to be employed.

What if I want more than one temperature zone?

For simplicity, individual Radiant Made Simple units are recommended for each zone. Zoning a basement or garage concrete radiant floor will require framing thermal barriers between zones before concrete is poured. Otherwise, the efficient heat conductivity of concrete will blend temperature between zones.

What if I want to use radiant heat to do both my basement and garage?

Separate Radiant Made Simple (RMS) units are recommended.

What tube spacing is appropriate for radiant heat applications?

Spacing depends on several variables including the heat loss of a basement or garage area. In residential areas such as basements, 12-inch spacing is most common. It is helpful to space the first few tubes closer together in an area at ground level as in a basement walkout area where heat loss is greater. Likewise, spacing can be wider where heat loss is less, as where the floor is several feet under the surface of the ground, or in the center of a large space.

Do I need to insulate the basement or garage concrete floor?

Basement and garage floor insulation is critically important to keep from losing heat to the outdoors by conduction through the earth, the foundation or adjacent walls. When the radiant heated floor is not insulated adequately, it may cause dramatically increased energy loss resulting in higher energy bills. Also, the radiant heating unit may not have sufficient output for the unintended heat loss.

Why would I choose electricity instead of gas for my radiant heat floor?

Standard water heaters are rarely better than 55% efficient while the SEISCO Electric Heater used in the Radiant Made Simple package is 99% efficient. Why pay for a lot of energy that goes to waste up the chimney or flue? Incidentally, with electric heat you don't even need a chimney, a vent or a flue.

Is electric heat affordable compared to gas when used in a radiant floor system?

You decide, depending on your electric rate. Generally, electric rate increases have not approached the continuing steep rise in propane, natural gas and fuel oil prices. Examples: If electricity costs you $.05 per kWh it would compare to propane at $.81 per gallon, natural gas at $.88 per Therm or fuel oil at $1.13 per gallon. Or, if you pay $.08 per kWh for electricity it compares to propane at $1.29 per gallon, natural gas at $1.41 per Therm or fuel oil at $1.80 per gallon.

What if I want to use radiant heat for a floor larger than 1800 square feet?

In many cases more than one Radiant Made Simple (RMS) unit is the answer for the Do-it-Yourself project provided the radiant heat needs are relatively simple. Alternatively, you may also wish to review our selection of Hydronic Radiant Center heating products.

How are Radiant Made Simple products shipped?

Radiant Made Simple products are shipped by Federal Express, United Parcel Service or by Spee-Dee Deliver Service in the region that they serve. When requested, shipment by motor freight is available.