Have you ever wondered if nVent NUHEAT Floor Heating Systems are environmentally sustainable? If so, yes, they are. Below we breakdown some arguments for this…
Direct electric heating (electric floor heating is an example of that) is 100% efficient. In other words, 100% of the energy input is converted to heat energy.
• This compares to a “high efficiency” furnace that might be 90% efficient (10% of the energy input is converted into something other than heat such as noise or movement).
• Even an electric boiler will be less efficient because there is heat loss all along the system that occurs before the warm water reaches the floor that it is heating and additional energy is required to move the liquid through the system.
• For electric floor heat, the heating occurs right inside the floor assembly and there are no moving parts so there is no energy spent on non-comfort-heat-generating activities.
Radiant floor heating is a highly effective way of adding comfort heat to an indoor space.
• Heating the floor also heats objects and people that touch the floor through conduction. Solid objects have greater thermal mass and conductivity than air. That means that the same level of comfort can be achieved at a lower ambient air temperature when compared to forced air, radiators, or baseboards.
• Furthermore, radiant floor heat adds warmth to the area that people live (on the floor, within 7 feet of the floor) and evenly distributes that warmth throughout the heated area. This contrasts to forced air, radiators, and baseboards that concentrate heat near the point of entry and also waste energy heating air that ends up near the ceiling, forcing cold air down to where the occupants are.
• Air movement introduced by forced air systems also speeds evaporation, which causes people to feel cold. This requires more heat, which requires more air movement, and the cycle continues.
• Forced air also circulates dust and allergens and radiant heat does not. This isn’t a sustainability issue per se but the energy spent moving air that causes this problem does works against occupant comfort and, therefore, is not a good use of energy.
Depending on how your electricity is generated, electric floor heating can have a significantly lower carbon footprint than other options for home heating.
• Furnaces or boilers that use Natural gas, liquid propane, heating oil, wood, or any other combustible fuel source produce carbon dioxide and other pollutants as a bi-product.
• Wind, solar, and hydro-electric power have zero (or close to zero) greenhouse gas production.
• Even electric power plants that use fossil fuels will tend to burn cleaner than many in-home combustion heating systems.
• Nuclear electric power produces no greenhouse gas but there are other waste products to worry about.
Electric radiant floor heat is easier to zone and cycles on and off to maintain temperature of a thermal mass (the flooring assembly). It also comes up top temperature much quicker than other systems (15 to 30 minutes in a good installation) for on-demand heating. This means…
• Heat can be used when/where it’s required.
• Electric radiant floor heat is not on all the time. For example, a typical bathroom might only run for 5½ hours in a day, even though the floor stays warm. This contrasts with water radiant, which must always be on to maintain the temperature of circulating water that is heating and cooling with every lap through the circulation system.
• Water radiant can take 4 to 12 hours to come up to temperature and is NOT zone-able in the same way.
• Similarly, forced air is also less zone-able because it takes a long time for the low thermal mass of air to warm a space.
• The “Early Start” feature of nVent NUHEAT thermostats ensures that the system comes on exactly when it needs to in order to be up to temperature at the scheduled time. The computer inside our thermostats learns how long this process takes by analyzing recent “time-to-temp” and is continually adjusting based on current set point and any other factors (like how time of year will affect ambient temperature).
• The mobile apps and smart home integrations of the Signature thermostat allow a greater degree of control and automation, further enhancing the opportunities for more efficient operation.
To learn more about nVent NUHEAT Floor Heating Systems, visit www.nuheat.com.