Some frequently asked questions about Floor Heating Systems’ Pyrotenax invisible floor heating :
How does the system operate?
Heat input to the slab is controlled by either a wall mounted air sensing thermostat or a wall mounted floor sensing thermostat.
When the temperature reaches the thermostat setting the power supply automatically switches off and the stored heat continues to warm the room throughout the day. The heat is topped up again during the next regulated supply period.
What actually is electric storage floor heating (ESFH)?
ESFH is a continuous space heating system. It consists of a Pyrotenax electric heating element cast into the concrete slab floor of a house or building, which then acts as a large radiant heating panel. The system is designed to operate on off-peak electricity; otherwise a time clock can be used.
How much does it cost to install?
As a guide $55m² for the average house, delete any permanent fixtures e.g., kitchen cupboards or built-in wardrobes, just the open floor area.
The cost covers supply of heating units, installation of heating units onto the reinforcing mesh and monitoring of the heating units during the concrete pour. The cost also covers the supply of all thermostats and controllers.
Would they give a free quotation?
Yes. Detailed plans would need to be submitted for a firm quotation as the system is designed to individual plans and needs.
Who do you recommend to install the system?
A specialist electric floor heating installer.
Can sections of the heated slab be isolated?
Yes. In fact multiple zoning with independent thermostats for different rooms/areas is recommended. This gives greater control of comfort levels (temperatures) and more economical running costs.
Can the system be installed on an existing concrete floor?
Yes. The heating cable is buried in a minimum 30mm cement screed on top of the existing floor. The system operates as a storage system using off-peak electricity.
Can the system be installed on a timber floor?
Yes. A light gauge reinforcing is laid on top of the timber floor and the heating cables are tied to the mesh and a 40mm cement screed is laid over the floor. It then may be connected to off-peak.
What happens if something goes wrong - can it be repaired?
In the unlikely event of the heating element being damaged, it is a straight forward job to locate and repair the fault. Tyco cables have a full range of cable location equipment. This equipment can locate the cable and where the fault is in the cable run and then it is a simple matter of exposing the cable and completing the repair.
Are there any additional hidden costs?
Costs not covered are: wiring from the thermostat and heating unit to the switch board and connection to the off-peak supply. This work is usually done by the on site electrician when all other lights and power points are wired.
What maintenance is required?
The Pyrotenax system is basically maintenance free as there are no moving parts to wear, apart from the thermostat, which is cheap and easy to replace.
Is the system safe?
Yes. The outer copper sheath of the Pyrotenax heating element is earthed during installation. Pyrotenax heating cables do not require to be connected to earth leakage protection.
Do you need to alter home/building design or make concrete slab thicker to accommodate heating cables?
No. The heating cable is fixed to the reinforcing mesh within the standard slab design. Also there is no need to allow space for ducting, furnace, etc. There is no need to increase the slab thickness or change any structured reinforcing mesh.
What is off-peak electricity?
Off-peak electricity supplied during the supply authority low demand hours. The electricity is supplied at a reduced cost. Price reductions are from 40 to 60% of the general rate cost. Floor heating may also be connected to a time of use tariff; a time clock is used to enable power only to be used in the low cost hours.
Is off-peak much cheaper than normal electricity?
Yes. Depending on the region it can be less than one third of the cost that is over 50% savings.
How does off-peak electricity compare with gas running costs?
Operating cost to maintain 21°C for 24 hours are generally cheaper than gas in most areas. The operating costs vary in some areas due to tariff charges and climatic conditions.
What about insulation?
A vapour barrier (polyethylene sheeting) beneath the slab is usually standard practice nowadays.
Certainly ceiling insulation (batts) is recommended as 30-40% of heating can be lost through an uninsulated ceiling.
What is the minimum heated area in a slab floor?
There is no minimum size; however, for 240 volt operation the heated area must be at least 1.5m².
What happens when a cold night is followed by a warm day?
The heat will stay trapped in the slab when the air temperature exceeds the floor temperature so no heat will rise out of the slab.
How hot does the floor get?
To maintain a 21°C air temperature the floor temperature would be approximately 25°C or approximately 4°C above the desired room air temperature.