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Thermosoft Issues Warm Floor Advisory for Halloween

Key Thermosoft employees were stationed at the reception desk of the company’s international headquarters in Vernon Hills, IL to warn visitors to avoid placing candy on their warm floors this Halloween. While it has long been known that candy can melt at elevated temperatures, (think of M&M’s melting in your mouth but not in your hand), the association between warm floors and melting candy is relatively recent, owing to the increased popularity of heated flooring and the easy installation of modern electrical floor heating systems.

Candy can be compromised by the elevated temperatures of warm floors which can reach upwards into the low 80’s (degrees Fahrenheit). While floor temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s are especially conducive to delightfully cozy Halloween evenings for people and pets, especially after long hours of trick-or-treating on a cool night, these temperatures can be compromising especially for chocolate.

Thermosoft is a USA manufacturer of electric radiant floor heating systems that are easy to install, affordable and energy saving. To assist the public in identifying candies susceptible to melting on warm floors, Thermosoft issued the following list:

Almond Joy, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Heath Bar, Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat, Milk Duds, Milky Way, Mounds, 3 Muskateer, Nestle’s Crunch, Nestle’s Chocolate, Oh Henry, Raisinets, Reese’s, Rolo, Snickers, Sno Caps, Payday, Peppermint Pattie, Tootsie Roll, Twix, Whoppers.
ThermoSoft Halloween 2016
Top: Witch (e-commerce), Captain Morgan (marketing)
Bottom: Wizard (webdev), Sally (accounting), Pikachu (sales)

The above list is not all-inclusive and other candy types and brands may be affected by heated flooring. If unsure about which candies will melt on a warm floor, Thermosoft advises placing candy in an inconspicuous area of the floor under adult supervision. If melting commences, please include it with the above list and retain for future reference.

Hard and chewy candies may benefit from some floor warming to induce softening. These include Bit-O-Honey, Charleston Chews, Dots, Laffy Taffy, Mary Jane and Sugar Babies. If in doubt about the potential benefits of floor warming to soften hard and chewy candy this Halloween, please test as mentioned above.

Thermosoft wishes everyone with warm floors a safe and luxuriously comfortable Halloween. Don’t have warm floors? There’s still plenty of time to install heated flooring before Thanksgiving!

Let Warm Floors Greet Your Guests this Holiday Season

Snowflake lantern

Torch-lite walkway, glowing entry, chestnuts roasting on the open fire, wassail simmering on the stove; these are some of the ways to make your home warm and inviting for the holidays. But if your guests will be spending a night or two, they will really appreciate warm floors in your bathrooms.

If you’re going to spend time cleaning the bathroom floors anyway, and quite possibly cleaning or repairing the grout this year, why not update the tile and while you’re at it, add soothing warm radiant floor heat. Radiant floor heat makes cold, hard tile floors feel warm and soft.

What’s more, electric radiant floor heat is easy to install. It only takes one or two days to complete a bathroom floor and $400-$575 in floor heating materials for a 30-60 square foot bath. Once you’re done pampering your guests, your investment will pay-off in your family’s enjoyment of warm floors for a lifetime.

Add to that the potential energy savings, and your warm floor becomes a good investment as well as an affordable luxury. The more heated flooring you have, the greater the potential for you to save energy by turning down the main thermostat. Incredibly, you will feel warmer while saving money because electric radiant floor heat is more effective and more efficient than convection heating systems.

If you feel like going all out this year, consider heating the kitchen floor where everyone congregates or the basement floor where the kids will be playing. Innovative electric floor heating systems have been designed for every type of floor covering and every room in your home. You can do it yourself or find a contractor. Everyone loves the comfort of warm floors.

Can You Become Healthier By Installing Underfloor Heating?

Are you enjoying the respite from the colder temperatures? Well as they like to say in that sleeper hit, Game of Thrones, winter is coming. Even though we are in the early days of summer, it might be the perfect time to start thinking about ways you can improve heating in your home in the wintertime.

When we talk about radiant flooring, we talk about a number of different benefits. It is more efficient than traditional heating systems. It is also very easy to install and could potentially increase the value of your home. It is also child-friendly and less noisy. However, one benefit that isn't mentioned enough is better health.

Breathe Better When You Choose Radiant Underfloor Heating

Do you have allergies or a child with asthma or another respiratory issue? You might want to consider underfloor heating to heat your home. Unlike forced air systems, dust, mold spores, bacteria and pet dandruff isn't being blown all over the place when you use radiant heating. Prolonged exposure to these things could cause or worsen your allergies or asthma. In addition to that, forced air systems tend to dry out your nasal passages, putting you at greater risk for illness. This is why so many people set up humidifiers in the winter months. This can all potentially be avoided with underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating eliminates the need for carpeting. No matter how much you vacuum, these microscopic specimens can remain in your carpeting. Combine that with fans blowing from a forced air system, and you have a recipe for disaster. Underfloor heating is hypoallergenic, and many homeowners who have installed it have seen remarkable improvement in symptoms for them and their families. Underfloor heating can also reduce mold and mildew that make their home in bathrooms and kitchens. Mold is another cause of allergies for people of all ages.

In addition to better breathing, individuals who install underfloor heating may enjoy therapeutic benefits as well. Just think about it for a second: no more cold floors to step on when you wake up. You can enjoy warm floors, which could help your mood. And because you're spending less on your utility bill, you might feel less stress as well. It's a win-win!

5 Budget-Friendly Upgrades to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa

Woman relaxing in tub

There's nothing quite as refreshing or rejuvenating as a relaxing day at the spa. To get that same spa feel at home, many homeowners are transforming their bathrooms into their own personal sanctuaries. Here are some ways you can make your bathroom feel more spa-like without breaking the bank.

Radiant Floor Heating

Imagine getting out of the tub and stepping your bare feet onto a warm heated floor. Radiant heat flooring is perfect for bathrooms, as it provides optimal thermal comfort and operates quietly and out of sight. Heated floors can be installed under all types of bathroom floors, including ceramic tile, laminate and vinyl. Best of all, warming your bathroom with radiant heat flooring is inexpensive, and the system is quick and easy to install.

Massage Shower Head

If you can’t afford a deep soaking tub, give your bathroom the spa treatment with a massage shower head. A massage shower head is obviously more affordable, and you'll actually use it every day. Your massage shower head will turn an ordinary daily task into a more therapeutic and relaxing experience.

Faux Wood Tiles

Wood is not the best material to for damp areas like bathrooms. But, wood can evoke feelings of peacefulness and warmth. Luckily, faux wood is made of ceramic or porcelain and provides the natural look of wood without the risk of water damage. Bring elements of nature into your bathroom by adding faux wood bath and shower mats.

Oil Diffuser

Infuse soothing aromas into your bathroom with an oil diffuser. With an oil diffuser, you can relax amidst your favorite scents, like lavender, citrus or cedar wood, without having to worry if you forgot to extinguish the candles.

White Robe & Towels

It wouldn’t quite be a spa without the luxurious white robes and towels. Install a robe hook and towel bar near your shower to really give your bathroom the spa look.

How to Reduce Your Energy Bills with Radiant Floor Heating

2016-06-13

Piggybank with socket

From their silent operation to their optimal comfort, radiant heated floors offer numerous advantages over other home heating systems. One of the biggest benefits of heated floors is their energy-efficiency. If you're tired of those expensive monthly utility bills, then you should seriously consider installing heated floors in your home. Read on to learn how radiant floor heating can save you money and energy.

No More Heat Loss

Radiant floor heating systems can minimize heat loss in several ways. First, heated floors are installed under your floor and do not involve ductwork. Whereas heat can get lost in the ductwork and mechanical parts of baseboard heat or forced air systems, that problem is not present in heated floors. Secondly, radiant floors supply heat from the ground up, so that the warm air is concentrated on the people and objects in the room. The heat doesn't rise to the ceiling where it's lost.

Lower the Thermostat

Because of their efficient distribution of heat, heated floors enable you to feel comfortable with your thermostat set to a lower temperature. In fact, people who use radiant floor heating feel comfortable at temperatures between six and eight degrees F lower than traditional systems, such as baseboard heat and forced air, according to the Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Save on Off-Peak Usage

Some electric utility companies offer lower rates for off-peak usage. You can save money by heating your floor during off-peak hours, which are usually at night, and turning the heat off during the day. When your floor heats up it will maintain the warmth throughout the day and release it gradually, even if the system is off.

Utilize Zoned Heating

Maximize the efficiency of radiant floor heating by heating your home in zones. Set different areas of your house to different temperatures based on their usage. For instance, you can keep high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen and living room, warmer than low-traffic rooms like a formal dining room.

With these tips, you can utilize radiant floor heating to save energy and money. To learn more about heated floors, visit us online at www.ThermoSoft.com.

Keep Pooch off the Couch with Radiant Floor Heat

2016-04-20

We don't have radiant floor heat in our kitchen. When in the kitchen, Pooch lays on the floor right above where a furnace duct is located. In our family room, it’s a different story. Pooch's favorite spot is anywhere on our electrically heated radiant floor. Prior to installing radiant floor heat, Pooch preferred to lie on the couch which we attributed to her desire to be close to us. We may have been partly right, but Pooch is pretty smart and knows that warmth, whether body warmth or radiant floor warmth, is better for relaxation than cold.

Pooch looks particularly comfortable and relaxed stretched out on our soothing warm floors. I know she is particularly smart and sometimes I wonder if she is innately aware of the all the health benefits of radiant floor heat. Radiant heat, like the sun, penetrates and soothes the body. Its therapeutic warmth relaxes the muscles, improves oxygen circulation in the blood and promotes healing. The Arthritis Foundation reports that people whose arthritis symptoms respond well to heat have discovered the many benefits of heat therapy. These benefits are well demonstrated by Pooch. While relaxing on the warm floor, Pooch will jump to her feet, stretch and be ready to walk upon a moment’s notice.

Although Pooch prefers to lie directly on the warm floor, fortunately for us, the benefits of our radiant floor heat can be experienced on the couch. Like the sun, radiant floor heat is attracted to people and objects. It does not rely on blowing air for heat transfer. There are no blowing drafts that cause discomfort particularly for arthritis sufferers. Our family room used to be the coldest and most uncomfortable room in our home. It is built over a crawl space and has sliding French doors, two exterior walls, a garage on the third wall and a fireplace. We live in northern Illinois in climate zone 5 where winter can be especially long and cold. Every year we say this is our last winter here. As we crossed into our sixties, arthritis began to affect my wife’s knees. We decided we needed to install floor heat in the family room. Now, it is the most comfortable room in our home. We sit on the couch in comfort, and we both feel more like walking Pooch – even in winter.

When we converted to floor heat, we decided to get rid of the carpet in favor of engineered hardwood which we installed directly over the floor heat system. Getting rid of the carpet got rid of the harbor for all kinds of dust, dirt, dander, mites and allergens. We closed the central heating vents to that room to eliminate the draft, noise and the circulation of allergens. We don’t suffer from allergies, and it’s nice to know the room is cleaner and hypoallergenic, as well as warm and soothing. I wonder if Pooch knows about the hypoallergenic benefits too, as she sneezes a lot less.

To experience the benefits of radiant heat for yourself, install heated floors in your own home. Visit www.ThermoSoft.com to view a great selection of in floor heating products.

How to Choose the Best Radiant Floor Heating System

2016-04-18

As the benefits of radiant floor heating become more widely known, it is important to be aware of several important factors to consider when choosing the best floor heating system for a particular job.

The first step in choosing a radiant floor heating system is to determine its purpose. Radiant floor heat can be used as a supplemental or sole heat source. If supplemental, it’s simply a matter of installing sufficient floor heating material to cover the floor area or traffic pattern where a warm floor is desired. If the floor heating system is to be used as the primary or sole heat source, it must be capable of generating the BTU’s required to heat a given square foot area in a given geography in a given room/building with a given set of “heat loss” factors: insulation, windows, doors, etc. Providers of radiant floor heating systems and contractors can assist with the heat loss analysis. However, what many people don’t know is that because of the better efficiency of radiant heated floors, building heat load can be reduced by 25% to 35% over convective systems.

New construction or remodel, type of finished floor covering, as well as the preferred installation method all factor into the type of floor heating system to choose.

In new construction, both hydronic (water) and electric floor heating systems can be imbedded in the slab when new concrete is poured. Electric systems are easily installed in both new construction and remodels because the heating elements can be installed directly under the finished floor covering. Recent innovations in some hydronic systems allow for installing water tubing directly under the finished floor, but the hot water source, manifold and valves must be considered. Because electric floor heating systems do not require a hot water source and other plumbing, they are maintenance-free and easier to install when remodeling individual rooms like bathrooms and kitchens, as well as basements and additions.

Hard surface floors such as tile, stone, wood and laminate are preferred for floor heating because these materials are better heat conductors than carpet. If carpet is used, select thinner carpet with a lower R-value and padding designed for floor heating or forego the padding.

All floor coverings can be installed over a floor heating system imbedded in a slab, under a skim coat of thin-set mortar or in a thin layer of self-leveling cement. Innovations made in the last 10-15 years have produced floor heating systems that can be installed under floating or glued floors without cement. Electric radiant floor heating mats or pads can be rolled out and simply covered with a rigid, floating laminate or wood floor. Flexible floating floors, carpet and carpet tile can be installed over some of these electric systems with a layer of fiber board to provide rigidity and to protect the heating elements. Nailed flooring requires special precautions. For example, electric floor heating systems are installed between nailing strips, covered and leveled with cement.

Any floor heating system installed in a slab will require longer time before the floor heating system is operational owing to slab cure time. Floor heating systems installed in a thin layer of cement, as in the typical electric floor heating system installed under tile and stone, are operational within one or two days. Floating laminate and wood floors installed without cement are operational immediately. To learn more about heated floors, visit www.ThermoSoft.com.

Customer Problem Resolution Do’s and Don’ts

2016-04-13

In an earlier post, I explained why problem resolution is key to creating loyal customers. Here are some simple customer service do’s and don’ts to follow when customers present a problem: Communicate, communicate, communicate – ASAP & often

Number one, do not avoid communicating with customers about problems. Use the problem as an opportunity to showcase how good your company is at taking care of the customer. Take the call, return the voice message, write the email, visit the job-site; do what you must to reach the customer as soon as possible and follow-up frequently. Customer frustrations escalate when there is lack of communication. Lack of communication compounds the problem and entrenches the customer in extreme and possibly unreasonable positions that become difficult to negotiate later.

Get the facts

Listen, listen, listen to the customer. What is the problem as the customer sees it? How and why does the customer believe the problem occurred? Corroborate with other trades that may be involved. Understanding how the customer sees the problem not only helps investigating the problem further, but also it helps formulate a solution that satisfies the customer.

Don't jump to conclusions

Avoid drawing conclusions and proposing premature solutions based on the immediate problem definition. Depending on the situation, it might help to defuse tensions to hypothetically discuss possible causes and solutions without committing to specific actions until all the facts are known.

Don't be defensive

There is no need to deny fault, warranty coverage or participation in problem resolution especially before all the facts are gathered. The customer could interpret such denials as a rebuff of the customer and the problem. Just because the customer came to you with a problem does not mean that you caused the problem. But it does put you into the best position to facilitate problem resolution that benefits your company’s reputation if handled properly.

Don't finger point

In remodeling, it is possible that more than one trade is involved in a problem. For example, the flooring contractor and the electrician both have roles to play in the installation of an electric floor heating system. It does not benefit either trade or the floor heating system manufacturer to speculate that one or the other trade or the manufacturer is at fault until all the facts have been determined. Pointing fingers only adds to the customer’s confusion and frustration. Once the facts are determined, it is in the best interest of the contractor and the manufacturer to work together in a fair and equitable manner to resolve the problem in a way that keeps the customer happy.

Be solution-oriented

Facilitate problem resolution by seeking solutions. For example, in radiant floor heating, the main concern of the customer is not getting a refund but having a warm floor that can be enjoyed for many years to come. In one case, both the electrician and the flooring contractor disavowed any responsibility for the floor heating system when it failed to operate shortly after installation. Upset, the customer contacted us, the manufacturer, for help. We cooperated with the electrician to pinpoint the problem. After removing a tile, it was discovered that a third trade, the plumber, put a screw through the bottom of the floor severing the heating cable. It was a simple repair and everyone was happy, especially the customer.

Be proactive

It's well known that many home builders and remodelers avoid adding bells and whistles because "it's another thing that can go wrong". On the other hand, there is no better way to generate repeat business and referrals than by differentiating your business with custom solutions. Floor heating is a reliable, maintenance-free, easy-to-install option that generates significant word-of-mouth because of its impact on quality of life. I never had a customer regret installing floor heat. But I’ve heard many people regret missing the opportunity to install floor heat. As a remodeler, installing value-added custom solutions from manufacturers who stand behind their products and turning problems into opportunities to impress your customers are guaranteed ways to increase your repeat business and referrals.

Problem Resolution is Key to Creating Loyal Customers

2016-04-08

The latest (Dec 2015) Qualified Remodeler Home Improvement Pro (HIP) survey shows the top two revenue sources are repeat business and referrals. According to the poll, 200 top remodelers reported that 29% of their revenue was attributed to these two lead sources.

It doesn’t take a poll to convince those of us in the remodeling industry of the importance of repeat business and referrals. Contractors live or die based on their ability to generate repeat business and referrals. Imagine what your business would look like if revenue decreased almost one-third for failure to retain repeat customers and build referrals.

Returning and referring customers are loyal customers, and customer loyalty begins not only with a satisfied customer, but also a happy customer. Prerequisites of a happy customer include good quality materials and workmanship, a problem-free job completed on time and on budget, and meeting or exceeding expectations. Unforeseen problems are inevitable in remodeling, and how those problems are handled is critical to customer satisfaction. Creating a loyal customer often depends on how the customer is taken care of when problems arise.

Problem resolution trumps all the good things a business does to reach and create a customer. If the customer feels slighted in the resolution of a problem, nothing else matters, and repeat business and referrals are unlikely. What’s worse, a bad review can drive away potential new customers.

More than anything else, customers want assurance that their contractors stand behind the job and the related products and services. Contractors in turn need suppliers who will stand behind their products. It doesn’t mean that contractors and suppliers need to give away the farm every time a problem arises. But it does mean fair and equitable solutions, and it might even make sense to invest in future repeat business and referrals by foregoing a profit or taking a loss on the job. Over time, the return on that investment could aggregate to one-third of your business in the long run.

At ThermoSoft, we are dedicated to delivering best customer experience, from beginning to end. We greatly value our customers and continuously strive to provide them with the best customer service and radiant floor heating products in the industry.

Radiant Floor Heating Trumps Other Home Heating Methods

2016-04-06

When it comes to heating your home, office or plane hangar, there is no more efficient method than radiant floor heat. In a home building magazine article over a decade ago, the chairman of ASHRAE’s (American Society of Heating Ventilation and Air conditioning Engineers) technical committee explained why radiant heating reduces building heat load by 25% to 35% over convective systems. Convective systems include heating methods that rely on blowing warm air including natural gas furnaces, electric heat pumps, electric geothermal heat pumps and baseboard heaters.

Radiant floor heating includes two types: water (hydronic) and electric. Both types provide lower heating costs when compared to traditional convective methods. Considering that electric radiant floor heating systems are easier to install and maintenance-free, electric in floor heating has become particularly attractive.

It seems counter intuitive that any type of electric heating could provide the lowest cost heating since electricity rates are higher than natural gas. The ASHRAE article explains that radiant heat feels warmer than convective heating which allows occupants to be more comfortable at lower temperatures--6 to 8 degrees lower! Utility companies advise their customers that they can save anywhere from 3-5% on their heat bill for every degree lower they can turn down the thermostat. Six to 8 degrees times 3 to 5% savings explains why electric radiant floor heating saves up to 40%. But there’s more.

You might be asking, why is radiant floor heat more comfortable than convective heat? The ASHRAE article explains that radiant heating reverses the temperature stratification. With convective systems, a significant amount of heat is lost to the ceiling where it provides little comfort. On the other hand, radiant floor heat warms the body directly from the floor. Like the radiant heat from the sun, radiant floor heat is attracted directly to people and objects. It does not depend on the movement of warm air – nor does it rise to the ceiling where it is totally wasted.

Besides providing better comfort at lower temperatures, radiant floor heat saves in another big way - the elimination of ductwork. Convective systems require ductwork to distribute warm air throughout the home or building. Along the way, the warm air is cooling and leaking. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates up to 35% of heat is lost in the ductwork. With radiant floor heat, this loss of energy is completely eliminated since there are no ducts. With electric radiant floors, 100% of the energy is utilized to warm the floor.

A little understanding of the thermal dynamics of radiant heat easily explains why radiant floor heat trumps convective heating systems. To learn more about electric floor heating, visit www.ThermoSoft.com.

Radiant Floor Heating Myths Debunked

2016-03-09

Baby walked on floor by parent

Anytime a homeowner wants to take on home improvement projects, they often think about the renovations that will have the highest return on investment. Many are immediately drawn to some cosmetic upgrades and others think of things that can save them money in the long run. With that in mind, there has been a growing interest in radiant floor heating systems because they provide homeowners with maintenance-free living, exceptional comfort and monumental energy savings. However, homeowners are unaware of the true advantages that these systems can offer and some are on the fence because there are too many myths and misconceptions about them. So read on to learn about their myths and learn how floor heating systems can be one of the best investments you could make!

Myth 1: Too expensive
Many believe that radiant floor heating systems are a luxury outside the average consumer's renovation budget, however, this is all but true. In fact, most homeowners spend between $1,800 to $4,800 according to Home Advisor. When you compare the costs of radiant floor heating to a traditional heater/furnace, you'll see that it's actually cheaper, if not the same price. Also, it's important to keep in mind that radiant floor heating is much more efficient as no energy is expended on operating fans or pumps and no heat exhaust is lost up the flue. Plus, radiant floors are virtually maintenance-free as they don't have any dirty filters that need to be changed. All of this translates into a significantly lower energy bill and more home comfort!

Myth 2: It can only be installed under tile or concrete
Radiant floors can be installed under much more than tile and concrete! In fact, radiant floor heating can work under carpet, laminate, wood and even vinyl tile. Despite some misunderstandings about the insulation of radiant flooring, practically any type of flooring surface can benefit from it and even thick carpeting has the ability to emit thermal energy.

Myth 3: It can't replace conventional heating units
How to save energy with floor heat image This is not true. Radiant floor heating systems can replace those big and bulk conventional heating units and actually feels warmer than a forced air system. Plus, the heat is evenly distributed among the room because you won't experience a loss of heat that is typical of a duct system or piping. In fact, the US Department of Energy estimates that 35% of heat is lost through a traditional forced air duct or piping system.

Myth 4: It's too hard to install
False. There are quite a few different installation approaches that can make it super easy during your home renovations. The first approach would be through a contractor who would be able to coordinate all aspects of the installation. The second approach is a do-it-yourself method because the radiant floor heating system is designed in a way to make it easy on the homeowner. The third approach would be a shared installation where you can prepare the subfloor, layout and secure the heating system and then call in the contractor to install your floor and an electrician to make the electrical connections.

Not only will you get a floor heating system that's actually cleaner and healthier than a conventional forced air system but radiant floor heat decreases building heat load by 25% and saves as much as 40% or more on energy! Are you ready to lower your energy bill and improve home comfort with a floor heating system?

Radiant Floor Heating vs. Forced-Air: The Key Differences

2016-02-05

Dog sleeping on floor image

As a homeowner, you want to maintain a comfortable environment, while saving money and energy in the process. With that said, if you are in the market for a new heating system, you should certainly consider choosing radiant heat instead of the traditional forced air system. Not only does radiant floor heating heat a space more efficiently, but also it conserves energy, while operating silently and out of sight and keeping your allergies at bay. Read on to discover the key differences between radiant floor heating and forced-air systems and see why heated floors are the top choice.

Forced-Air Heating

Though forced-air heating can be found in many homes, these systems are not very efficient and have many downsides. Forced-air heating systems use air to distribute heat through your home, and the heated air travels through a series of ducts and vents mounted in the floor or ceiling. When the hot air is blown into a space, it will heat it up quickly, but because heat rises, it will cool down just as fast. As a result, your home cannot main a constant comfortable level. Additionally, because the warm air must travel through a series of ducts— which often move through cold basements and attics— there's a chance the heat can be lost before it gets to the intended room.

Along with these inefficiencies, forced-air systems can also stir up your allergies or asthma symptoms. As the system blows hot air into a space, it circulates dust and allergens around the house. Also, these systems involve a lot of equipment and mechanical parts, including unsightly and noisy vents and furnaces, and can be expensive to install.

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating resolves the problems brought on by forced-air systems. Unlike their counterpart, heated floors warm up a space from the ground up and keep heat on the objects, furnishings and people in a room, rather than allowing it to rise to the ceiling. Heated floors provide an even distribution of heat across the entire floor surface, so you can maintain a constant comfortable temperature. In fact, people who use radiant floor heating feel comfortable setting their thermostat several degrees lower than those who use forced-air. This is indicative of radiant heat's efficiency, which translates to less energy and more money in your pocket.

Because radiant floor heating is installed under your floor, it doesn't disrupt your home's interior aesthetics. You don't have to worry about unattractive mechanical parts like vents and furnaces or a noisy system operation. Additionally, heated floors are hypoallergenic, as they don't blow allergens around the house. Plus, they're very affordable and simple for the homeowner to install.

As you can see, underfloor heating offers many benefits over forced-air. If you are looking to enjoy these advantages and make the switch to heated floors, contact ThermoSoft. At ThermoSoft we offer in floor heating systems for all types of flooring, from ceramic tile to hardwood to carpet.

Give us a call today to learn about our industry-leading radiant heating products: 800.308.8057.

The Origins of Radiant Floor Heating

2016-01-29

Bare feet on tile image

Due to its energy-efficiency, effectiveness and affordability, floor heating has become more and more common in homes across the U.S. and Canada. While heated floors have recently gained widespread popularity, they are by no means a new concept. In fact, the origins of the heated floor date all the back to ancient Rome, as well as ancient China and Korea. Let's take a look at the origins of heated floors and see how they've evolved over time.

Ancient China and Korea
While many historians accredit the first heated floor to the Romans, others attribute its initial development to ancient China and Korea. There's evidence that suggests the first heated floor was used there as early as 5,000 B.C. The Chinese developed a floor heating system called dikang (meaning heated floor), which was an elevated heated surface used for living and sleeping. Dikang was heated by displacing hot gas from the fireplace through a series of flues constructed in the masonry located below, causing the heat to warm up the space above.

The Koreans developed a similar system, which later became known as ondol (meaning warm stone). Ondol sent heat and smoke from the kitchen through a network of underground flues that heated the stones underneath the floor to radiate heat into the room above. Though modified and perfected over the years, heated floors never lost popularity in China and Korea and still remains the heating method of choice there today.

Ancient Rome
As radiant heat technology continued to be developed and advanced in Korea and China, the Romans created their own system, called the hypocaust, around the third century B.C. The hypocaust consisted of ducts allowing hot air and smoke from the kitchen and fireplace to move underneath an intricate raised flooring system comprised of a layer of tile, followed by a layer of concrete and another tile layer. Gaps were formed between each layer to allow gas to travel through to warm up the floor above, and gaps were left in the walls for ventilation. Unlike in Asia, hypocausts lost popularity after the fall of the Roman Empire and were replaced by other heating methods.

Modern Day
While today's heated floor systems are far more advanced than in the past, their primary function and purpose remains the same— to use radiant heat transfer to efficiently warm up the objects and people in a room. A primary difference between the past and modern day, however, is heated floors were formerly a luxury. Today, heated floors are more affordable and no longer viewed as a luxury, but rather a must-have home feature.

To take advantage of modern day's most efficient space heating method, contact us at ThermoSoft: 800.308.8057.

5 Energy-Efficient home Improvements to Help You Save Money in 2016

2016-01-25

Energy Calculator Image

For many Americans, the New Year signifies a new start— a time to set goals and make the appropriate changes to improve your overall wellbeing. Among the most common New Year's resolutions is to spend less and save more, and one way to help you achieve this goal is by making energy-efficient improvements to your home. The average American family spends about $1,600 annually on their utility bills alone, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and with smart improvements you can put some of that money back into your wallet.

Here are some smart home improvements that will help you cut back your energy costs in 2016:

  1. Heated Floors. Though installing heated floors may seem costly up front, it's a smart home improvement that will soon pay for itself. Heated floors are the most efficient method of space heating, as they use radiant heat transfer to evenly distribute heat and warm up the people and objects in a room. Whereas other heating systems concentrate heat near the ceiling, heated floors supply heat where you need it most, allowing you to feel more comfortable with your thermostat set to a lower temperature— resulting in significant energy and cost savings.
  2. Programmable Thermostat. A programmable thermostat is another smart improvement that will help you reduce your energy costs. With this device, you can set your house to a warmer or cooler temperature when you are not home. When used properly, a programmable thermostat can save users up to $150 a year.
  3. Insulation. Insulating your home with a quality insulation product will save money and energy on heating and cooling. Start by making sure your attic is properly insulated. Also seal any holes in your home's exterior walls (i.e. windows and doors), and wrap the hot water heater and any exposed pipes in insulation. Sealing air leaks and adding insulation can reduce your energy bill by up to 30%.
  4. Low-flow Fixtures. Along with saving water, installing low-flow fixtures can save you a substantial amount of money. According to Energy Star, a low-flow shower head can save you up to $145 on energy per year.
  5. Energy-efficient Appliances. Old appliances use more water and energy that newer, energy-efficient appliances. ENERGY-STAR-qualified washers and refrigerators are approximately 20% more energy-efficient that standard models. For instance, an ENERGY-STAR-qualified dishwasher only uses approximately 5.8 gallons of water per cycle, whereas older models use more than 10 gallons per cycle.

By making these smart improvements to your home, you can save a significant amount of money and energy in the long-run, allowing yourself to spend less and save more.

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