After running across the Kindle Direct Publishing program, and reading about how people often preferred to have a resource in one place rather than as a series of blog posts on the web, I decided to turn my Tiny House Systems series of blog posts into a Kindle eBook. While I was at it, I also updated the Heating Systems chapter to include the STEP warmfloor electric radiant heat system.
An alternative to the Water Source Radiant Floor Heat is Electric Radiant heat. Essentially, this is a wire that is inefficient in conducting electricity and as such heats up. This process is known as resistance heating. Commercial greenhouses will often use this sort of resistance heating in a sand bed upon which newly planted seeds or cuttings are placed, to allow for propagation of plants in winter. It is also the same concept as the electric resistance heater mentioned above, but the heating element is insulated to protect it and adjacent materials from each other.
It is more efficient than the electric resistance space heater, in that the intent is to use the heating cable to warm the floor surfaces, rather than air, but a drawback is that the cable is relatively fragile, and rendered useless if broken, which can occur from an errant screw or nail, or inadvertent crimping during the install of the finished floor surface.
Normally, If someone is considering underfloor radiant heat, I point them to the water source type. HOWEVER, there is one electric radiant floor heating technology that I do recommend. This is the STEP warmfloor system, http://www.warmfloor.com/en-us which rather than using a cable that is looped under the floor surface, uses a resistance mat that is waterproof, can be punctured / nailed/ screwed/ stapled through with no detrimental effect, and spreads out the heat more efficiently due to its larger surface area. It can be installed under pretty much any flooring surface (tile, wood, carpet, concrete) or even encapsulated in epoxy as shown below.
Another benefit is that the system is 24 Volt and can be directly powered by wind or solar PV. Of Particular interest to the Tiny House market, the company offers their STEP RV product, http://www.warmfloor.com/en-us/residential-floor-heating/step-rv-heating-rv/s-motorhomes-boats-etc with a higher output wattage that the standard residential element, to help counteract the typical higher energy losses inherent in RVs. Of course, your tiny house should be better insulated than an RV, so the standard system should be perfectly adequate, but it is nice to have the option.
So, if you would prefer to read on your Kindle (Paperback also available), feel free to follow the link:
Or grab the paperback here: