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Self-Regulating Technology Equals Energy Efficient Heating

Self-regulating heating systems like the STEP Warmfloor product are not new, but they are the best way to control a system’s temperature without the risk of overheating, while providing you with even, energy efficient heating.

Self-regulation provides these benefits:

  1. Temperature limiting
  2. Energy efficient heating
  3. Safety
  4. Reliability (product will never over heat)
  5. Proven long life

These systems can adjust their heat output to accommodate temperature fluctuations in your home. As the temperature in the room or the floor increases, the current in the element decreases, lowering the energy consumed to heat the space. Conversely, as the temperature decreases, the STEP Warmfloor heating element increases the temperature. The element does this on its own without a thermostat. However, a thermostat can be used to enhance comfort as well as lower the temperature of the room, which increases energy savings.

To give you a better perspective of how self-regulation works, let’s imagine that sun rays enter through a window and hit the floor. The floor covering could be made up of any type – carpet, tile and wood etc. The STEP Warmfloor heating product is beneath the floor, providing the warmth of underfloor heating.

Because the sun streaming in is providing heat to the space the element will sense the added warmth and reduce its temperature and energy consumption. Why create more heat and use more energy when there is passive heat coming through the window?

Meanwhile, in the same room where the sun is not hitting the floor, the STEP Warmfloor heating element will continue to operate, but never above 82° F. The thermostat’s value comes into play as it will control air temperature and floor temperature to the desired comfort level of the occupants, making the product an even more energy efficient heating option.

High temperatures are one of the main reasons cable heating systems will fail, as they can't limit their temperature without a thermostat and high limit probe. Think of a runaway train – most cable systems will keep heating until they’re forced to stop. This can happen one of two ways: a thermostat limits the heat output to a certain temperature or the element can overheat and fail. That’s why most cable systems are installed with a thermostat and a high-limiting temperature sensor as they lessen the risk of overheating.

Here is another perspective. Take for example an electric cable system installed beneath a tile floor in a bathroom. Most people have a shower rug or towel on the floor to stand on while they dry off when they get out of the shower. The problem with most underfloor heating products is that the cable lying underneath the rug can overheat as the rug on the floor traps the heat, which can lead to premature failure of the cable system.

Although the thermostat along with the high limit temperature probe will lessen the likelihood of this happening, if the probe is placed in the wrong location, it’s likely the system will fail. The thermostat does not care what the temperature is beneath the rug. It is a selfish, dumb switch capable of only reading the temperature where it is installed on the wall. Similarly, the high limit probe only cares what the temperature is where it is installed. Because of the limited controls available for this type of system, over time the cable under the rug will overheat regardless of the temperature probe and thermostat.

If we were to install the STEP Warmfloor product in this same scenario, the heating element under the rug would adjust its temperature and lower its energy consumption. It will never over heat! The thermostat is still happy controlling the ambient air and floor temperatures where it is installed, but the element itself ensures that the system will never fail.