Temperature Control: The temperature is controlled by a room thermostat or a floor sensing thermostat. A room thermostat controls the room temperature using a wall-mounted device similar to that used in space heating. Each room can have its own thermostat, which can be programmable if desired. This saves energy because rooms not used can be maintained at low temperatures. A floor sensing thermostat uses a wall-mounted thermostat to control the surface temperature of the floor.
Radiant heating and cooling provides comfort even though the floor feels neutral and is not warmer or cooler than body temperature most of the time. In the heating mode, the floor feels warm to the touch only on very cold days when the maximum output is required. Because thermal mass changes temperature slowly, owners need to be educated to optimize their use.
System Type: Electric systems are easy to install and have a lower first cost. Alternatively, hot water systems can use almost any fuel source - natural gas, propane, oil, wood, solar, or electricity – and are quite versatile. The choice between electric and hot water would be based on cost of fuel, project size, and client preference.
The standard power used for residential floor heating is 8 to 12 watts per square foot (27 to 40 Btus/sq ft). So, the energy required to heat 10 square feet is equal to a single 100-watt light bulb (while incandescent bulbs are very inefficient for lighting, they are quite good at producing heat).
Cooling: For summer cooling, a separate air-conditioning system is often installed. However, some radiant systems circulate cool water through the floor.