Installing a radiant heat floor in your home also means that you need the best thermostat for that heating system. But what is the best thermostat to buy for radiant heat? We researched different options for you, and here’s what we found.
Interested buyers can select from different thermostats for their radiant heat systems, such as:
- Google Nest Smart Thermostat
- Honeywell Aube Programmable Thermostat
- Nuheat Programmable Thermostat
- SunTouch Command Thermostat
- Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat
- Ecobee Smart Thermostat
It’s important to mention that certain thermostats often function best when paired with the correct underfloor heating units. Keep reading as we talk about the products mentioned above in greater detail. We’ll also tackle the different types of radiant heat to help you with your purchasing decisions.
Can I Use Any Thermostat For Underfloor Heating?
You may use relatively any thermostat for underfloor radiant heating. But you want to install a model with a floor sensor to make the most of the installation. With this feature, it can help monitor your floor’s temperature. Doing so helps you maintain temperature levels in your home as efficiently as possible.
What Are The Best Thermostats For Radiant Floor Heating?
Take note that one thermostat can’t provide the best results for every indoor setting. Keep in mind that different properties have varying setups and heating requirements. Still, certain thermostats stand out from the rest to provide optimal heating to many homes. Some of these options are:
1. Google Nest Smart Thermostat
This thermostat is compatible with many heating systems, including underfloor units. It even works well with models using hydronic heat.
Users can also use their smartphones via the Google Home app to control the features on this model wirelessly. The mobile app also has a Savings Finder feature, wherein it’ll make suggestions in making the most out of the heating system without significant risk of increasing energy costs.
You can also watch the video below for a review of the 2020 version Google Nest Smart Thermostat:
2. Honeywell Aube Programmable Thermostat
Homeowners with either hydronic or central heating may want to take a look at this model. This thermostat is compatible with both heating systems. Plus, it should also fit many electric heating systems with the help of a relay.
Take note that this product doesn’t have smart features like other thermostats on the market. But the lack of wireless functionalities other than those found in the included remote control puts this model’s price at a fairly budget-friendly point.
3. Nuheat Programmable Thermostat
Although quite expensive, this wireless thermostat also has dual-voltage capabilities. It means that property owners can use this model with either 120- or 240-volt electric floor-heating systems.
Beginners may not also find it too challenging to set up this thermostat, thanks to its initial setup wizard. It’ll guide users to the basic installation process to reduce potentially costly mishaps during and after the procedure.
Other features built into this radiant heat thermostat are its 7-day programmable energy usage monitoring and a 3.5-inch touchscreen display.
4. SunTouch Command Thermostat
This thermostat for electric radiant floor-heating systems has a built-in ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). With it, this device trips the connected fuse as fast as possible to prevent harmful shocks and permanent damage to the unit.
Users may also use the 3.5-inch touchscreen display to allow the radiant heat to produce either floor or room temperature. Homeowners can also use this model to function automatically even if no one is on the premises. Using this feature can cut electricity costs while maintaining the ideal temperature to keep indoor furniture intact.
5. Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat
Controlling different radiant heating systems in one home through one thermostat is quite challenging, but users can reduce the inconvenience by using this model. It's thanks to this model's Smart Room Sensor and its geofencing capabilities. With it, the thermostat can adjust the different radiant heat mats in your home automatically.
The dedicated mobile app also has a wizard to help users set up the thermostat easily. It's going to ask you different questions, such as your preferred temperature levels and if you want to activate its geofencing feature.
If the app is active and the thermostat detects the presence of a connected mobile device, the unit will switch to the set temperature when you’re in the room. The thermostat will then automatically revert to its power-saving mode when you and your smartphone leave the space.
6. Ecobee Smart Thermostat
This smart thermostat might be an excellent choice for people who have the extra money to spend on it. Although it has a hefty price tag, it also comes with premium features.
For instance, this radiant heat thermostat has voice command capabilities when users connect it to the internet. With the help of Alexa, Amazon’s voice artificial intelligence (AI), you can command the thermostat without needing a remote or smartphone.
Some of the commands you can issue to this thermostat are:
- Raise or lower the current temperature by (preferred number) degrees.
- Turn on or off the radiant heat.
- Let the thermostat select the ideal temperature based on what you’re feeling.
- Set, stop, or resume temperature schedule.
- Activate the thermostat’s Away Mode.
What Should You Be Looking For In A Thermostat For Radiant Heat?
Perhaps one of the main determinants for interested buyers to select a thermostat for their radiant heat systems is compatibility. The temperature-monitoring device's features harmoniously work with the installed floor-heating unit.
Shoppers should pay attention to the two main types of floor heating systems when choosing their preferred thermostats. The kinds of radiant heat units to watch out for are:
Hydronic radiant heat systems generally blow hot air into the premises. It generates heat by warming the liquid in its tubes to the desired temperature. Then, its framework distributes the heated liquid through its tubes, radiating the floor and other connected surfaces.
As its name implies, electric heating draws power from the home’s electricity to generate and provide heat. It’s also usually more energy-efficient than hydronic heating because the delivered heat is uniform. In comparison, certain hydronic heat systems might encounter heat loss because the warmth still needs to travel across the tubes.
How Many Radiant Floor Heat Mats Can I Install On One Thermostat?
Keep in mind that heat mats connected to one thermostat will generate that specific set temperature. So it’s ideal to have one thermostat per radiant floor heating unit.
It’s still okay to use one radiant heat thermostat to control and monitor the temperature from multiple floor-heating mats. But this setup needs to be within the same flooring. In other words, users can’t control radiant heat units in separate rooms with one thermostat unless a fairly complicated yet still efficient wiring framework is present.
At this point, you might be curious to know the best heater for a screened porch. Read our post on that topic to learn about some excellent choices you may want to check out.
What Is The Best Temperature For Radiant Floor Heat?
The best temperature provided by radiant floor heat often depends on the flooring material used. For instance, the ideal temperature for an underfloor heating system when attached to a finished wooden floor ranges from 85 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, radiant heat under laminate flooring shouldn’t exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing the temperature to more than the recommended level can increase the risk of damaging the floor material.
You can also insulate parts of your home to increase indoor temperature and reduce energy consumption from radiant heat. One way to achieve that goal is to insulate single-pane windows, which we have a guide that you can read for you to know the correct steps.
How To Change Battery In Thermostat?
A drained or faulty battery in a thermostat might prevent it from functioning properly. If you found out that the batteries are the problem for the thermostat’s issues, here are the steps to change them:
- Take out the thermostat from its wall mount.
- Remove the faceplate and locate the battery.
- Change the old battery with the new unit and return the faceplate.
- Reinstall the thermostat to its wall mount.
Take note that each thermostat model will require different ways to access its battery panels. Consult your owner's manual to check for these specific steps. Also, watch the video below to see the steps mentioned above in action.
The best thermostat to use for radiant heat often depends on the type of underfloor heating system used. It’s ideal to take the time to look at the different options on the market to avoid unwanted purchases.