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Should I leave the radiant floor heat turned on during the Winter?

Should I leave the radiant floor heat turned on during the Winter?

Never completely turn off your radiant floor heating during the winter.

If you are living in a cold to extremely cold climate, the floor heat system should be complimenting your forced air furnace during the winter.


Try our cost calculator to figure out how much electricity, per hour it will cost to operate a radiant floor heat system.

However, in a mild winter climate (like Portland or Seattle), most of the time, your floor heat system alone can keep you comfortable.

The short answer to this question is...No.  Do not completely turn off your floor heat system in the winter.  Turn it down.  Do not turn it off.

Turning off the floor heat causes the system to reheat the entire surface again (and the subfloor, too). What's worse is if the foundation is concrete and the season is winter, the floor heat's reheating process can take two to three hours. Remember, it's not just the floor that gets cold, it's that area of the foundation that isn't being warmed anymore.

Gold-Heat-electric-radiant-floor-under-floor-heat-system-OFFICIAL (1)


Gold Heat recommends not turning off the radiant floor heat during colder months. The system set on at a lower temperature or programmed to heat up during specific times will ensure that your home is comfortably heated when needed.  Raise the temperature or lower it, but don't turn the thermostat off. Instead, take advantage of the thermostat's technology to control when you want more or less floor heat.

What type of thermostat should I use?

First, your forced air heater and floor heat thermostat are not the same.  The floor heat system is on dedicated circuits which requires its own type of thermostat.  A forced-air thermostat is measuring the air temperature.  The floor heat thermostat is measuring the floor temperature. 

Meaning...just because the forced air comes on at 68 degrees, and the floor heat thermostat is set at 78 degrees, you can bet the farm that the floor will maintain 78 degrees no matter the air temperature.


Do you want a touch screen and/or mobile phone app to control the floor heat?

Straightforward and Wi-Fi enabled?  

Smart floor heat thermostat to the rescue!

Gold Heat recommends these two Smart floor heat thermostats

OJ Microline thermostat for gold heat electric radiant floor heat


Smart WiFi touchscreen thermostat

  OJ Microline UW64 + app

Available from Gold Heat



Wi-Fi floor heat thermostat with buttons

Sinope TH1300WF

Available from Gold Heat


How would I set the radiant floor heat for a toasty morning floor?

Electric radiant floor heat is a real treat in the morning.

Floor heat makes getting out of bed easier. Floor heat takes the "shock" from waking up and walking to the bathroom. Plus, feet that hit floor heat in the morning start circulating blood faster to your extremities.


Simply program the thermostat to raise the floor temperature (I like the floor at 80 degrees, personally) about 20 minutes before waking up.  When you leave for the day, set a time for the floor heat to lower its temperature.


Same thing for when I get home from work?

Yes! Program the floor heat thermostat to start warming the floor about 20 minutes before you arrive.  If your thermostat is powered by a thermostat app, increase the heat on the way home.

What about setting the floor heat thermostat for sleeping?

While you will have to experiment with your programmable thermostat to learn what temperature is right during sleeping hours, turning down (but not off!) the floor heat at night does save energy.


Sleeping with radiant floor heat at night

Gold Heat recommends turning down the thermostat 7-10 degrees lower for sleeping at night and when you are away. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that homeowners save at least 25% a year utilizing a Smart programmable thermostat. 

FUN FACT: The flooring material and the subfloor are like rocks in the hot sun. A rock exposed to direct sunlight retains the heat. When the sun goes down, the rock is still warm. Much like why the flooring material and subfloor stays warm.

While the floor heat system is running, it is "charging" the flooring and subfloor material with warmth. This process keeps the floor emitting warm light even after turning down the thermostat.

OJ Microline thermostat for gold heat electric radiant floor heat-1

TIP: It is worth investing in a smart thermostat to program an underfloor heating system. from anywhere using your mobile device. Programmable thermostats allow more control over your floor heat system, keeping energy bills as low as possible.