Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Chill Out” Radiant Heat?  How safe is the product?

Chill Out is a strong, flexible, thin plastic heating mat. It is made of an innovative polymer blend that heats when electricity is passed through the material. Unlike other types of radiant floor heating, Chill Out has the unique ability to self-regulate. So by design it cannot overheat. Chill Out operates on low voltage and is connected to a 24 volt transformer.

To provide power continuously along its length, a flat bus braid is embedded in the plastic sheet heater along each edge. Our system is energy efficient when continuously energized, allowing the self-regulating nature of the heating elements to control the floor temperature.

Chill Out is safe and ideally suited for bathrooms and other wet environments.

Because it is a polymer it is unaffected by moisture. Chill Out is a low voltage system (24V). Further the product has met stringent international TUV listing protocol.

 

How long has PTC heating Elements been used?

The self-regulating polymer technology was developed in 1981 and first used to provide heated seats for automobiles. Since then the technology has been used in a variety of applications, including the floor covering area. Hundreds of thousands of feet have been installed globally

 

What types of floors can Chill Out be used under?

Chill Out provides such even and gentle heating that it can be used under almost any flooring including vinyl, laminate, marble, stone, tile and even under wood. 

 

Can I use Chill Out just to take the chill off my floor while heating the room with another source?

Yes. Floor warming is perfect for Chill Out. Bathroom floors will be pleasantly comfortable for your bare feet on a cold morning. The system can be used for floor warming in a single room while a different heat source is used to heat the whole house. Remember that other rooms can benefit from a warm floor – kitchens, hallways, family rooms etc. 

 

Can Chill Out be used for renovation?

Chill Out is ideal for renovation and new construction. Because the product is so thin (1/8th in.) and flexible it can be installed without needing to change the height of molding, door or cabinets. Additionally, each room can be individually controlled. 

 

Can Chill Out be installed under an existing floor?

Yes – as long as you have access to the sub-floor. Chill Out can be installed between floor joists without altering your existing floor. We highly recommend insulation below the elements.

 

Where else in the house can Chill Out be used?

  • Chill Out is ideal for those hard to heat places like basement rooms, conservatories and loft spaces
  • Chill Out can be used as radiant wall heating
  • Chill Out can be placed behind mirrors preventing misting
  • Chill Out can help plants to grow in greenhouses

 

Can Chill Out overheat?

Because of its polymer design Chill out cannot overheat. As the material gets warmer, less amount of electricity passes through the plastic and therefore less heat is generated. It’s as if you had a sensor over the whole floor.
Chill out is even approved for use in hospital beds, as it adapts to the temperature generated by body heat.

 

What does self-regulating mean?

All materials expand and contract with temperature. We take full advantage of this basic law of physics to create the “self-regulating” nature of the Chill Out heating element. When the Chill Out heating element is exposed to a cold temperature, on a molecular level, the conductive particles embedded in the plastic get shoved together. This creates many current paths between the bus braids, the current flows through the semi-conductive plastic, and heat is generated.

When the temperature warms up, on a molecular level, the conductive particles get spread apart. This reduces the amount of current paths between the bus braids, causing the current flow to decrease, and less heat is generated. This “self-regulating” nature allows our heaters to respond to local conditions at the floor, providing a much more comfortable environment. The heaters will self-regulate up in heat output in front of an exterior door that has been opened and closed. The heat output will decrease in locations where sunlight is warming the floor.

 

How does the Chill Out heating element generate heat?

The heating elements are unique in that they DO NOT use metal heating elements. Our heating element is constructed primarily of a plastic that becomes semi-conductive. It is the electricity passing from bus braid to bus braid through this semi-conductive plastic that generates the heat.

 

How is Chill Out regulated? Can a thermostat be used?

Floor warming in a small room such as a bathroom or hallway can be turned on and operated without controls by solely using the self-regulating nature of Chill Out. If some control is desired, a in line thermostat rated for a 500W transformer can be used.

 

How rugged is a Chill Out system?

Our heating elements are a rugged plastic sheet that can be bent, twisted and even pierced.

With the other electric systems that are on the market, their heaters are fragile thin wires and cables that can be easily damaged.

 

Are there other radiant heating alternatives?

Yes, there are. One method is to use hot water pipes placed below the floor. The water tubing is connected to a water boiler. The hot water from the boiler is circulating through the tubing to generate the radiant heat. Hydronic systems require maintenance for pumps and valves, are difficult to use for smaller areas and for retrofits in an existing home.

Another alternative is the use of electric cables. These systems are fixed wattage and carry higher voltage (100V – 230V). They require thermostats, sensors and ground fault switches, tend to be susceptible to damage and can be expensive to run.  

 

What are the benefits of Chill Out over a hydronic system?

Hydronic systems require maintenance for pumps and valves, are difficult to use for smaller areas and for retrofits in an existing home.

Because of the extra depth needed to fit the required piping they tend to be expensive to install and can be inefficient in use as they can only heat the areas of floor immediately above the pipes, whereas Chill Out’s flat elements is only 1/8th in. thick and heats the entire surface evenly.

 

What are the benefits of Chill Out over other electrical heat systems?

These systems carry higher voltage (100V – 230V). They require thermostats, sensors and ground fault switches.

With the other electric systems that are on the market, their heaters are fragile wires and cables that can be easily damaged. Because of that, extreme care and caution must be taken to ensure that damage does not occur. 

 

Why do my Heating elements not heat up before the finished floor is installed?

Based on the self-regulating nature of our heating elements, the surface temperature of an element will not be warmer than the skin on your hand until it is embedded in some thermal mass and the generated heat can accumulate.

The true test of heater operation before placement of the finished floor is through current measurements of the individual elements. A more simple test is to place a rug or blanket over the elements until the heat can accumulate and be noticeable to the touch.

 

Why is Chill Out Different than any other floor heating system?

Unlike traditional electrical underfloor heating systems, relying on looped or embedded wires, our unique patented carbon polymer element actually conducts electricity throughout the whole area covered by the element. So your entire floor becomes one huge ultra-efficient radiator.

Not only that, but because the element is self-regulating, it will automatically direct more energy to colder areas and less to warmer areas, and does this constantly so that the temperature of the entire floor remains constant with the minimum cost.