Do You Need a Special Thermostat for Radiant Heat?

Most modern thermostats are built for a range of heating and cooling uses, including radiant heat flooring. Most homeowners who are looking at radiant heat likely are already familiar with these systems or were planning on putting a digital thermostat in their home anyway.

Whereas they were once considered a high-end add-on, digital thermostats are now fairly standard in all new construction and general home remodels. A highly adjustable thermostat is ideal for radiant heat, so there’s less variance in your home’s temperature or the space you’ve chosen to heat. You’re likely going to pick from common digital brands including Nest, ecobee and Honeywell.

What Makes A Thermostat Compatible With Radiant Heat?

In most cases, you’ll want your chosen thermostat to have a floor sensor. This sensor can monitor the temperature of your floors, keeping them at or within your desired temperature range. Additionally, a hydronic radiant heat thermostat needs to be able to control the water heater since your warm water source is what delivers the heat to your floors.

For electric radiant floor heat, the thermostat needs to be a basic line voltage thermostat. It’s important to have you or your installer check the maximum voltage allowable by the thermostat to ensure you are in electrical compliance to avoid overload.

How Many Thermostats Do You Need For Underfloor Heating?

One of radiant heat flooring’s key advantages is having temperature control over different parts of your home by setting up multi-zone areas with separate thermostats. The setup is mostly one of personal preference, as you can set up the entire system to be controlled by one thermostat. However, by having multiple zones with their own thermostat, those separate rooms and areas can be adjusted based on the size of the room or how many people are typically in it at a given time.

Although having separate thermostats can seem like a management nightmare upfront, most newer systems have a simple wall control and an even simpler app-based panel of controls that can be run from your phone. It’s a novel way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature regardless of the season.


Of course, the efficiency and effectiveness of your radiant heat flooring system are largely based on the team you choose to install it. Portland-area homeowners trust The Earth Heating to do things the right way the first time, making sure that the most modern systems are used with the least amount of general interference during the construction or remodeling process. Call (503) 788-7777 today to learn more.

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