Benefits of using STEP Touch® Thermostat
The STEP Touch® Thermostat saves energy and allows you to maintain the radiant floor heating system to the desired temperature level. Choose
STEP Warmfloor® is self-regulating and cannot overheat; therefore it is as if you had a sensor over the whole floor surface. Although the heating system does not require a control unit, except for an on/off switch, you may want to install a thermostat and external sensor for the following reasons:
- Not everyone has the same temperature comfort needs
- You may want to keep some rooms warmer than others
- You want to keep the floors warm and not rely on the ambient temperature
- When the house is not in use you may not need much heat, but you do not want to risk the water tubing to freeze
- You are aware of energy efficiency and want to keep the cost down
STEP Touch® Thermostat can be used in conjunction with the regulator on the STEP® Power Supply, with the STEP® AC Controller or with the STEP® DC Controller.
Benefits of using STEP Touch® thermostat with STEP Warmfloor® low-voltage self-regulating PTC semi-conductive polymer heating elements
The STEP Touch thermostat is not an on/off control device typical of thermostats used with conventional heating systems. The STEP Touch thermostat is designed to pulse the power supply (EPI-LX-R) which in turn powers the STEP Warmfloor self-regulating heating elements closely matching the heat output according to heating needs for a zone and to prevent excess temperature typical of other heating systems. These pulses ensure a maximum level of efficiency and personal comfort.
The high energy efficiencies achieved with a STEP Warmfloor system controlled by a STEP Touch thermostat are due to the continuous pulsing operation of the system (every 1.5 seconds). These continuous pulses allow the system to continuously add the right amount of heat to maintain a constant and comfortable environment. With a traditional forced air on/off controlled heat system, the system is on and off for long durations requiring significant heat input each time the thermostat calls for heat. This result in a variable and drafty environment with low energy efficiencies compared to radiant heat. The STEP Touch thermostat maximizes the efficiency of the STEP Warmfloor system by only requiring the system to gently replace the heat that is lost from the zone.
Understanding Programmable Thermostats
Consumers are often advised that installing a programmable thermostat can save them anywhere from 10 to 30% on the space heating and cooling portion of their energy bills. While reliant on proper use of the programmable thermostat, such savings are easily true in theory; however, there needs to be more field-tested data to better substantiate savings claims. Analyses from recent field studies have suggested that programmable thermostats may be achieving considerably lower savings than their estimated potential.
Why is there a discrepancy between the theoretical and actual savings with programmable thermostats? Because the proposed savings were, in actuality, theoretical. That is, they were based on computer models and not on real-world experience. Now that there’s enough real-world data, it’s clear that programmable thermostats have only a minimal impact on energy consumption. As in other areas of personal finance, it’s human behavior that makes the most difference.
Programmable thermostats can reduce energy consumption — if they’re used right, under ideal conditions. But so can regular thermostats. What does make a difference on your heating and cooling costs? According to a Wisconsin study, your attitude toward conservation makes a big difference in energy consumption.
In 2009, the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) suspended Energy Star certification for programmable thermostats, writing:
"EPA has been unable to confirm any improvement in terms of the savings delivered by programmable thermostats and has no credible basis for continuing to extend the current Energy Star specification."
The ENERGY STAR specification for programmable thermostats was suspended on December 31, 2009 and the Energy Star label is no longer available for this category. Manufacturers were required to cease using the Energy Star name and mark in association with all products manufactured on or after December 31, 2009.