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Self-regulating or fixed-resistance floor heating?

02 of June '23

From the series "Eco-friendly solutions and technologies—trends 2023"

Self-regulating heating, unlike the commonly used fixed-resistance cables, automatically adjusts the heating power along the length of the cable to the ambient temperature by responding to external heat sources.

Due to its design using a polymeric self-regulating element:

  • it has no possibility of heating above the marked maximum temperature (it does not overheat, it can be safely wound or crossed),
  • it can be cut or extended at will during installation,
  • is very mechanically durable.

Ogrzewanie podłogowe samoregulujące

Self-regulating floor heating

© nVent | Raychem

This is important in specific situations.

Self-regulating systems, due to their more advanced technology, are a more expensive solution. In what situations does the type of cable matter? To begin with, let's compare the two types of systems:

Electric self-regulating systems

Electric fixed-resistance systems

They automatically adjust the heating power
To ambient conditions along their entire length

They heat evenly along their entire length

Thanks to their construction they are very durable

More delicate design, wires much
thinner, even with a cross section up to 3 mm thick

They can be crossed without the risk of overheating
or burning out

The wires must not be crossed, as
it risks burning out

They can be freely cut, lengthened
and shorten during installation

Factory terminated, you can not independently
adjust the length of the heating cable

Installation in grooved insulation boards
Reflecta or in concrete screed

Installation in concrete screed or directly
in the layer of tile adhesive

For floors of all types: tiles, natural stone
natural stone, carpets, wood, laminates, etc.

Only for natural stone floors
and ceramic tiles


Many users, when buying an underfloor heating system, forget about the need to plan very carefully the arrangement of the room, i.e. kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Fixed-resistance systems heat with full power over the entire surface—in obscured areas the heat accumulates, so the system may fail (overheat the wire) or damage furniture or carpet on the floor. The self-regulating, intelligent nVent RAYCHEM T2Red system detects such zones on its own and limits the heating, and changing the position of furniture in the future is not a problem.

ogrzewanie podłogowe

underfloor heating

© nVent | Raychem


Self-regulating cables can be laid under absolutely any type of flooring, including wood panels, carpet or linoleum. Fixed-resistance conductors can only be used under ceramic or natural stone tiles.


It is recommended to lay T2Red self-regulating cables in grooved Reflecta insulation boards, covered with a layer of aluminum. These ensure even heat distribution and prevent heat loss down the floor, reducing energy consumption. However, it should be remembered that this system is 13 mm thick—so it will be necessary to raise the floor level. In cases where there is no room for this, a good alternative is a fixed-top mat or heating cable, which can be laid in a layer of tile adhesive thanks to its slim thickness of 3 mm.

EU1077 Reflecta

EU1077 Reflecta

© nVent | Raychem

przewód samoregulujący T2Red

T2Red self-regulating cable

© nVent | Raychem

Can electric underfloor heating be the main heat source in a new home?

Yes, electric floor heating can be the main and only source of heating. The solution is storage underfloor heating, which aims to reduce the cost of heating the house by using cheaper electricity in the second night tariff and eliminating alternative heating systems. It is an ideal solution in combination with a photovoltaic system or the use of energy from other renewable sources.

elektryczny przewód grzejny nVent RAYCHEM T2Blue 20 ułożony do warstwy betonu

nVent RAYCHEM T2Blue 20 electric heating cable laid to the concrete layer

© nVent | Raychem

The system consists of an electric heating cable (for example, nVent RAYCHEM T2Blue 20) laid into the concrete layer, which acts as a heat accumulator, so it must be of sufficient thickness (usually 8-10 cm) to perform its function properly. The power of the installed system is in the range of 100 W/m² (gross)—160 W/m² net, depending on the building structure (heat loss). The installation should take into account the plans for future permanent construction—heating cables are laid over the entire surface, leaving aside the built-up zones. At the same time, it should be remembered that the system with higher power heats up faster, so it works for a shorter time, which in practice means comparable electricity consumption.

For more information, visit the company's NVENT THERMAL POLSKA Sp. z o.o. page on the PdA portal.

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