A young and dynamic company in Quebec has finally gotten a new radiant heating cable out of the laboratory and onto the market that has almost no electromagnetic radiation. "FlexTherm"from Longueuil, Quebec has just released (Spring 2004) what they call their Green Cable. With a sensitive professional gauss meter, the field proves to be barely discernable. With ordinary, even low amperage heating cables, both meters register strong electromagnetic fields as high as three feet off the floor. Choosing the right model of cable and installation technique will allow you to install this over just about any floor structure and under just about any floor finish from tile to engineered wood to rugs. About the only limitation is that electric cables are not good under massive hardwood floors because of both the shrinkage of the wood and the use of nails, which would probably hit the hidden cable.
Finally a heating manufacturer has dared to face the fact that a growing portion of the population is concerned about electromagnetic fields, even if the medical profession supports the official electrical utility position that electromagnetic fields are not all so dangerous for one's health. I don't know who is right about the health dangers, but I sure do like having a non-ionizing alternative -- like being on the safe side whoever wins the debate. Click here for details on the health debate around the question of electromagnetic radiation.
If you know anything about electricity, the theory behind eliminating the electromagnetic field is rather simple. Two wires operating at the same frequency placed properly side by side will cancel out the field. It took years to learn that it worked best with a twisted pair and to perfect the theory into a reliable working product that is easy to install. But this young team from Quebec dared to do it. Why was it daring to do this? Because no company wants to admit that their standard products could be radically improved. But market demand is king -- and I think this will quickly become the standard in-floor heating cable. In fact, now that it is available, in both 120V and 240 Volt configurations, I wouldn't use any cable that didn't perform at least as well as this "Green Cable". After all, it costs only about 10% more than the standard cable.
By the way, if you want to install this yourself, you can, but in many provinces and states you must, and everywhere you should, have the final tests and connections made by a licensed electrician -- just to be safe. After all, this is a powerful heating cable buried in the floor.