Background: we recently bought a two story house on a slab. It has in-floor heating run by an electric water boiler. It also has forced air run by a Trane heat pump. As we live in Canada its starting to get below 0 C at night so I'd like to turn on the water boiler for the in-floor heating. (only the slab has the in-floor heating, 2nd level does not).

Should I set the in-floor temperature to the same as the heat pump, or a tad higher?

My thought was to set the heat pump to about 1 C lower than the in-floor so it can catch variations in temperature, like when it drops from -15 C to -35C overnight during February.

I'm not sure how to utilize both of these to maximize comfort.

  • Try it and see what you like. The in-floor heating will respond much slower then the heat pump.
    – Gil
    Nov 5, 2021 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


I have a pretty similar setup. But in my case the forced air is "aux heat" as programmed in the T-stat. In other words, if the in-floor system can't maintain temp, the T-stat will kick on the forced air.

In-floor heating is very slow, as Gil mentioned. So I do a night-time setback of only 2 degrees.

So if I were you I'd get t-stats with intelligent adaptive recovery. It will take some time, but they will learn about the performance of your heating system. Just program them for what you want to have happen. They are goal oriented....IE if you want your home to be 68 degrees by 8:00 AM, it will learn when to turn on the heating system to get to that temp by that time.

  • Intelligent adaptive recovery. Thanks for that tip, didn't know those existed. Nov 5, 2021 at 13:27
  • Smart t-stat was the answer indeed. I had a HVAC guy drop by and he recommended the Ecobee smart thermostat with remote sensors. I now have three remote sensors upstairs and closed the forced air vents on the bottom floor so the in-floor heats the bottom and the forced air heats the top. The Ecobee uses an "avg" house temp, so the 3 upstairs sensors combine to kick in the furnace as needed. Dec 8, 2021 at 14:19
  • As an addition to my previous comment, I've discovered that the Ecobee app allows you to select which sensors participate in a schedule This allows me to control the upstairs just based on the remote sensors and remove the downstairs temp from the "avg". After all last winter with the Ecobee + remote sensors I highly recommend. Dec 5, 2022 at 16:06

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