Artistic heat

Prestyl panels add more than aesthetics to a room — these radiant heating panels efficiently warm a space. Using a technology more commonly found in Europe, the panels have a thin film that provides heat to an area without creating a hot surface.

“The film has been around for 15 years. It was initially used in Europe in high-speed rails and airplanes, but then adapted for panels,” says Thom Morrow, president of the Spokane, Wash.-based company. “The patented film sticks on the inside of the aluminum housing and radiates heat. It’s powder-coated and safe. The front of the panel can be 180 degrees and you can put a tissue on it without starting a fire.”

There are two ways to install the product: in a wall as a retrofit application or in the ceiling which is the most energy-efficient application, Morrow says. Hard wiring the product into the thermostat allows a user to create zones. “If you have a two-story home with a basement, you could have the basement on one thermostat, the first floor on another, and top floor on another,” he says. Ideally users would place a panel in every room like a heat duct is found in every room.

The company offers different voltage options: 110 or 240 volts for residential, and 208 or 277 for commercial applications. “A 400-watt panel is 2 ft. by 2 ft. and fits perfectly in a drop ceiling; the 750-watt also fits in a drop ceiling. The 1,100-watt panel doesn’t fit in a drop-down but does a good job of heating large areas,” Morrow says. Users can choose from 100 different images as well as custom options.

A contractor or electrician can handle the installation, and Prestyl offers training for new installers. Before placing a panel in a home, trade professionals need to consider the power supply and area needed to heat. “If an architect gets in touch with us and says the home is 5,000 sq. ft. we can do the calculations. They send us the size of rooms and we calculate based on the climate,” Morrow says. Panels should not be installed in outside areas.

For more information on Prestyl panels, visit prestylusa.com or circle 08. — Maureen Alley

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