Underfloor HeatingUnderfloor Heating

08/17/2019by Mack Galus1
Underfloor Heating

Underfloor Heating – Advantages and Disadvantages

The first steps after deciding to build a house is to choose the location of its location (finding the right building plot) and finding the right architectural design. When choosing our dream home, we should not forget about technical installations, without which the house cannot really exist.

The basic technical installations in a single-family house include:

• water supply system
• sanitary sewage system installation
• storm water drainage system
• central heating installation
• gas installation
• natural or mechanical ventilation system
• electrical installation
• telecommunications installation
• alarm system

As you can see, there are a lot of installations and you can always break something at the design or construction stage. We will focus on the installation of central heating, and specifically only on the pros and cons of underfloor water heating. As you know, the largest costs of maintaining a house or apartment are related to heating.

Each of us asks three basic questions:

1. How to effectively heat the entire surface of the house? I often encounter a situation that a two-story house has only two heat zones: ground floor and first floor, without division into individual rooms. Poorly designed and controlled central heating installation can lead to uneven heating of the ground floor and first floor. For example, we have a comfortable temperature on the ground floor and the stove has switched off, while on the floor it is still cold.

2. How to get high comfort in heating the house so that our family has a warm and cozy atmosphere? The choice of heating system is strongly related to the interior furnishings, the way the floor is finished etc. Using conventional radiator heating and using tiles on the floor, the perceived temperature will be lower than in the case of wooden parquet.
3. How to heat your home so that it is cheap? The costs of heating the house are about 70% of all costs associated with using the house.       Annual heating costs for a house with an area of ​​approx. 150 m2, depending on the chosen heating system will range from £2000 to even £10,000.

Advantages of underfloor heating

1. A vertical air temperature profile favorable to the residents (warmer at the legs, cooler around the head). The coldest air is in the ceiling. (The opposite is true for radiators, where the coldest is in the legs, and the warmest under the ceiling).
2. Larger room area. No heaters allows us to better arrange the interior. Underfloor heating takes up less space because the floor plate is one big radiator.
3. Floor heating is ideal for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. The radiator is an additional element on which dust collects. Because the radiator has a smaller heating surface, we must be supplied with water at a higher temperature (50 ° C). The radiator gives off heat by radiation and convection. Convection is the transfer of heat through the air. The higher the temperature, the faster the air rises and with it the crossbow. On radiators above a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius, the so-called dust scorching phenomenon. Underfloor heating reduces air movement, which guarantees less dust circulation and maintains good hygiene conditions. Scientific studies show that underfloor heating allows the relative humidity of the floor finish to be kept below 45%. This significantly affects the development of mites.
4. Lower gas consumption. Underfloor heating works at much lower heating medium temperatures than other heating systems. The maximum flow temperature of underfloor heating is 45 ° C. Lower supply temperature means higher boiler efficiency and lower gas consumption. Savings with underfloor heating means reduced gas consumption by around 10-15%.
5. Underfloor heating is a very good solution for heating high rooms. Radiator heating raises the air and accumulates warm air under the ceiling, which generates heat loss. Underfloor heating maintains a comfortable and constant temperature from floor to head, i.e. where heat is needed. In the open salon we will get the best temperature when using underfloor heating.
6. Contrary to opinions, the finishing of the floor heating floor is almost any, using a few rules. – the finish layer should have a conductivity resistance of less than 0.15 m2K / W (terracotta has a conductivity resistance of 0.01 m2K / W, oak stave 0.11 m2K / W). The floor finishing layer should be taken into account at the design stage of the central floor heating installation. The designer of heating installations, knowing the floor finish, will determine the appropriate pipe spacing, maximum floor temperature, etc. – tiles and panels should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for installation on water floor heating.
7. The radiator, which is an underfloor heating plate, has a high thermal inertia. For some it will be an advantage, for others a disadvantage. We will not get the desired temperature in the room as quickly as with traditional radiators. Underfloor heating responds more slowly to temperature changes than with a traditional system, but allows you to maintain thermal comfort in a heated room for longer.
8. Possibility of using renewable energy sources such as heat pumps and solar installations, which have the highest efficiency at low temperature installations.

Disadvantages of underfloor heating

1. Limiting the freedom of floor finishing. Someone will say that this is a denial of what was written above, that the finish of the floor is almost any. The finish can be: ceramic, carpet, wooden or made of artificial materials. The finish can be any, but there are always exceptions. Each type of material has its limitations. The German DIN 4725 standard allows the use of wooden floors with water floor heating with a maximum heat transfer resistance value of 0.15 m2K / W. The larch stave has a thermal conductivity resistance of 0.18 m2K / W. However, a 22 mm thick parquet stave has a conductive resistance of 0.28 m2K / W. By using a luxury floor finish, we can encounter a lot of resistance from underfloor heating. Floor coverings with a high thermal conductivity require a higher operating temperature of the installation and cause increased thermal conductivity. Theoretically, the higher the conduction resistance, the more densely the pipes should be laid or the heating flow temperature should be increased. However, we must remember that the standard of surface heating limits the floor temperature of permanent people stay to 29 degrees C. On the other hand, manufacturers of wooden planks recommend not to exceed the temperature of 27 degrees C. The wrong choice of materials or the heating system does not match the specificity of the natural material, which is wood , can result in high heating costs or floor damage !.
2. Restrictions on the free arrangement of furniture. Floor heating cannot be laid under sanitary utensils: toilet bowls (unless we use a suspended bowl), sinks, sinks, bathtubs, wardrobes, kitchen furniture. The need to adapt the floor heating design to the available space, after deducting the space provided for the installation of the devices mentioned earlier. With small heated surfaces it can be a problem to heat the room to the required temperature. Wall heating can be the solution.
3. Underfloor heating has high thermal inertia. It has the ability to quickly and periodically weaken heating.
4. Underfloor heating requires more complex control than a traditional system with radiators. If there is no central floor heating project and the installer performs the installation himself based on his experience, he most often uses a simplified control system, e.g. control of the entire ground floor from the weather sensor and the entire floor from the external temperature sensor. or a thermostat placed in one of the heated rooms. These are the simplest solutions and also solutions over which we have the least control.
5. Higher investment costs related to floor heating installation. The costs are higher by approx. 30%, but they can be reduced if we arrange the heating coils ourselves and the installer orders installation of boiler rooms, manifolds, tightness tests and commissioning of the entire heating system. We can save from £2,000 to £5,000, depending on the size of the house.
6. Very expensive and invasive floor heating repairs.

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