Aspects of the under floor heating
This is not about a new idea though we often hear about the under floor heating as a new technology, so this is not a true thing. Although there are speculations that such technologies have been used in China and in Egypt many years before our era by the circulation of a warm air through the dug ditches under the floor, it is sure that the process was used by the Romans to the rich houses. Under the room there was a hole of 30-60 cm height under which the hot air was circulating. The warm fluid rose to the above part of the hole and thus the floor was warming.
The reason that I made this brief review is that I want to be understood that whatever the available heating source (wood, coal, electricity, gas, solar energy or geothermal energy) the under floor heating can be achieved.
Nowadays, things are a little different, in the view of what humanity has realized that the water carries the heat from point A to point B up to 4000 times faster than the air, and it can conduct the heat better in the proposed aim. And though there are many modern ways of floor heating, two of them are the most common:
– The under floor heating with pipe
– The under floor heating with electrical wire
The under floor heating with pipe
In the beginning I wrote one single article, but it was a long one and I split it into three parts just because this type of under floor heating is the most demanding and the most flexible, and I recommend it. The under floor heating with pipe has a polyethylene tube though which a fluid (liquid) circulates such as water or mineral oil (installation which work on mineral oil are less common, but when the mineral oil is used, usually a synthetic one, the metal pieces from the installation significantly increases their lifetime, this type of fluid requires a particular installation and an increased concern in the operation). The circulating speed of the liquid through pipes varies and it can be controlled also with a temperature sensor (if it is hot we decrease the fluid speed and if it is cold we increase the fluid speed following a constant temperature in time).
As a source of heat a thermic central is used, it may be electrical, on wood, gas, solar, geothermal, etc. This is why I prefer this type of installation to electrical underfloor heating system’s detriment. If something changes in the future, perhaps the price of gas or electricity or the change on the renewable energy should not replace the whole system and renovate the whole building. The polyethylene tube is placed on top of a thermal insulation foundation to keep a big part of heat into the floor, thus the heat does not escape in unintended directions.
There are some portions of the floor which are not included in the heating surface or coated with tube. The bath tub surface in the bath, or sink surface or the furniture which forms a part of the wall is not heated because they are not ventilated cavities, the heat will increase more in the room and they will deteriorate. Also it needs a clear calculation of the location of the tube to avoid any inconvenience, such as accidentally drilling or cutting of the tube once it is buried in the screed.
One last thing I will say about this system before passing to the electricalone and that is that sometimes are used some metal trays that are designed to disperse the heat on a surface as large as possible, alternatively you can use insulation with aluminum foil.
The under floor heating with electric wire
This underfloor heating system is the most expensive both in terms of acquisition costs and in terms of the operation. Electrical,the underfloor heating can be done with electrical heater wire or with an electric heater mat. There is also a version of the heater film or of the heater plates, but both of them function as the electrical mat version or as the metal tray from the pipes system, namely they spread the heat from the electrical conductor.
It can be made a segregation of the types of electric heaters because in case of the electrical heater wire it must be buried in the screed, as the pipe system, while the systems with electric heater mat or with heater film or heater platesthey are installed under the flooring requiring a smaller labor.
Although the under floor heating is more risky because if in winter you have no electricity you have also no heat, and expensive, it is often easier to implement and therefore it is chosen. The electrical systems, in my opinion, go well if they are installed in parallel with another type of heating system, especially if on the house are installed photovoltaic panels.
The under floor heating system is completely installed under the floor, and the absence of any visible heating elements offers unlimited possibilities of decorating the interior space. This is advantageous in terms of planning an efficient use of space near the window, for example, where normally would be installed a radiator.
The under floor heating system provides a good vertical distribution of the temperature in the room. A higher temperature to the floor level and a lower temperature to the head level gives an optimal thermal comfort. It is therefore particularly suitable for high spaces such as churches, gyms or production halls.
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