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What are the advantages and disadvantages of the underfloor heating system?

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of the underfloor heating system?

Due to the excellent results in ensuring the comfort and warmth that the house needs during the cold season, one of the most frequently used types of installations in the recent years is the underfloor heating system.

The technological developments have brought to light a heating system widely used in the Ancient Rome in several types of buildings – the underfloor heating system. Nowadays, the system was first implemented in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway), especially for use in the high humidity spaces – such as bathrooms and kitchens, where the presence of a radiator would be inconvenient.

Used both in the private houses and in the hotel complexes, hostels, agricultural farms, the under floor heating system offers numerous advantages, but it also has several disadvantages.

THE ADVANTAGES OF UNDERFLOOR HEATING SYSTEM:

  • The high degree of comfort due to the fact that the temperature is constant over the entire surface of the room and for a long time because the heat flows from bottom to top.
  • The underfloor heating system has a lower consumption of up to 20% than the conventional radiator systems because it does not require a very high temperature setting.
  • The aesthetic appearance of the room improves considerably because the pipes (mostly visible), radiators and valves are removed. The disappearance of the radiators has not only an aesthetic effect but also a very pragmatic one (increases the useful space). A wall, previously blocked by the radiator, becomes free for other uses.
  • The fear that the children will get ill if they are not dressed well is no longer a problem. All the heat is released through the floor, which means that both children and adults can walk without care barefoot on the floor.

THE DISADVANTAGES OF UNDERFLOOR HEATING SYSTEM:

  • The initial costs are higher than of the classic radiator heating system
  • It can lift the dust out of the room faster because it heats a big part of the floor
  • Also, the fact that the water used as a heating agent is not 100% pure, and the underfloor heating system uses water at low temperature raises a problem quite common: the development of bacteria and algae in the heating system. Their decomposition causes the occurrence of gases in the thermal installation, which in turn favors the electro-corrosion in the thermal installation, thus degrading it. Also, over time, it is possible to deposit different minerals, or organic material, resulting from the decomposition of microorganisms that can block the elements in the circuit.

All of these factors lead to the poor installation efficiency, malfunction and reduced system life. To maximize the performance and protect the under floor heating system, we have to take into consideration the appropriate maintenance.

If it is a good option for you or not, it depends ultimately on everyone’s lifestyle. The basic principle of operation is that the floor becomes a radiant element and so the heat spreads from the bottom to top on a larger surface as opposed to the radiators of a classic heating system that although they make a direct transfer of energy to the room air are of lower dimensions and may require a longer time to heat the room.

The underfloor heating systems can use both thermal and electrical energy, but their efficiency is directly proportional to the thermal properties of the building in which they are installed. In both variants, the heat is transmitted through tubes or cables to the concrete screed of the floor and then to the room.

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