Under floor heating is a type of central heating system placed beneath the floor, and it aims at maintaining the temperature inside a room at a level that is comfortable to the human body. This heating system works on the principle of radiation and heating. This system of heating dates long back in history when we humans lived in the stone dwellings. Excavations in Asia and Alaska have revealed trenches covered with stone beneath the subterranean dwellings. These trenches were channels where hot smoke used to be directed, and heat up the stone covering the trench. These stones were on the floor of the dwelling and heat from them radiated into the room and made them warm. This pre-historic form of heating has today evolved as under floor heating system with fluid-pipes or cables.
Modern Heating Solution
Today the hydronic floor heating is thought to be one of the most fuel or energy efficient heating systems. This system uses water, or a mix of water and anti-freezing fluids such as propylene glycol as the fluid medium to transfer heat. Since water is a good carrier of heat, the mixture of water and anti-freezing fluid is circulated and re-circulated in loops of pipes between the boiler and the floor. The pipes used to circulate the fluid are usually made of polyethylene oxygen resistant materials. Placing of the mess of pipes beneath the floor ensures even distribution of heat throughout the room.
Different Floor Systems
The water at source is warmed up to a temperature of 35-450C and circulated through durable pipes at safe pressure. An area between 60 m2– 90 m2 is ideally required for optimum results. Hydronic systems can use a single source or combination of energy sources to help manage energy costs. There can be different ways of laying the system.
- In screed floor heating: In this system, durable pipes are laid on top of the slab and insulation and covered with a floor material such ad marble or tiles. Control of the flow of water in pipes controls the heat radiated in the room.
- In Slab floor heating: This is a storage heating system wherein hot water is pumped through pipes that have been already laid within the concrete slabs. When the concrete slab heats up, it radiates heat into the room providing a pollution free, noiseless warm room. For this heating system, you will need a couple of days in the beginning to warm up.
- Under Battened Timer heating: The fluid pipes are laid over the insulation panel that will directly remain under the floor board. The pipes are laid in between the battens laid at regular intervals of 450 mm centres. The heat radiation is controlled by controlling the flow of water through the pipes.
The installation of the hydronic heating system requires skilled tradesmen familiar with the installation equipment. The heat input can be controlled and also pre-set up to seven days using a timer. Moreover, you can heat up rooms and areas independently heated up according to your need.
Right Maintenance Pays
Like all installations and machinery, the hydronic floor heating requires regular maintenance for optimal heat output. Boilers require regular servicing to prevent formation of sludge or corrosive oxides. These floor heating systems have a good life-span anywhere between thirty to forty years depending on the level of maintenance.
Good for Health
Underfloor heating does not have any adverse effect on air as it only radiates heat from beneath the floor. Otherwise, cold floors of concrete heat up, creating a comfortable environment. The heated floor is advantageous in more than one way; it will help evaporate fluids from the floor, either during cleaning or in case of spills.
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