What is it, and what does it do?
Underfloor heating is considered to be a modern heating system. In fact, such an installation was known already in antiquity. In those days, however, underfloor heating was reserved exclusively for the rich, as it was extremely inefficient and required a huge amount of fuel.
Nowadays, the situation has changed; since the seventies of the last century, underfloor heating has become a standard in new buildings, accessible to all. This is also due to the specific nature of the installation, which is very energy-efficient. Underfloor heating is a low-temperature system with long-term heat retention.
Is it cheaper to have underfloor heating or radiators?
Underfloor heating is more eco-friendly than using radiators and uses less energy, meaning they cost much less in the long run! As long as you have installed it properly, you could save about 30% of the energy you would use with a radiator, and up to 50% when running from a heat pump.
Do I need to dig up my floor to install UFH?
No. If you are renovating, you don't need to dig up your floors to install UFH! There are various different systems and installation options, including low-profile overlay solutions. These are simply installed over existing solid or timber floors. Your choice of tiles or laminate can then be laid directly over the system.
The underfloor heating installation system
Dry system - especially suitable for installation in older houses that have been used for a long time. Due to the light structure of the floor without a concrete screed, the dry system is suitable where the ceiling would not be able to withstand the additional load. In old buildings, heating pipes are placed on the prepared floor layer, which will eventually be under the floor covering.
Wet system - this system is suitable for new buildings or major refurbishments. Flexible pipes made of plastic or composite for underfloor heating are arranged in various ways and finally covered with a screed layer. In a wet system, a layer of anti-damp and thermal insulation is first laid, followed by foil, adhesive mortar and screed.
Pros of Wet Underfloor Heating
Economical heating of the house - While traditional central heating is based on a supply of water heated to 75-85 ° C, low-temperature surface heating is satisfied with a supply temperature of only 35-55 ° C. Due to the low-temperature range, the efficiency of the heating devices is significantly higher than that of ordinary central heating. This is not only good for the environment but also for lower costs.
Fewer drafts and cold nooks and crannies - In low-temperature heating, the air near the ceiling is slightly colder than the air at the bottom of the room. The heat is distributed more evenly and in a way that ensures human thermal comfort. The feet and legs are in the warmest zone, while the slightly cooler air at head level makes breathing easier. There are no hot and cold zones in the room. The temperature is the same in every corner of the room.
Healthier air - Low water temperature heating reduces airborne dust in your home. The absence of strong air currents caused by a large temperature difference reduces dust. There is also no heating of dust particles on hot surfaces of metal heaters - irritation of the upper respiratory tract is avoided. The room is humid because radiation dissipation does not dry the air as much as hot wall heaters. It is especially suitable for young children.
Accumulation of heat in the floor - The significant heat capacity of the floor (together with the carpet layer) means that it stores significant amounts of thermal energy. While the wall heaters cool down several minutes after turning off the power, the floor gives off the stored heat for a long time.
Comfort and aesthetics - The lack of heaters hanging on the walls significantly improves the aesthetics of the rooms and gives additional possibilities for the interior arrangement. The entire heating system is hidden on the floor, and the necessary control and power devices can be installed in the laundry room or in the boiler room.
Cons of Wet Underfloor Heating
Limitations for the floor covering - Underfloor heating requires the use of finishing materials that conduct heat well. For example, solid wood planks and thick carpets are not recommended. On the other hand, ceramic and natural stone tiles are good.
High installation costs, especially in old buildings.
Problems with removing failures - Although the probability of damaging the pipe under the floor is negligible, various failures of the installation do occur, and this involves the necessity of forging the screed or at least disassembling a part of the lining.
Difficult temperature control - Due to the high thermal inertia of the concrete screed, the system reacts slowly to changes in temperature settings. In practice, the settings once adjusted do not require changes, and the temperature in the rooms is controlled by automatic sensors and regulators.
There are no radiators for drying towels in the bathroom.