How Does Underfloor Heating Work?
Underfloor Heating is not new, the principles go back to Roman times. In Europe it is the system of choice and in some countries accounts for 70% of new heating installations.
An underfloor heating system heats mainly by radiation. This is the most natural and comfortable form of heating - just like the sun.
Radiant energy emitted by the floor is partly reflected by each surface and partly absorbed. Where it is absorbed, that surface becomes a secondary emitter.
The majority of modern UFH systems are warm water systems, which integrate high tech barrier pipe either within or just below the floor.Normally, water at a temperature of 47-62°C is circulated through this pipe and this warms the floor to a surface temperature of 25-28°C, about the same temperature as the palm of your hand.
With a radiator system the heat generated is transferred from a small surface area far hotter than the space it is heating. By comparison, UFH transfers heat from a very large surface area, which is only slightly warmer than the room.
Modern UFH systems are economical to run, virtually maintenance free and utilise effective controls. They provide the most comfortable all round warmth of any heating system.
In concrete floors, the heating pipe is laid on top of insulation before the screed covers the pipe and completes the floor construction.
As the pipes are embedded into the solid screeded floor they can be covered with almost any finish.
Hot water is pumped from the boiler to a Pump Pack, where the water is mixed to approximately 50°C via the unique mixing valve before being pumped to the manifold.
The underfloor pipe is connected to the manifold from where it runs out to the heating circuits.
The system is controlled by one or more thermostats, which signal the Pump Pack when heat is required.As with all heating systems, suitable controls are required to achieve comfort condition, maintain economic operation and to comply with Building Regulations.
Underfloor heating systems can be used as the sole heating system or be linked to other appliances such as radiators.
Whilst UFH has many advantages over traditional systems they are not quite as responsive. As they are most efficient in constant operation, it is good practice to provide controls which can "set-back" the temperature in an area by 4 - 5°C during periods of low demand such as night time rather than turning the system completely off.
Features & Benefits
Underfloor Heating Systems offer many benefits to the consumer. Some of these are shown below.