Underfloor Heating

By: Vesta  05/12/2011
Keywords: Concrete Floor

What is Underfloor Heating?

In domestic heating installation the traditional source of heat within a room is the "radiatior". Radiators are typically mounted on walls, often under windows, and operate by allowing hot water flow through them. The hot water transfers heat to the metal part of the radiator which in turn transfers heat to the air immediately around the radiator. As this newly heated air rises towards the ceiling it is replaced by colder air at the bottom of the radiator. This process is then repeated. Eventually, enough hot air will circulate around the room to heat up the whole room. This process of warm air circulation is known as convection. This is why you may sometimes see curtains situated over a radiator move when the radiatior is heating. The radiator itself will heast up quickly often in about 30 minutes. However, it may take some time to heat up the room itself. This of course depends on the size of the room, the number of radiatiors in it and the tempretaure of the water flowing through the radiatior.
In recent times installation of Underfloor heating has become more popular, especially in new house constructions. There are two main types of underfloor heating: Electric and Water. At Vesta Group we specvialise in the installation of water based underfloor heating systems. These are typically installed in the concrete floor slab by laying a series of pipes before the floor is poured. These pypes are led back to a central manifold where all the connections are made. This manifold can be arranged into different zones to provide different levels of heat to living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms. The pipes are continuous so joinings under the floor are eliminated thereby reducing the risk of leakage. Water flowing through these pipes is heated to about 40 decrees C. The whole floor is heated and it gives off a more even heat throughout the whole room. As well as providing an even heat, the room heats from the ground up making underfloor heating more efficient and comfortable that the traditional radiatior. Because the underfloor heating operates at about 40 degrees C it iis deal for use with heat sources such as high efficiency condensing boilers, heat pumps or solar panels.

Advantages of Underfloor Heating

  • More even distribution of heat throughout the room
  • More efficient than Radiatiors (Underfloor heating typically operates as 40d C, compared to approx 90d C for radiatiors)
  • Wall space is kept free from clutter

Disadvantages of Underfloor Heating

  • The main disadvantage is the time required to heat the slab which can take anything up to two hours to heat the slab. However, the use of proper control systems can ensure sufficient heat is available in a room when needed.

At Vesta Group we do not just leave the job when the installation is complete. Once commissioning is complete we work with the client to monitor their heating usage and develop the necessary control programmes to ensure satisfactory operation of the Underfloor heating system. This close cooperation with our customers allows them to fully understand the difference in operating procedures employed for Underfloor Heating compared to conventional radiatior heating.

Keywords: Concrete Floor

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