Energy savings – Floor heating
All industrial, commercial or housing spaces have to be pleasant and comfortable for working and living. In order to have better working and living conditions, some investments also have to be made in to systems for cooling and heating your life or work spaces. Before we define the way of heating and cooling we have to think about the level of energy efficiency we want to achieve. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge, or finances, sometimes prevents us from obtaining the best results in this area.
Investing in energy efficiency will pay it self out in several years and the perfect moment to think about cooling and heating systems is the moment you start planning your future space.
For example, if you increase the room temperature only by 1 oC you will spend 6% more electricity.
Low temperature under floor heating will give you extremely pleasant sensation of warmth that is only by 2- 3 degrees lower than in case of radiator or some other type of heating. This way energy savings are expressed in 12-16%.
There is still some prejudice about under floor heating. They originate from the times when under floor heating didn’t use thermo regulating valves and hard fuel boilers pumped in to pipes 60oC hot water. There is no air circulation in rooms with under floor heating because the whole room surface has the same temperature. That is why under floor heating is recommended for spaces where any air circulation should be avoided.
A statement that warmth from the floor may have bad effect on vascular veins in legs is absolutely untrue. Maximum temperature of floors with under floor heating is 27 oC, and they are usually set on 23 do 25 o C. Regular floors can be warmer on a hot summer day. Only in hallways and transition spaces it is exceptionally allowed the floor temperature to be 30oC. In spaces heated this way you can wear light summer shoes which are perfect for the health of your feet.
Heat pumps used in under floor heating systems in most economical working mode reach the temperature of 42 oC. In practice, under floor heating systems heat the water in range of 26 – 31 oC providing with that the optimal room temperature of 21 – 23 oC.
In industrial spaces with high ceilings (up to 6 meters) under floor heating systems can provide optimal working temperature of 18oC with maximum electricity savings.
The same effect is obtained in churches, great halls, shopping malls and warehouses.
When projecting a under floor heating system always pay attention to thermal insulation below pipes in under floor heating. Thickness of the styrofoam layer should be precisely calculated especially in spaces without under floor heating and in ground floor spaces. Installing styrofoam insulation thinner than 40 mm in these spaces will cause losses in thermal energy and in finances.
Heat pumps are, by their nature, also cooling machines. In heating mode they cool the water or air from the outer space and transmit the thermal energy gathered this way in to the inner space we want to heat. In cooling mode, heat pump cools down the water that circulates through under floor tubes system or air in the room we want to cool down, and thermal energy gathered this way is transmitted in the outer space. Energy saving and efficiency of heat pumps are represented in fact that for transmitting the energy from one space to another we need to invest only one third of transmitted energy.
That means that by using low temperature geothermal energy we insert in to heated space 20 kwh of thermal energy spending only 5 kwh of electric energy for the work of heat pump. Guaranteed energy saving is 70%.
Heat pump ability to work both in the heating and cooling mode gives your space a perfect clime for the same price. We have to admit that cooling down by under floor heating system is not the perfect solution because the cold air tends to remain in the lower pats of the room. Its ideal, and more expensive, to combine under floor heating with ceiling or wall heating
Over cooling can cause the water condensation on the floor so it is necessary to use dew detectors which will shut down the cooling even before the system reaches the temperature set on the thermostat.
Under floor heating gives best results with ceramic, marble or concrete floorings. Laminates and parquet can also be used. Parquet humidity has to be under 10 %. Bamboo parquet can meet this standard.
Information that in 2009 in European Union over half million heat pumps have been installed, speaks loudly for it self.