Floor heating system
Since the floor is the radiator and as it takes up space large as the room itself, lower temperatures are sufficient for a pleasant atmosphere. The temperature can be set 2 degrees lower than with the smaller heating devices, which saves up to 12% of energy as well as some money.
When it comes to floor heating, people usually talk about inertness. Some have a feeling of heavy legs, while others have a problem with dust. Floor heating should not be placed under the furniture, because it creates a heating halt. Heating pipes should not be placed under the showers and bath tubs, since they can dry the siphon. A simple wash or a rinse is enough for preventing this situation.
What should be the flooring – parquet or rugs? What should be taken into consideration when it comes to floor heating?
It is known that dust is present in every home. However, the dust stays on the floor, since the heating warms the air in the room. The air is not mobile and it cannot move the dust. The radiators bring the dust into the air that we breathe. For those who are allergic to dust this can be a problem. Surface heating also balances the humidity in the carpets and in the air.
The European Society of Phlebology conducted a research about “heavy legs”. The patients did not complain about the uncomfortable heat or coldness under their soles. On the contrary, they had a positive opinion about the under floor heating. Although floor heating can be looked at as a risk factor for venous diseases, all the patient were satisfied with the heating.
There is a common opinion that the under floor heating makes sense only when the floors are covered with tiles. This is not true and the floor can be covered with carpets, PVC-floors, parquet and laminate, ceramic tiles and panels, natural carved stone, concrete made of carved stone, industrial floors, etc. regarding the fact that the maximum resistance of the heating value is Rλ,B = 0,15 m2 K/W.
Every floor covering needs to respect certain rules. The manufacturers usually offer their long experience. They say that the important part of floor heating is created under the furniture. Since the furniture is mobile, once it is moved, cold surfaces would appear if heating would not be placed under the furniture. The physics says that the heat travels slower towards the cold areas and that means that the rooms would lack warmth which is needed for a pleasant temperature.
Maximal surface temperature, respecting DIN EN 1264 , is limited to 29°C. Higher temperatures do not appear very often because the buildings have good insulation and also, low temperatures are not common. Another clear advantage of floor heating is more available free space, which is important for small rooms. Also, floor heating cannot be a threat for small children and they cannot hurt themselves on rough surfaces and edges. Floor heating is hidden under the floor, which also excludes any type of vandalism.
The experience shows that floor heating is not more expensive than radiators. The difference lies only in transport because floor heating needs many parts, e.g. heat insulation, noise insulation (step insulation), edge insulation shape and foil covering. The investor pays more the installer but pays less estrich installer. Low expenses are achieved with low system temperatures. Since the radiator is the floor, lower temperatures are needed to achieve a comfortable feeling than with regular heating devices. The temperature can be set to be 2 degrees lower which saves up to 12% of energy and money. Heating pumps are also available for use which saves even more money and helps the environment. During summer, floor heating can be set to cool the room and the cold water circulates through the pipes. A pleasant climate is achieved during all four seasons.
Not every floor heating is the same. It is important to choose the right system and to have a good finish work and montage. It should not be forgotten that the heating floor is in constant contact with the people. Attention should be paid to installing and coordinate discussions between all the workers in order to avoid unnecessary hazards on estriches and upper surfaces. Finally, exact planning is the basis for later installing.
Floor heating with estrich made of cement is used in newly build spaces. Floor heating should be planned in advance because of heat and sound insulation. If modernization implies removing the old floor all the way to the rough concrete layer, new systems can be installed. The system of adhesive tapes offers new possibilities. Here, the pipes are manufactured in the factory and adhesive tapes are in spiral shape which is geared with a special adhesive foil for insulator panels, while everything is done without tools. DIN 1055-3  and DIN EN 1991-1-1  define the load for residential and industrial areas. Estrich covering with cement layer (CTF4) is increased for 45mm above the pipes in residential flats (2kN/m2), for 65mm (3kN/m2), 70 mm (4kN/m2) and up to 75 mm (5kN/m2). In concordance with the norms, estrich should be reduced to 30mm and 45 mm in residential flats. A 150m2 large house, this can save up to 4.5t of estrich. Less amount of estrich increases the cooling power during the hot months.
It was often talked about a bad regulation of floor heating. First, it is important to know the different ways to achieve self-regulation effect. For instance, if a room shows a temperature of 20°C and surface floor temperature of 24°C, 40W/m2 is available. If the temperature is increased (because of sun rays, number of people inside, heat from fireplace) to 22°C, the power of floor heating is lowered to 20W/m2. It gives less power for 50% without any intervention. When the floor heating is set under our feet, it is not cheap any more to do any changes. Therefore, it is good to make sure on time that the system will work. Sometimes, potential problems of floor heating are clogged pipes, but today thanks to modern pipes made of special plastics, copper and aluminium, that problem is not present. If the system is well planned and installed properly, the users should be happy and satisfied.