Radiant floor heating

Radiant floor heating

Radiant floor heating is the lowest energy consumption system, because of the low temperatures at which it works and due to its caracteristics, it matches up perfectly with Solar thermal energy. The heating is clean, silent and invisible, since it consists of hot water running through underground pipes.

Radiant floor heating

It is a heating system completely invisible, clean and aesthetic, that allows maximum use of the space.

Radiant floor heating consists of a network of pipes uniformly scattered and buried under the floor.

Aplications in Radiant floor heating

Heating

This type of heating is the one that works the best with solar thermal energy and the one that has the least energy consumption. It is also the healthiest system, so much so, that it is recomended by the World Health Organization (WHO).


heating & cooling

The same installation can be used for cooling in the summer. For that, it´s necessary that the energy generating system is a heat pump, since these can generate both, heat in the winter and cold in the summer.


Radiant floor heating is the lowest energy consumption system, because of the low temperatures at which it works and due to its caracteristics, it matches up perfectly with Solar thermal energy. The heating is clean, silent and invisible, since it consists of hot water running through underground pipes.

Operation

Its operation is invisible to the eye of the consumer, consisting of a network of pipes running beneath the floor. It is said that, radiant floor heating is a low temperature system, since the water that runs through its pipes, doesn´t exceed 45ºC, as oposed to the 70-90 that heating systems with radiators reach. The network of pipes covers the whole floor, thus, the heat is distributed evenly and always near the human body, never being necessary to reach the high temperatures of the radiators, that have to emit the heat towards the whole room, including the ceiling, where warm air naturally tends to go and where it is not needed. Radiant floor heating works well with low temperature boilers or solar energy, because they all work at low temperature. Heat pumps can also be used. At Soliclima, we work with Multibeton, a well know french brand that offers a 30 year warranty. This system can also be used for cooling in the summer, as long as the energy generating system is a heat pump, since they can generate both, heat and cold, unlike boilers. In order tu utilize the system to also cool, it is necessary the additional installation of a dehumidifier.

Radiant floor heating
Schelude of radiant floor heating

History

Already in the 12th Century BC, the Romans used the “Hipocasus”, which is based on the same system as radiant floor. Then, under the floor, there were holes where hot air circulated from a type of furnace made “ad hoc”.

A very similar system was used in Spain, during the Middle Ages and it can be seen, even today, around the Region of Castilla. This was such as popular way of heating, that it was described as “the glory” by those who used it, since they claimed to be in “the glory”.

Radiant floor heating use spread across Europe, following the oil crisis of the 70´s and also because many architects appreciate this type of heating, due to its invisivility.

Installation

Several insulating layers are placed under the pipes, to prevent heat loss. Cement is then poured on the pipes and the floor tiles are pl aced, which is the most suitable kind of floor for radiant floor heating; parquet flooring is no advisable, since the wood could bend as a result of changes in temperature and carpeting neither, since it would work as an insulator.

Installation types

Serpentine distribution

A pipeline enters on one side of the room and it goes in parallel lines, towards the other end; the disadvantage being that , when the water reaches the other end of the room, its temperature has decreased.

Doble serpentine distribution

Coils are also used; it doesn´t have the disadvantage of single coil installations and is ideal for irregular shape rooms.

Spiral distribution

It´s the system that provides a more consistent temperature throughout the floor of the room. It starts at one end of the room, moving in spiral towards the center, leaving space so that the pipe can return following the same way it came.

Benefits

  • the heat is near the body, no matter where one is in the room
  • the temperature is uniform througout the room
  • it is invisible
  • consumes less energy
  • it does not require maintenance
 
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