What is an underfloor heating system?
There are four components to an underfloor heating system:
1. The Emitter
The emitter may consist simply of pipe within a screed floor or a heat diffuser panel in a dry construction floor. The system needs to be easy to install into the floor and have guaranteed performance at low water temperatures with standard floor finishes. A good underfloor heating emitter will be designed to be effective at transferring energy from the pipe to the floor deck.
2. The Manifold
The manifold distributes the primary water into the individual underfloor heating circuits. For ease of installation the manifold is best located in a central location. The manifold will enable the installer to commission the system and will also provide be the location for the wiring from the thermostats in each room. Manifolds may also be fitted with a water mixing valve and secondary circulator. This is used to reduce high temperature primary water to the low temperature water needed by the underfloor heating system.
3. The Controls
Good controls are essential for any heating system. Room temperatures should remain comfortable and the heat should only be on when needed. Underfloor heating can’t use the simple ubiquitous thermostatic radiator valve so all room control is done by room thermostats situated within each room. This improves efficiency and comfort conditions.
4. The Heat Source
The boiler or heat pump will provide the warm water needed however the higher the water temperature produced by the heat source the lower the efficiency. This is why underfloor heating works well with heat pumps that are more efficient at producing water at low temperature.