Why Underfloor Heating ?
Underfloor supplies a pleasant comfortable heat that is distributed evenly around the room, eliminating hot and cold spots, without drafts and no unsightly radiators which frees up space for furniture. The dryness and heat deprives bacteria and mites of the moisture they need for survival. It is highly efficient when used in conjunction with a heat pump, due to the low water temperature needed. Underfloor heating has been used back as far as 5000BC. Today’s Underfloor heating standards were set in 1980. Underfloor heating is suitable for houses, schools, hospitals, open areas and industrial applications.
Principles of Underfloor Heating
Sheets of high density insulation, on average 125mm thick, are laid out on top of the sub-floor, onto which a layer of polyethylene pipe is placed, spaced on average 150mm apart, covering all the floor area. Concrete is then poured on top of the pipes and insulation, this concrete is the finished floor, on top of which you place your choice of floor covering. These pipes are then heated with warm water passing through them, this heats the slab of concrete to 24°C, this heat will naturally rise into the room giving a comfortable 21°C.
Benefits of Underfloor heating
Under floor heating offers numerous benefits such as:
- Comfort – Warm floors throughout. Heat is dispersed evenly throughout the room, no hot or cold spots.
- Hygiene – the dryness and heat deprives dust mites of the moisture they need to survive.
- Energy saving – Underfloor heating is highly efficient when used in conjunction with a heat pump due to the low temperature water required
- Invisibility – Place furniture anywhere that suits in the room without the worry of blocking radiators.
- Ease of Maintenance – Underfloor heating systems have no joints in the floor. All the pipes and cables return to the manifold where all connections are located in one place (at the manifold).
- Dry Floors – Wet areas such as bathrooms will dry off quicker
The industrial standard in Ireland is 200mm (8”) spacing. In our design we keep pipe spacing to 150mm (6”) for standard rooms, but keep spacing closer together at 100mm (4”) for bathrooms, sun rooms and larger areas where there is greater heat loss. We also take into account for pipe lengths, room zoning, manifolds and thermostat locations for the best control. Our design includes the concrete and insulation levels, if these are wrong it will affect the total system (the last thing we want).
To get the best efficiency from the underfloor system we use an intelligent thermostat controller, this controller will regulate the air temperature to us as little as 0.1 °C even on the sunniest of days the building will be very comfortable. We have a full range of actuators for sub-zoning, room thermostats and motorised valves.
In a regular house installation is carried out at foundation level, which will take one day to install. All rooms are piped back to the underfloor manifold which is then tested with air to five times the working pressure, this test will remain in place until the final commissioning of the system. Th concrete floor can ten be poured the day after the pipes are laid.
Our SBK manifold kits are available as a modular system which makes them one of the most flexible manifolds around, always the right size manifold for the job. Distinct colours red for hot and blue for cold. SBK have a minimal restriction by flow optimised geometry. They are corrosion resistant and extremely tough modules manufactured from glass fibre reinforced plastic.