Recently, underfloor heating has become an increasingly popular way to heat a country house. This heating system can be used as the main and only source of heat, or it can serve to create additional comfort .
A warm floor in a private house evenly distributes heat throughout the room, unlike a radiator heating system. The floor itself and the lower layers of air are heated, which, gradually rising up, increase the temperature of the room as a whole.
The variety of systems allows you to choose the only one that is best suited for a particular private house and the needs of its owner. One of the advantages of this method of heating a room is the combination of increased comfort and attractive appearance . All components of the system are hidden from view, while effectively doing their job . This is not only pleasing to the eye, but also makes the house reliable: the heating elements are placed under the cover. Thus, the premises are completely safe, which is especially important if there are children in the house.
Variety of heating systems
The heating system is responsible for creating a warm favorable microclimate in the house. In a private house, this can be batteries or underfloor heating. The disadvantage of the battery is its small device surface. As the temperature rises, the speed of air movement increases. In addition, dust often accumulates in batteries.
But the warm floor has a large heat transfer area, which allows you to quickly heat large volumes of air. The most common type of underfloor heating is considered to be a water floor, which is powered by a gas boiler : it heats the water, it goes through pipes and becomes a source of heat for the floor.
The whole variety of types of underfloor heating is divided according to the following criteria:
according to the principle of operation: infrared or convective ;
by type of boiler: it can run on solid or diesel fuel, gas or electricity;
according to the coolant: they are air, water, electricity .
Choosing the right heating system is a complex and responsible task that should be entrusted to professionals. They can take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of heating types and the conditions of a particular home. The heating system is selected at the design stage . After all, one of the factors influencing the choice is the material from which the building is built. This is also important to consider.
The device of a heat-insulated floor with a liquid heat carrier
If you live in a country house permanently, you should take advantage of the centralized gas supply and choose water as a heat carrier. If a country house is used as a summer residence, for the weekend, you should take a closer look at antifreeze. It will allow you not to flush the water every time you come to the country.
Underfloor heating in a private house is a closed loop . It is laid out from pipes and mounted under the floor covering. The coolant-water circulates through pipes that are built into the screed. The boiler heats water, from which it passes into the main collector and enters the distribution unit. From here it is evenly distributed through the pipes, transferring heat to the screeds. Having lost temperature, it goes back to the boiler for the next cycle.
The heating system with a liquid heat carrier is open and closed circuit . The difference between them lies in the design of the expansion tank.
In an open circuit, the tank communicates with the environment; liquid can be added to it when heated to compensate for its deficiency.
The design of the closed type has features, in particular, the presence of a membrane tank.
The water system is laid in one of three ways:
on the ground;
on the base, usually a concrete slab;
on the wooden floor.
It is quite rare to lay on a wooden floor. Most often, it is removed, the screed is poured, and then the system is laid. A simpler option is when all elements of the system are laid on the subfloor (base) and filled with self-leveling mixtures. True, this reduces the useful volume of the floor by increasing its thickness. This option will not be suitable for rooms with low ceilings.
A warm wooden floor in a private house is usually laid on the ground . The warm floor is laid on the ground as follows: remove the top layer, form a pillow up to 10 cm from sand and gravel, lay a material with waterproofing properties on top. As a rule, this is roofing material, a special membrane. A rough screed is laid on all this, and pipes and insulation are placed on it.
The easiest way is with a concrete base. It is leveled, the cracks are sealed, and the base for laying the warm floor is ready.
The system consists of the following components:
pipes, which are usually made of polypropylene or metal-plastic;
thermal insulation materials;
manifold and fittings with which to connect.
For heating, a double-circuit boiler is used. It also provides hot water to the home.
A water heated floor does not heat up more than 55 °, usually the temperature of the heat carrier is 35-45 ° maximum. At the same time, the temperature of the floor surface is 26-31 °: 26 ° in places where people are constantly, and 31 ° in rooms where the stay is temporary.
The circulation pump is mounted outside the boiler or built into it. It allows you to withstand one of the requirements that apply to a water floor: the temperature difference between the supply water and the return must be no more than 10 °.
There are a large number of options for connecting a water heated floor to a heating system. Consider four schemes for a water-heated floor in a private house.
Direct connection diagram.
Scheme with a three-code valve.
Scheme with a pumping and mixing unit.
Scheme with a thermostatic kit for one loop.
In this table, we will see a small comparative analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of these schemes. This will help you choose the best scheme for a particular home.
Features of installing a water-heated floor
Before pouring a warm floor in a private house, it is necessary to lay high-quality waterproofing and provide protection against leaks. When installing a warm floor, it is required to draw a screed with a thick layer, this is the only way to hide the pipes well . The system consists of several layers and is a three-dimensional structure.
This is how the structure of a water heated floor in a country house looks like.
Laying a warm floor is carried out in several ways:
snail, or spiral.
Installation of a water-heated floor in a private house is not worth doing on your own, the risk of making a mistake is too great. It is better to leave this matter to specialists with experience in working with similar systems.
Pros and cons of using water floors
The technology of a warm water floor in a private house has the following advantages:
economical use of electricity: the installation of a water-heated floor in a private house can significantly reduce heating costs ;
uniform heating of all rooms;
elimination of the risk of burns;
the possibility of using such a heating system as the only one in the whole house;
no electromagnetic field is created;
the air in the rooms is not dried;
the possibility of regulating the microclimate, if each room has its own heating circuit;
its maintenance is inexpensive;
any technology can be used to cover the floor: heating the surface will not damage it and will not lead to the release of toxic substances;
creates a comfortable stay for all residents. The warm floor is especially pleasant for small children, who spend most of their time sitting on its surface.
With water heating, redevelopment is much easier.
To be fair, the disadvantages of a water-heated floor should also be identified:
installation is quite complicated and is a lengthy process. For example, a concrete screed dries for at least a month;
sometimes there are leaks, to eliminate them, a complete dismantling of the coating is necessary;
there is a risk of pressure drop in the heating system;
you need to install mixers to regulate the temperature;
on the landings of a country house, its installation is impossible;
the price of water heated floors in a private house is much higher than the electrical system.
Types of pipes used
For the arrangement of a warm floor, pipes made of metal-plastic or plastic are used. Polypropylene is also considered an excellent choice: it is airtight, resistant to deformation, and has high thermal conductivity.
When choosing pipes, their technical characteristics are important. You should pay attention to whether they are suitable for heating systems or suitable only for plumbing. The marking on the product will help you navigate these subtleties. On pipes for heating systems, the following indicators should be indicated:
linear expansion : up to 0.025 mm/m;
thermal conductivity : from 0.43 W / m ° C.
To calculate the number of pipes required for a particular heating system, you need to know the diameter of the pipe and the laying pitch. It is better to select pipes with a specialist who will pay attention to both quality and technical nuances.
Electric floor heating device
There are several types of underfloor heating in a private house:
infrared film floors.
In cable underfloor heating, heating is carried out using a cable in a coupler . For this, a single-core cable is used, less expensive, but more difficult to install, or a two-core cable. The latter is easier to install, since the connection is only needed on one side, while the single-core is connected on both sides. The cable floor is well suited for any room: the cable is easily laid into various shapes, it is only important to determine the laying pitch.
Heating mats are heating wires fixed on a coarse mesh . This type of electric underfloor heating is more convenient, since the laying step has already been calculated in it and the layout and fastenings have been planned. In addition, the cables in such a system are thinner, so they can be laid in tile adhesive, and not in a screed. This simplifies installation and does not make the floor too high.
The installation of the mats itself is simple: the roll is rolled onto the floor surface, then the power is connected.
Infrared film floors create a microclimate in the room by influencing furniture and interior components with infrared radiation . Further, these objects heat the air, so it does not dry out. Such a floor consists of a thin film, including conductive carbon strips. Instead, there may be a continuous layer of carbon. The advantage of the system is its instant warm-up, but the system cools down just as quickly after turning it off.
Pros and cons of electric underfloor heating
Electric underfloor heating has many advantages:
reliability and no leaks;
duration of use of the system;
the whole area is heated evenly;
the system is easy to manage.
ease of installation;
don't raise the floor too high.
The disadvantages of electric underfloor heating are as follows:
high power consumption;
weak electromagnetic radiation occurs;
for efficient heating of all rooms, electric floors are used in parallel with classic radiators .
Electric heated floors are sometimes included in only some rooms, for example, the floor in which is tiled. In this way they increase the comfort of individual rooms.
Features of installing a warm floor in a wooden house
How to make a warm floor in a wooden private house? It is necessary to take into account the characteristics of wood and remember that in general the temperature in a wooden house should not exceed 30 °. Otherwise, the wood will dry out, crack and lose its properties.
To reduce installation costs, you should equip a warm house of any kind during construction. You can take advantage of a major overhaul.
The draft floor is insulated. For installation work and connection to the heating system, we recommend inviting specialists to avoid mistakes and risks.
If an electric underfloor heating is installed, the cable must be in an outer metal sheath. It will protect the cable from external damage, including from rodents. When connected, the power supply must have the appropriate parameters. It is necessary to install devices to protect the system from short circuits.
If a water heated floor is installed, it is important to carefully level the base. Heating pipes are laid out in special boxes, which are made of drywall , wood or material that absorbs moisture. Then they are covered with boards and a floor covering is laid on top, usually a laminate.
Underfloor heating design
When designing a floor heating system, it is important to consider the following parameters:
room height. The water heated floor system raises the floor level by 100-120 mm;
door locations. Due to the raised floor, it is necessary to either maintain the standard doorway height of 2200 m or consider increasing it. The third way is to make a door to order based on the dimensions obtained;
window orientation. In some cases, it will be necessary to increase the power of the system: if the windows are oriented to the north - northwest, on the windy side, they are larger than standard;
to what extent beams and floor slabs are able to withstand the load. Underfloor heating on the 2nd floor of a private house, you can choose a water floor to lighten the weight of the structure.
For country houses, water floors are more often chosen, which are more in line with the requirements of a private house.
Underfloor heating system heaters
How do they make a warm floor in a private house so that the installation is correct, and the result pleases with comfort? With the use of insulation, experts recommend. The underfloor heating system, both water and electric, gives off part of the heat to the material of the floors themselves. Such heat losses will give additional costs. Thermal insulation, acting as a heat shield, will help prevent energy loss and save money.
The thermal insulation layer also ensures uniform heating of the room. High-quality thermal insulation must meet the following requirements:
ensure the formation of a heat flow going up;
reduce or eliminate heat loss down to the ceiling;
be stable and durable material that does not collapse over time;
have a low coefficient of thermal conductivity;
be resistant to the load from pipes filled with water, and screeds over them;
restore the original shape after pressure reduction during operation.
When choosing a heater, it is important to correctly determine its thickness. If it is less than necessary, heat will be lost in the downward direction. And the required thickness will allow the insulation to pay off in 3 years of using a warm floor if natural gas is the energy source.
When purchasing a heater, focus on the following parameters:
advice from specialists and sellers;
manufacturer and reputation.
Types of insulation for underfloor heating:
polystyrene . It has a low weight, high vapor permeability, but not very dense, is subject to deformation under stress, ages too quickly over time, and also emits toxic gas. It is recommended to lay foam to increase strength between the lags;
expanded polystyrene. With high strength, able to withstand high mechanical loads. However, at the same time, almost zero vapor permeability;
cork heaters . It has a high level of compressive strength due to its special structure. The material is quite expensive, so it is usually used in rooms with an insulated base base. In this case, the material consumption will be significantly lower, which will not hit the budget so much. However, the material is hygroscopic, so additional hydro and vapor protection will be required;
mineral wool . Produced in mats or hard slabs. Since the thermal insulation properties of mineral wool are reduced when it is crushed under weight during installation, it is advised to combine it with floor structures that are assembled from wooden logs. Of the minuses of this material - low moisture resistance and the presence of penofol, which is harmful to human health.
The floor surface for laying thermal insulation should be as level as possible.
How to choose underfloor heating for your home
Do you need underfloor heating in all rooms or in some specific rooms? In what cases can you do without it, and when is it simply necessary?
If the flooring is tile or porcelain stoneware, a warm floor will be simply irreplaceable. Kitchen , toilet, bathroom need heating more than other rooms. After all, sometimes all the heating in the bathroom is a heated towel rail and pipes with hot water. A warm floor will also be an excellent solution for children's rooms: children spend a lot of time playing on the floor.
Where to start choosing the type of underfloor heating? From the definition for what purposes it is needed and in what rooms it will be laid. At the same time, keep in mind that it will not be laid everywhere in the room: in places where furniture, household appliances are located, there is no need for heating. Accordingly, this affects the amount of cable or film required.
The film floor does not need a cement screed, but is great for carpet or parquet. The main thing is that the surface for the film floor is perfectly aligned. In order for the room to be heated efficiently, more than 70% of the entire area should be allocated for underfloor heating.
Each case has its pros and cons for different types of floors. There are 12 comparison parameters that will help you determine the best type of underfloor heating for your home:
How difficult is the installation?
suitability for repair of individual elements of the heating system;
whether the use is legal;
does it make noise during operation;
compatibility: with top coats, rooms with high humidity, furniture.
You can see the comparison of these parameters in the table below.
Any underfloor heating should be installed starting from the project. Water heated floor can be used in private homes, and film - in any dwelling. Each of the types of underfloor heating is safe for health. It is important to entrust the installation of the heating system to specialists with extensive experience in installing such systems.