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Hydronic underfloor heating

Older methods of underfloor heating were often only practical when working on a large scale. Romans would heat a large building with hot water, but this required a building to be designed with large underfloor tunnels and an external fire for water heating; it was impractical for a private citizen’s house and reserved for public buildings. Some private dwelling used pain stoves for heating. A few cultures used external fires that sent smoke under a smaller houses floor. Most houses simply used a fireplace.

Modern engineering methods are more efficient than older technology, and can produce an evenly heated house rather than a cold dwelling with a hot fireplace at one end of one room.

The most common underfloor heating methods are hot water pipe heating or electrical heating. The electrical method requires minimal explanation, working rather like a large but low powered radiator. Water heated floors are more complex, requiring pipes, water heaters, hydronic controls and valves, and reasonably good engineering skills to for proper water circulation. But one installed these hydronic systems provide many years of trouble and maintenance free heating.

 

Some components:

Wood fired boiler hydronic heating - – Water for underfloor heating many be heated with a fire and boiler system. Wet back Boilers are preferred for this heating operation as they are known to be quite efficient. The wet back boiler has more of the boiler’s heating surface used for heating; it uses the back of the boiler surface as well as the front. This means far less heat energy is lost to the surroundings, and the system can produce the appropriate amount of heat with less fuel.

Hydronic Buffer tanks – These buffer tanks store hot water from the boiler so that it is ready for circulation through the underfloor piping. These hydronic buffer tanks improve efficiency, particularly when the system is not operating at full capacity.

Heat Pump Hydronic – This pumps the heated water through the underfloor piping system.

Solar Hydronic Heating – This uses solar power to heat the water for the piping system. This has become increasingly popular over the past generations after people realized the advantages of solar water and pool heating.

Hydronic Separator – the water pipe system in many houses often heat more than one room. Setting up this system of pipes can be complex, as appropriate branching measures are required, sometimes with the addition of a second pump. Hydronic separators do away with the need for additional pumps by allowing even water from through multiple pipes.

Hydronic underfloor heating does away with the drafts and noise that come from air conditioning, and with the hot surfaces of fireplaces or radiators. It feels like naturally pleasant indoor weather.

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