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Is low-temperature underfloor heating really so comfortable?

Is low temperature underfloor heating really so comfortable?

Low-temperature underfloor heating is seen by many in the building industry in Edinburgh and further afield as the most comfortable and most energy efficient heating system. A misunderstanding according to, Rob Verbrugge, product manager at energy savings applications Inventum. “The sector is conveniently adopting from what we think we know what consumers find comfortable. And there are also questions about the energy efficiency. “

Installers, builders, housing associations, consultants, pretty much all find underfloor heating the most energy efficient delivery system. According to Rob Verbrugge, these are assumptions and they are based on history and on technical and commercial preferences. “It’s still a legacy from the days when the houses were poorly insulated and that it would be nice if the floor was nice and warm.” It is of course understandable that underfloor heating Edinburgh is popular in townhouses in the city centre.

With the improved insulation the heat demand of the dwellings is lower and could therefore be heated with a smaller capacity unit. But the opposite is actually happening. Because of the supply hot water virtually all hr-combi boilers have more power. In the calculation methods for new construction are some condensing boilers in this larger capabilities even more appreciated with higher EPC reductions.

Dramatic result

The result is fairly dramatic, Verbrugge. ‘Advisors and other EPC calculators write – simply for the cheap realization the EPC standard – an hr-boiler of 30 – 36 KW for, for a house with a heat load from 3 – 5 KW. The ground floor is fitted with lt-floor heating and the other rooms with ht radiators. The set up form a uniformity in which the consumer’s wish did not count. At the same time, the actual use of the heating in these homes changed dramatically. Residents rarely or never use heating in bedrooms. So the homes changed from central heating to more local heating. The lt-floor heating with a capacity of up to 2 KW is fed by a hr-boiler that supplies 3 to 4 times as much power.”

(image credits: Photographer Stirling)

Experience has changed

The perception of underfloor heating Edinburgh by residents in very energy efficient built homes is totally different than 20 years ago. Because of the very small heat load necessary to heat the House, the floor temperature is considerably decreased. Setting the thermostat slightly higher has no effect or a much too late. The floor has long been more than 30 ° c or higher, but often 22 to 24 ° c. The decreased radiant heat is increasingly being perceived as thermal discomfort. Verbrugge: “also the dominant ventilation types C and D here contribute duly to that. If in homes, lt – underfloor heating is combined with natural ventilation (type C), cold draughts do not contribute to a moderate comfort experience. Fits one wtw-mechanical ventilation (type D), with air actively contributed to the heat requirements resulting in an even lower floor temperature, whatever comfort complaints. ”
Verbrugge points to a research by Reinier Iang (TU Edinburgh). Which claimed already fixed that, in addition to thermal discomfort energy use among residents with lt-underfloor heating is higher than when the same House was equipped with radiators. The residents with lt – consumed on average 1 to 2 ° c floor heating higher than residents with a radiators.

The average consumer does not exist

Verbrugge wants by no means claim that lt-floor heating always less comfortable than other delivery systems, but he says “we need to think not knowing what the average consumer comfortable. The average consumer does not exist. Age and generation differences require different need in comfort and warmth. For many people is still the highest form of radiant heat comfort experience.
Lt-floor heating will have to achieve a new dimension. You may have to tilt to the underfloor heating wall heating, the inertia that causes the floor mass are removed or there will be combinations of partly floor and partly other delivery systems must rise. That this is possible proves social housing in Edinburgh. There are zero in 2014 all electric homes with a negative EPC (-0.29) realized. The hr-boiler was exchanged for a small heat pump in combination with a solar water heater. Underfloor heating wall heating was that a higher comfort value. The ventilation grills for ventilation type C were given a Cove, where the incoming and relatively cold air via a thin crack on the ceiling through the Coanda effect without cold draught of air flows.