Now that the cold has made its appearance is when we need to have our house conditioned and warm. For this it is necessary to have a good heating system. The variety is wide and it is not always easy to decide which type is the best for us. Today we tell you the advantages and disadvantages of underfloor heating.
Radiators with gas boiler, electric emitters, heat pump, pellet stoves, underfloor heating, etc. There is many heating systems our house in winter, and everyone has their pros and cons. The objective is to find out which system is the most appropriate in our case.
For this, certain important variables must be taken into account, regardless of the characteristics of the different systems. We have to think if we want to install heating in a habitual residence or in a second home. Also if we spend a lot of time at home or not. And if we have many square meters to heat or live in a small apartment.
In addition, each of the methods to heat the house has its advantages and disadvantages, so knowing them well will help us to decide. Today we talk about the underfloor heating.
Underfloor heating, invisible heat
Although it has been installed in houses for many years, it is the most unknown system and one of the least frequent. However the radiant floor offers a lot of advantages to its users.
It consists of a network of thin pipes of a plastic material that it is installed under the pavement of the whole house. Hot water circulates through them, which gives off heat and causes it to radiate from the ground to the rest of the environment.
Since hot air weighs less than cold air, heat rises and is distributed in a homogeneous way for space. In any case, at ground level the temperature is a little higher. Far from being a problem, that increases the feeling of comfort.
Great advantages that are worth studying
You will be surprised to see the many advantages of underfloor heating. To begin with, it is a system high perfomance It needs very little energy to heat the water in the pipes. This is because the water does not have to be very hot. In fact, optimum results are achieved with a temperature of between 30 and 45º (unlike radiators, whereby water circulates at 70º no less).
For this same reason, underfloor heating presents a very low consumption and an important saving, which oscillates between 10 and 20% with respect to conventional radiators.
Comfortable, hidden and sustainable
This type of heating also achieves a great feeling of comfort. I already told you before that the temperature near the ground is a little higher than at the height of the head. That translates into a very comfortable feeling. In addition, air currents are avoided and heat does not accumulate in a specific place, as happens with radiators.
Another advantage is that you do not need radiators or any other type of heat emitter, or air outlet grilles. That is why it is known as the invisible heat. From a decorative point of view, it is still a very positive feature.
Lastly in this long list of qualities, the underfloor heating is perfect to work with renewable energy sources, such as aerothermy, geothermal or solar panels.
Although these sources would be insufficient to generate energy for other heat systems, they do so well with the radiant floor. The water that makes it work must be at a low temperature, without exceeding the 40º. That's why it's one of the Heating systems more sustainable and respectful with the environment.
The disadvantages to assess
But all heating systems have some disadvantage, and underfloor heating is no exception. First, it requires a important initial investment, higher than the rest of the heat systems. The installation is complex and must be carried out by qualified professionals.
The average price of a floor heating installation is around 50 € / square meter, not counting the price of the boiler. However, by consuming less energy (and allowing us to save more) in the long run this initial expense ends up being amortized.
Another aspect that can be a disadvantage is that the radiant floor is not a system which is said fast. On the contrary, it is necessary enough time to warm up an environment, so it is not advisable for houses of punctual use. In usual dwellings it is advisable to leave the heating always on during the winter and use a thermostat. Even so, consumption and spending are lower.
Also on the walls
This radiant heat can also be installed in the walls. It is what is called a low radiant wall. It consists of installing the network of pipes in the lower part of the walls, at the height of the base. In addition to heating the house, it creates a thermal barrier that insulates the interior and reduces possible heat losses. The energy it can be reduced by an 30% with respect to the conventional radiator system.
Another particularity of underfloor heating is that it can become a cooling system in summer. How? Making cold water circulate through the pipes, instead of hot. Of course, this system is suitable for areas with low ambient humidity, since if condensation problems could not occur.
Once all the characteristics of the underfloor heating are known, we can decide if it is suitable or not for our house. Does it convince you?