In recent years underfloor heating systems have seen important technological and commercial development.
In new homes, in industrial warehouses and in restructured buildings, the choice of radiant panels is often preferred to traditional solutions such as radiator systems and fan heaters.
Some of the basic characteristics of radiant systems provide a logical explanation for this growing trend:
- high thermal comfort;
- aesthetic advantage;
- excellent hygiene in the heated environment;
- very low handling temperature;
- limitation of handling costs about 15% (compared to traditional heating systems);
- integration with energy-efficient systems.
Upon observing the diagram that represents the ideal heat distribution curve it can be seen that most similar result can be achieved by using underfloor heating systems.
This is because human body recognizes a wellbeing feeling when room temperature is about 22/23°C at floor level and just a few degrees less at around head height.
Further benefits are linked to the presence of a large radiant surface at a low temperature and to the fact that 50% of heat distribution occurs through radiant.
The advantages that stem from the freedom of having a room that has no elements such as radiators or fan heaters are quite obvious: an area which can be used in its entirety, with no constraints as far as furniture, guarantees much better aesthetic solutions.
Another advantage of underfloor heating system is the fact that there is no combustion of atmospheric dust, a typical situation that with traditional systems, can be the cause of irritation to the airways. The circulation of dust is, in this case, determined by convection motion which first heats the air at ceiling level and, subsequently, the air at head height. In addition, with underfloor heating system, there is no production of damp areas with the consequent proliferation of bacteria and mould.
Floor heating systems guarantee, when compared to traditional systems with the same room temperature, energy savings of 15-20%. The reasons for this result are mainly linked to the following factors:
• low temperature of the fluid;
• large radiant surface area;
• less thermal exchange of the panel with the cold walls.
In large buildings, such as warehouses, shopping centres and churches, where rooms have very high ceilings, the fact that there is a radiant surface that distributes heat upwards enables the desired temperature to be reached at eye-level, where it is most needed.
Therefore, ambient comfort is combined with advantage of avoiding waste of energy due to the upward stratification of heat.
INTEGRATION WITH ENERGY-EFFICENT SYSTEM
The use of water at low temperature makes the underfloor heating system the best solution for water heating energy-efficient system as solar thermal systems, geothermal heat pumps, but also with the classical condensing boiler.