Efficiently Heat Your Home With Underfloor Hydronic Heating
Underfloor hydronic heating directly transfers heat via conduction to the surface floor covering resulting in a relatively responsive and highly efficient hydronic heating option. By being so close to the floor surface, the circulated water only only needs to be luke warm, therefore, the same thermal output can be achieved with very low temperature for an underfloor hydronic system in comparison to a regular radiator. It is a great advantage of underfloor heating technology, as the good thermal comfort can be maintained very efficiently.
Considering that the large heat capacity of underfloor heating stores the thermal energy, we can effectively balance energy generation and heat dispensation to stabilize energy demand. The underfloor heating requirement of water temperature amounts to 25-40⁰C, which is low in comparison to regular radiators (60⁰C and above). Taking into account that 25-40⁰C is the scope where the heat pumps have better efficiency, the underfloor heating combined with the heat pump is the most effective solution for solar hydronic applications.
Efficiently Heat Your Home with Underfloor Hydronics
Types of Underfloor Hydronic Heating offered by The Green Power Company
The Green Power Company offer three types of underfloor hydronic heating. Each of these three methods aims to directly heat the floor covering, with responsive start up times and even heat dispersion.
- XPS Hydronic Panels
XPS Hydronic Panels are secured directly on the concrete slab or structural floorboards, with the hydronic pex pipe tubing installed between the panel grooves. Timber or engineered floorboards can be installed directly above the panels, and in the case of carpet or tiles, a fibre cement sheet is required to give structural strength.
XPS hydronic panels offer insulative properties, as well as sound proofing and are fire resistant. They can be supplied with an aluminum foil to disperse the heat evenly, pending flooring compatibility.
- Aluminum Diffuser Plates
Aluminum Diffuser Plates can be installed on the floor joists, or screwed directly underneath the timber/ engineered floorboards. Hydronic Pex pipe tubing is installed between the grooves in the plates and then connected to the manifold.
Aluminum Diffuser Plates disperse heat evenly underneath the floor covering and only require a minimum of space.
- In-Screed Hydronics
In Screed Hydronic Applications consist of a 50 – 120mm screed covering a hydronic pex pipe layout. The hydronic pex pipe is secured to the structural concrete slab with a quality screed poured on the pex piping. Unlike Aluminum Diffuser Plates and XPS Hydronic Panels, the dispersion of heat is not uniform and heat stripes tend to occur, however, the responsiveness of in screed hydronics is around 20 – 30 minutes, and cool down times of 3 – 4 hours, which is ideal for use with solar power and heat pump systems.
Underfloor Hydronic Heating vs In-slab Hydronic Heating
Underfloor hydronic heating is a different method of heating than in-slab hydronics and should not be confused with each other. In-Slab hydronic heating is when the pex piping is positioned within a large mass of concrete slab. This technique is used efficiently when the hydronic heating is required to stay ‘on’ consistently all winter, however, in Victoria, our winters are generally mild and we have significant temperature fluctuations in our shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn, where in slab hydronics can become ineffective, non-responsive and inefficient.
Underfloor hydronic heating does not attempt to heat up a mass of concrete, but rather transfers low water heat to the surface flooring, minimizing energy usage. By not having to heat up a mass of concrete, underfloor hydronic heating is responsive, with startup times of between 25 to 55 minutes, depending on the floor covering. Cool down times range between 2 ½ and 4 hours, again depending on the floor covering.