Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

Electric underfloor heating - which one is better?

How to organize heating? This question is asked by everyone who is building or overhauling a house or apartment. Today, new technologies are being used to organize the heating of residential premises. Which one to choose so that the heating is cheap, efficient, easy to manage, aesthetic?

A popular, modern solution is a warm floor, which allows, with less energy consumption, to create a comfortable temperature regime in rooms and separate residential areas, where the requirements for air temperature are significantly different from other rooms, for example, in the bathroom, hallway.

Electric floor heating has advantages and disadvantages in comparison with water. Below we will look at different heated electric floors, how to choose the option for tile or laminate, especially their installation, operation.

What are the systems

The following types of electric floor heating are most popular:

  • electric cable;
  • electric mats;
  • rod infrared;
  • infrared film.

Before choosing an option that is suitable for the requirements, it is necessary to get acquainted with each of them in more detail, to study their characteristics.

Electric cable

Cable floor is a heating cable of 2 types:

  1. single core (cheapest),
  2. sturdy.

To install the system, it is necessary to make a new coupler from a special solution into which the cable is laid, observing the correct distance between the rows. When laying it is important to monitor the distance between the cable in order to avoid cold zones during its operation.

A strong cable creates a smaller electromagnetic field at work, it is easier to lay, but it costs more than a single-core one.

Advantages of the solution:

  • plain,
  • the cheapest.

Electric mats

This option represents a solid grid on which the heating cable is fixed at the correct distance. The cable is, as in the previous case, single-core, two-core. Mats are almost finished system, equipped with:

  • by sensors
  • thermostat,
  • control panel.

Laying warm mats, starting the system is much easier, faster than using a classic cable.There are many options for warm mats, supplied with additional materials that facilitate their installation, improve energy efficiency, for example, the finished layer of insulation.

Rod infrared floor

This modern solution is a carbon rod, emitting infrared radiation during the passage of electric current. The rods are fixed on the grid.

The advantages of the system:

  • much more environmentally friendly than simple cable, as it does not emit electromagnetic radiation;
  • more economical;
  • in places where furniture is installed, rods are able to reduce infrared radiation, helping to prevent overheating of the floor.

The system has a significant drawback - users note the low reliability of rods, quite often they fail.

Infrared film electric floor

This modern, popular solution is a thin film that can emit infrared radiation.

Benefits:

  • like infrared rods, the film does not emit harmful electromagnetic radiation;
  • the film can be laid directly under the floor covering, without a screed, allowing you to avoid raising the floor level;
  • the film can be laid under the laminate, even under linoleum, in the latter case it is covered with fiberboard.

The only drawback of the system is the not very long durability of control devices (approximately 7 years), however, to replace them, it is not necessary to open the coupler, as in the systems described above.

Which option to choose?

Each option has advantages and disadvantages. What is better: film or cable, cable or rod? There is no single answer, it all depends on conditions, budget. If the budget allows, it is advisable to stay on a modern infrared film field. IR film floor saves on the screed, it is not needed. The film can be laid directly under the laminate. The durability of the monitoring devices is not very big, a small minus, since their replacement is easy, relatively inexpensive. The absence of electromagnetic radiation makes the system environmentally friendly.

System power

An important parameter of the equipment is the power of the heating system. Before installation it is important to choose the right power to:

  • character, type of room;
  • power network requirements.

Selection of power for different types of premises

Standards for optimal air temperature for different types of premises are different:

  • for the living room - 20 ° C;
  • for a bathroom - 25 ° C;
  • for the corridor - 16 ° C.

Standards determine the feasibility of choosing different heating power. The calculations should take into account the heat loss of each room. In general, the power range of the system is 50-160 W / m².

In premises with a higher temperature, it is important to increase the power of the heating system. For example:

  • in bathrooms, where heated floors work for a short time, but high temperatures are necessary for comfort, it is advisable to provide a heating power of 160 W / m²;
  • for other types of premises, the power of 90 W / m² is sufficient.

An exception to this rule is a situation of growing power demand due to poor thermal insulation.

Power Requirements

What are the requirements for the electrical network to effectively use a warm electric floor?

Electricity consumption by an electric floor system per area is 50-160 W per 1 m². It is necessary to provide additional power used by the heating elements.To ensure safe operation, additional installation of electrical wiring and devices that provide additional load must be entrusted to a qualified electrician, the network must be intact, checked. This is a prerequisite for obtaining a manufacturer’s warranty on virtually any system. The electrical heating system must be protected by a circuit breaker.

Installing underfloor heating in previously constructed buildings

Can electric underfloor heating be the only heating system in a building? Of course, yes, but it is necessary to carefully analyze the features, the feasibility of such a choice. Each building should be considered individually, the choice of the system should be preceded by:

  1. heat balance calculation;
  2. assessment of the cost of using the system;
  3. assessment of power conditions.

The use of electric underfloor heating as the sole source of heat in areas where electricity supply is often interrupted will be problematic. Electric heating is especially good at developing new housing, where modern insulation materials are used.

On the market you can find many solutions for the device of electric floor heating in the constructed premises. Such a system can be installed during the floor reconstruction. It should be remembered that floor heating will increase the demand for electricity. Before deciding to install should check:

  1. Is there a possibility of increasing the power supply capacity in the house?
  2. Will existing electrical equipment withstand additional load (especially in older buildings)?

Advantages over water heating

Electric heating starts to warm immediately after switching on. How does floor heating with electricity work? The smaller inertia of the electrical system consists in the immediate release of the total thermal power on the heating element, immediately after the power is turned on. In the case of a water system, water must travel from the place of heating (boiler, heat pump) to the place of heating (pipe system in the room), so the heat in the floor is felt only after some time has passed.

An electric heating element is placed directly under the tile, in a layer of glue.Thanks to this, the plates get warmer faster, since there is no need to heat the layer of the concrete base of the floor. In water heating systems, the pipes first heat the concrete, then the tile is heated. Another factor that reduces the inertia of electric heating is the high efficiency of the heating elements, since the cables can emit power up to 160 W per 1 m², which is much more than a floor heating system.

The farther away the heating element is from the heat source, the longer the waiting time for floor heating and higher heat loss.

System management

Electric floor heating is carried out separately in each room. Temperature controllers monitor the level of air heating in the rooms, one for each room or each heating zone.

The thermostat controls the maintenance of a given temperature with the ability to adjust:

  • degree of air heating;
  • period of time to warm up a particular room.

Each system is independent, so it can be controlled individually. If necessary, you can organize the management of all warm-up points centrally.

Depending on the type of control selected, the temperature can be controlled in two ways:

  1. locally, in each room using a programmable thermostat;
  2. centrally using a central controller, the remote control system can be wired or wireless.

Connecting thermostats to the network and programming them centrally for each room is a very convenient function that facilitates everyday life, removing the need for the user to manually adjust each heating element. This method of control allows you to more accurately control the cost of heating.

Until recently, the central control of independent regulators was associated with the need to use additional cables, which entailed additional costs. Today, thanks to centralized control systems in wireless networks, it has become much easier to organize central control.

What is better to use: floor or air temperature sensors?

The functionality of the electric floor heating system depends on the type of sensors. The type of sensors used is determined depending on the role that the electric field will play in the heating of the dwelling:

  1. if it is the main heating system, it is necessary to control the air temperature for proper temperature comfort;
  2. if underfloor heating is used as additional equipment, sensors for measuring the temperature of the floor are installed to heat individual rooms, residential areas.

The air temperature is measured, controlled with thermostats. In some cases, you can also use regulators with the measurement of air and floor temperature — this option also performs the function of protecting the system from possible overheating, especially in rooms where a sharp drop in air temperature sometimes occurs, for example, in hallways.

Installation of an electric heated floor - video

Select the type of screed

What type of screed, what thickness should be used? Heating cables can be immersed in a layer:

  1. glue right under the tile,
  2. concrete.

There are no mandatory requirements for the type, depth of cable installation. It is preferable to use concrete screeds provided for underfloor heating. Recommended screed thickness varies:

  • for the direct heating system is 3-5 cm,
  • for the accumulator - 7-10 cm.

Is it true that when installing a heated floor, should wider joints be made when laying tiles? For floors equipped with heating, the grout is selected only elastic, designed for electrical heating. The width of the seams depends on the size of the tile used.

Power consumption

Electricity is an expensive source of heat. Considering the cost of operating an electric heating system, you should consider not only the cost of electricity. Important arguments:

  • almost zero cost of system maintenance;
  • long service life of heating elements (50 years);
  • universal availability of electricity;
  • security;
  • low inertia;
  • Electric flooring can relatively cheaply heat a house at night, when electricity is cheaper (when using the night rate), accumulating heat in the floor, and giving it away during the day.

Optimizing the cost of an electric floor heating, like other systems, is the economical use of heating, thanks to the use of modern programmable thermostats. Electricity bills can be reduced by programming the heating time during the day. For example, by:

  1. night heating;
  2. turning off the heating during ventilation;
  3. reduce the intensity of heating when no one is at home.

If heating cables are used only to obtain the effect of a warm floor, for example, in a bathroom, the system can only be started for a few hours - in the morning and in the evening, when we use the bathroom.

Reviews

Owners reviews about the features of operation, advantages, disadvantages of the electric floor can be written in the comments.

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  • Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better

    Electric underfloor heating - which one is better