Underfloor heating provides a hydronic solution without panels. However, consideration of floor coverings is required. Polished concrete and ceramic tiles are best suited for this type of heating. Timber and cork, for example, do not allow the heat to radiate as effectively.
Rather than relying purely on underfloor heating, most buildings require a combination of underfloor and panel heating (eg slab heating downstairs, panels upstairs).
In our underfloor heating systems, Ascot Heating uses brass headers. Brass is chosen due to its ability to retain its form once heated and also because it has certain properties which prevent oxygen entering the system. Oxygen within a hydronic system causes inefficiencies. Furthermore, it’s presence can adversely affect the life span of the materials used in such systems.
Installation of multi-layered pipe by Ascot Heating guarantees minimal expansion of the pipework within the concrete slab. In fact, the expansion co-efficient of such pipe is a 10th of that relevant to pex and poly pipe.
The multi-layered pipe also contains an oxygen barrier.
In terms of installing the pipe there are two options:
Insulation and pipework is placed upon the structural slab, which is positioned 90mm below the finished floor level. The concrete/tile screed is then laid over such pipework in the final stages of construction. This minimizes the likelihood of damage to the pipework and finished flooring.
This option is particularly suitable for Melbourne’s climate, with heat and cool times less than 2 hours.
In addition, such a system is incredibly cost effective to operate – with only the final 40mm of the slab being heated.
Further, as the pipes are at a consistent depth below the floor, an even temperature displacement occurs.
An advantage to choosing this option is the client’s ability to use coloured concrete as finished floor.
Pipework is tied directly to the structural slab.
Although not as conducive to the changeable Melbourne weather, it is a less expensive option.
By attaching the heating pipes to the structural slab, the efficiency of the system is somewhat compromised with the entire slab and house footings being unnecessarily heated.
Further, such a system can take up to 4 days to heat and cool; it is therefore less responsive to Melbourne’s climate.
It is worth noting that there is a greater risk of the pipes being damaged during construction. Additionally, if the finished floor is polished concrete, it is also more susceptible to impairment (having been poured much earlier in construction).
Increasingly, the serious nature of the environmental issues facing our world has driven many of us to try to save energy when and where we can.
Hydronic heating uses much less energy than conventional forced air heating therefore producing fewer carbon emissions.
It’s no secret that the Western European communities are leading the way when it comes to being eco-friendly, particularly in places like Scandinavia, Austria and Germany.
That’s why hydronic heating is used exclusively in new buildings in the most ecologically advanced countries in the world.
Is hydronic heating expensive to install and will it add to the value of your home?
In the short term, your intial investment may seem a more expensive option than a fan forced ducted heating system. However,
in the long term, the use of natural gas fired boilers coupled with the inbuilt zoning ability of a hydronic heating system will often lead to lower running costs.
Will a hydronic heating system add value to your home? Most home buyers today are well aware of the substantial health benefits of hydronic heating systems and are prepared to pay more for any home with a hydronic heating system.
If your looking for economical heating during those cold months, and consider the future health of your family as important, hydronic heating ticks all the boxes!