What Are the Types of Hydronic Floor Heating?
Hydronic heating can be installed in various ways and it is preferred by most people because it is an energy efficient options. This is much more superior to traditional heating systems and it helps decrease the energy bills. Here are some common methods of installation:
- Hydronic radiant flooring: These types of flooring are installed with a wet installation or a dry installation method. In both cases though, the insulation is placed below so that the direction of heat is towards the house and is not away from the house.
- The wet installing is the term when the radiant tubing is placed onto a concrete bed. This is what helps to protect the tubing and it also provides thermal mass so that the heat is absorbed and radiated throughout the room. The wet installation of hydronic radiant flooring can again be subdivided into:
- Grade foundation slabs: In this, the radiant tubing is secured to the reinforcing structure or the rebar which is within the slab. This is done before the wet concrete is put into the foundation.
- Thin slab: In this on top of the subfloor systems, there is a thin layer of self-leveling concrete which is put and the tubing is attached to the subfloor that way. As a result, the floor height increases by .5 inches to 1.5 inches. In this a structural engineer needs to check before this is installed, as the extra weight of the concrete needs to be supported. This allows radiant floor even in basements and even in top floors as well and therefore this is very convenient.
- Dry systems are called plate systems and in these prebuilt panels are used and these have tracks. In the tracks the radiant tubing is placed. Thus, the installation is much easier and the tubes have to only be looped as needed before the flooring material covers it. However, this does not have thermal mass and so careful placement needs to be done of the insulation and heat reflectors need to be added. This helps to separate heating zones and it helps to direct the warmth where it is needed.
- Hydronic Radiators: These radiators and baseboard hydronic heaters require less complex installations. This is due to the fact that there is less piping used. In this, the different zones of pipes are put in the walls or in the floor joists and are connected with the units. In this the radiator or baseboard unit placement needs to be done carefully as it should not be blocked due to furniture. Also, the plumbing lines which are there for heated water and for the returning water should be done through spaces that are conditioned and insulated. That way the heat loss will be minimal when the water is moved from the heating unit and when the water is sent back to the boiler, as much heat as possible can be recovered.
The hydronic tubing can be put under hardwood floors, laminates, carpets and vinyl flooring and not just in concrete floors. Thus, it can be used for every kind of flooring that is used and so all types of houses be it old or new can take advantage of hydronic floor heating. However, the floor installer and the hydronic system installer need to work hand in hand so that the necessary adjustments can be made and the hot water tubing can be protected. That way, the system will work best of all.
Due to the advantages that this type of heating has, it’s popularity is increasing all over.