TYPES OF RADIANT FLOOR HEATING SYSTEMS
NOT ONE RIGHT WAY... MANY GOOD WAYS
Tubing or electric heating elements are attached to wire mesh or a fixture to hook them in place until the concrete is poured. The tubing or elements are embedded in the concrete anywhere from the bottom of the slab to within 2 inches of the surface.
Tubing or electric heating elements are attached to the wood subfloor with fasteners to hold them in place until a concrete, lightweight concrete, dry pack or gypsum underlayment is installed as the final subfloor.
Aluminum plates supported by wood or plastic spacers contain channels which accept tubing. These plates spread the heat uniformly beneath the finished floor.
Pre-manufactured boards with a laminated layer of aluminum and a channel to accept tubing are screwed or nailed to the subflooring.
An engineered, load bearing board takes the place of the structural subfloor. It has a laminated layer of aluminum and a channel to accept tubing.
Tubing is attached to the underside of the existing subfloor. Aluminum plates can be used to spread the heat evenly under the subfloor. Insulation is placed in the joist space beneath the tubing. A 2 inch air space is usually left between the insulation and the bottom of the subfloor.
Hanging in Joist Space
Tubing is suspended several inches beneath the subfloor in the joist space. Insulation is installed in the joist space beneath the tube with a 2-4 inch air space between the top of the insulation and the bottom of the subfloor.
CONTROLLING A RADIANT FLOOR HEATING SYSTEM
A simple wall thermostat is generally all that is required. Working on the background may be a "weather sensitive control" which adjusts to the panel temperature based on the outdoor temperature for increased comfort and economy.
A big advantage is the option of a thermostat in every room. This provides additional comfort as well as energy savings because you can turn down those rooms that are not in use or that you prefer to have cooler.
Keep in mind additional features like these also increase the cost just like adding power windows and locks to the sticker price of an automobile. But unlike automobile options, these comfort features will pay back in energy savings!
Increasing your comfort and, at the same time, saving money on your utility bill is a winning combination. Multiple zoning to allow unused rooms to be turned down, and use of thermal mass for off peak storage can reduce energy bills.
Another energy savings comes from lower thermostat settings which you choose naturally. When both air temperature and radiant transfer are compensated for, you feel comfortable at room air temperatures which are lower. You no longer have to force yourself to turn down the thermostat to save, you will do it automatically to be comfortable.