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Author Topic: Underfloor Heating - Negative view  (Read 5636 times)
Bikerzz
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« on: February 22, 2018, 07:05:42 AM »

Anyone have any views on this?

http://tranquilityhouses.org.uk/wordpress/2012/08/underfloor-heating/
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biff
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 07:39:39 AM »

Good article.
        It all depends on the installer and the reflective surface.
   I like UFH and used it where I could but I was always very aware of the ground mass sucking away the precious heat and used 2l2 shields where I could.
         Biff
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Bikerzz
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 07:58:28 AM »

Interesting.
The guy seems to hate PV and think wind is a better solution (supply and demand) however on the scales individuals can do this PV seems the way forward.
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biff
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 08:49:04 AM »

There is no sense or rational,
                               In knocking one kind of proven renewable energy to further the cause of different one. We need them all , PV is the simplest and most reliable of all. PV Has no moving parts apart from the arrays that use trackers. However, In my neck of the woods, the PV performs best for 8 months of the year and the other 4 months have to be supplemented by either Wind or Hydro..
  There should not be any bad attitude to any of these, They can call work together in harmony.
  Floating turbines have now been accepted as the best way forward for wind energy but that should not cramp the PV  expansion. There is room for it all.
    The idea was mooted here on Navitron by Chris 75 who was in the process of designing Li-po banks that could feed into the grid as well as being charged by it,s own PV installation. I don,t think that people realised what a big step forward that was at the time. People did not seem to note the importance of every house eventually feeding into the grid and instead of requiring infrastructure remodeling and new power lines,,the whole communities could become the grid themselves. Australia is leading the way in that design but eventually it will become a fact of life all over Europe and beyond. This is why Elon is becoming a rich dude with his large battery factories. Grin
                            Biff
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Tinbum
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2018, 09:11:12 AM »

That was written nearly 5 years ago!
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 09:41:25 AM »

 It is all out of date stuff and as we all know on here things are moving so fast that things need to be revisited and refreshed at least once a yr.
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Bodidly
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »

Not got time to wade through all that now but just near the top

" If I want the house heated for an evening I have to turn it on at least 24 hours earlier" Not our experience with a system designed around a GSHP. Probably takes about 4 hours show a marked difference. Just turned it on now to use some PV on this lovely day. It will be toasty warm this evening.
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brackwell
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2018, 10:16:40 AM »

The most efficient heat is to radiate it just like when we feel the sun.  Big warehouses are heated this way as it makes the workers feel warm and warms up the surface of things we touch very quickly.  The actual air temp may not be warm and the thermal mass of the building and items in it are cold.  I have a radiant electric heater in my bathroom which gives instant warmth just for the time of occupation.

The second most efficient is to heat up the air we travel in as then we feel comfortable even when the thermal mass is cold  eg car heating

The third and perhaps last is to heat up the thermal mass and allow that to radiate,conduct,convect the heat eg underfloor heating

So it depends on the nature of the occupation and heat losses.

In a old peoples home i can imagine underfloor is ideal as it maintains a steady temp 24/7 .  For the 9 to 5 person perhaps hot air method is best timed to come on appropriately.  For occasional occupation instant radiation works.

I have a friend who has a modern house, very well insulated, with GSHP (no gas)  and underfloor heating and artificial HR ventilation  and one thing that is very noticeable is how even the temp is through the house be it rooms, hallways,bathrooms, even the storage and no draughts or cold spots.  I dont suppose it is the cheapest but the result is top class.
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JohnS
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2018, 02:34:33 PM »

He is being over simplistic in his arguments against underfloor heating.  He obviously has not heard of programmable thermostats which easily allows the target temperature to be lowered or set back from, say 10pm to 6am.  Also he has not heard of thermal stores and buffering.  He forgets that heat does not, or only slowly does, radiate through insulation.  He also ignores the point that thermal mass is important to prevent over heating on a sunny day.

But his main argument is a valid one.  As the heating demand is reduced towards and below passive house levels, reduction of running costs become less important and the reduction of capital or standing costs become more important. 

A bit like nuclear power.  Capital costs are (too) high but running costs are low.  Compared to diesel standby generators with low capital costs and high running costs.  There may be a place for both.
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offthegridandy
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2018, 05:52:21 PM »

On the basis of reading the article I think the writer is either an arso or has an axe to grind.  He is being selective with his use of information (facts) to promote his view,.

In addition he ignores is how you actually live in your house.  If you live in a small 1 bed apartment down south you might well live with an electric radiator and sit in front of it in one place when you come home.  If you have a number of rooms that you use through out the day and live in a colder clime then you don't want to be turning rads on and off as you proceed around the home.

We run our wet UFH from an oil boiler with the main room stat (master) set to 17.5'.  Other zones are also stat controlled separately. Today it's was 5' outside with an east wind.  By 10AM the boiler went of and has not run since. The whole house is warm as I designed the house to allow heat to transfer up to the 1st floor. At 4PM today we lit the wood burner (with back boiler) which will feed into the floor and by 11 PM I'd reckon the fire to have gone out and the master room stat to be up to 20'.  So tomorrow the room temp may have dropped back to 15' overnight.

According to the writer I'd have been burning oil every hour of the day, he's an arse.

I quote from his post.

here are some important things to know when you use underfloor heating:

    The system is designed to be turned on in the autumn when heating is first wanted, and off in late spring. This means the boiler (if used as the heat source) will be on all the time! It is impossible to consider heating continuously with a permanently fired boiler to be efficient. In all honesty that is about as far from the optimal solution as it is possible to get.
    Rooms are not normally individually thermostatically controlled.
    It is unresponsive, taking time before serious heat is emitted if turned on from cold – i.e. on and off – but there is always a long time lag.
    The floors are a significant thermal store, absorbing a lot of heat before emitting. So long as the heating is permanently on it won’t matter, but that isn’t how best to heat any space.


His quoted cost quote of £24000 for a property of 2600 sq ft is ludicrous  so the comparison against running costs is invalid.

I personally wouldn't bother to read any thing else on his blog.

Andy
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 01:21:38 AM »

It proves you don't have to bother with facts to write a blog, mostly self opinionated tosh.
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Bodidly
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2018, 07:23:23 AM »

Having had a better read of it all it's hard to disagree with Andy and Titan.
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Warble
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2018, 12:39:22 PM »

This article is about a 380m2 near zero carbon house that only needs a small amount of heating. This type of building relies largely on insulation so doesn't need expensive systems (other than MHVR). There is no doubt that underfloor heating is expensive to install compared with radiators. Underfloor heating is in fashion at the moment but floor insulation with draught sealing makes more sense economically.
Incidentally internal walls can be a source of heat loss if connected to a ventilated floor space.
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2018, 01:06:53 PM »

I installed my first underfloor heating system in 1993,
                                       Wirsbo, Crawley were the only people doing UFH in those days. They sent a rep up to the job in N London and I showed him exactly what I wanted, (,or what the client wanted). The first thing that I noticed was that he was telling me and the client what he wanted. It was all a bit strange. There were two areas of 600mm x 3,000mm that we did not wants pipes travelling through but this guy insisted that the pipes had to go through the areas. I said No, the client said No and still he said that it had to be YES,! So the 3 of us had tea and biscuits and we told him we would let him know. He left his brochures. I needed the job done immediately. I went to the local pluming merchants and the manager sold me my first "Kitech Kit" . 50 mtrs of Kitech 22mm barrier pipe in a brown box 1200mm x 1200mm x 250mm. I knew that I had to be sure to have the adapter coupling from 15mm and 22mm to the equivalent in BS copper. I bought 2 kits @ £50.00 a pot. + those very important adapters. 6 of each. The kits came with Carrigihi, Italian fittings which really impressed me. They were double O ring Brass compression and in themselves a work of art. The Barrier pipe was a bit of an overkill but because it did not come alive in the heat, it was worth the extra. When i landed on the job on Monday morning my plumber took one look and went "Ahhh No" Aww come on..But I heaved one of the boxed onto him and got started shaping it down onto the insulation. We weighed it down with 8ft scaffold planks , clipped it into place and suddenly i was an Under floor heating contractor. In the beginning Russ hated underfloor heating. I brought back bad memories, ( Gunmetal rust spots on floors under expensive carpets or parky lifting . So he was worried. The manager in the plum merchants became a friend and opened up a retail in Sittingbourne. I could actually price a job down to the last connector. i used it everywhere when i was doing normal C/H . It was well received by British Gas and qualified for their 5 start guarantee  (which i loved to bits) Russ then began buying the pipe and fitting of me. For some reason the plumbing outlet would not sell him the Kitech so he and a few of his friends would leave their orders with me.
      All good things must come to an end and my supply of Kitech dried up. Apparently, the barrier pipe was not made in Enfield, like it stated on the box. i knew that the fittings were Italian,,fantastic gear. but sadly the barrier pipe was manufactured in Germany and when Kitech made the mistake of installing their own barrier pipe making machine in Enfield, the Germans came down on them like a ton of bricks making them go out of business. However,,by then,,H2 Hepworth and acorn were in business and a Cork firm were making and selling Qualpex.. I got left with a few score of Carragihi fittings which I treasure to this day. I liked the underfloor heating but only in relation to my own building works. I recall on job that I went back to visit. It was a large fitted kitchen with a gas combi and underfloor heating. It was the simplest of systems, There was a 4ft long bench seat in a snug under which was a separate pump linked to a 3port Honeywell. (No manifold as such) A small thermoswitch was set up near the kitchen light switch with a small red light to say that the pump was on or off, The sensor itself was down on the floor a few inches away from the outlet flow.. At sundown, when the temperature dropped the thermostat triggered the pump to circulate the hot under the floor and of course switch off when that temp was reached,, There was no mixing but instead a large concrete mass (insulation and foil underneath it)  and heavy vinyl on top. It worked well. It was never too hot. I know that the occupants used to pad about in the bare feet. Grin.
   Yes I like UFH.   It is bound to be more efficient and affordable now. At one time Manifolds were only available from Wirsbo but now every Thomas, Richard and Harold is selling them.  no bad thing.
                      Biff
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2018, 03:58:52 PM »

UFH, MVHR, self polished concrete floor with no coverings, probably just as cheap as regular CH with quality floor coverings. Dunno about running costs as ours is all renewable inputs and we're 'off grid'. However, it can't be much as ours is never turned off, just heat two rooms, living/kitchen area set to 18, bathroom to 22. Tis 4 degrees outside and 24.6 inside  Cool awesome.
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