Underfloor heating: definition, advantages, disadvantages, costs

The heating system with radiant panels, also called "warm floor" is a plant system increasingly being used to heat the rooms built. E 'a technology that allows excellent results from the energy point of view, being able to work with relatively low temperatures and together with the solar panels. Works primarily with a heat exchange by radiation and not by convection. The need to apply energy saving techniques in the construction industry is leading the development of this technique along with other similar such as baseboard heaters and wall.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The radiant floor has as advantage greater than the minimum thermal dispersion and a constant heating over the entire surface of the heated environment, while the main disadvantage is the higher cost of construction of the pavement.


The price of a floor system varies between 70 and 110 € / sqm. To determine this we must understand the design (it is important to seek the assistance of a competent architect) the construction, material and condensing boiler. Much depends on the characteristics of the dwelling, whether it is a renovation or a new construction, the resort, the height of the rooms.

It 'important to remember that energy refurbishments get some good incentives from the state! So the total cost of the system may be deducted up to 55% of the expenditure.

How does it work

The operation is allowed by a coil of tubes in which water flows at a temperature of about 30 ° -40 ° (the radiators have a normal temperature of 70 ° -80 °) These tubes are connected to the boiler that heats the fluid. The ceiling in the inner part, in contact with the structure accommodates an insulator which does not allow the passage of heat toward the lower floor but only to the environment to be heated.

Prices and costs of a radiant floor

The price of a radiant floor heating depends on several factors. The system includes not only the components to be incorporated into the floor but also the boiler. It should also be considered the cost of labor and that the demolitions in the event that the building exists and is to be restored.

The price also depends on the location, usually in northern Italy the prices of materials and labor is about 15-20% greater than the south. It can also affect the cost of the presence in the town for many installers or companies that specialize in floor heating.

The cost of an average area of 100 square meters varies between 70 € and 110 € per sq m including this value in the labor force, the condensing boiler (€ 1500-2000), costs for the design and the cost of materials.

It 'an expense that can be as much as 50% greater than a typical system with radiators but the main benefits are: greater space in the apartment, lower power consumption, heat, constant and balanced in space.


Technologies floor systems

The most common realization technology for the floor heating is one that involves the laying of the following elements: slab structural, insulating, screed, tubes for the passage of water, paving.

Attic: If the 'surgery is done on an existing floor, the steps for the installation of' plant will begin with the demolition of part of the substrate and of 'any insulation up to the structural part.

Insulation: The insulation is usually smooth or molded polystyrene, the second solution is the best because the pipes will go where the water will engage in "knuckles" allowing for quicker installation. A defect with polystyrene insulation is the lack of efficiency as acoustic insulation. One solution proposed in this article provides the insulating cork 'inclusion as insulation cork kneaded and securing tubing with the clips. This method also allows a good sound insulation.

It should be remembered that the true heating element, which absorbs the heat brought from the tubes is the cement screed covering the tubes. The more you can reduce the thickness of the slab and more heat with less time to reach the space to be heated. To avoid problems at the perimeter walls of the 'environment due to thermal expansion may be interposed between the two elements a separation layer.

Tubes: The main characteristics that should have good tubes are durability, resistance to crushing, the quality of raw materials, the corrosion resistance of 'oxygen. Va studied drawing and the path that the tubes must do all 'inside of the floor to not create warmer areas (where the flow is closer to the boiler) and colder areas. Very effective are copper pipes.

Manifolds Flow: The tubes are interspersed with the valves which allow the opening or closing of the flow, these collectors are also home thermometers and venting valves.

As regards the operating temperature of the system should not exceed 28 ° -30 ° to avoid circulation problems and excessive heat at the height of the legs. Usually this was the fault of the oldest plants on the floor.


Advantages and disadvantages of underfloor heating

Advantages Radiant Floor

• Low operating temperature (25 ° -30 °) with associated energy savings

• Ability to apply solar panels directly to the heating

• Benefit in 'use of condensing boilers

• Uniform temperature and constant

• Increased surface area available thanks to the 'absence of radiators

• Reduction of convective movements that produce movement of dust

• Absence of hot air in high and low air at the level of the ankles

• Elimination combustion of particulate

• Technology adaptable for summer cooling

Disadvantages Radiant Floor

• Cost of implementation more traditional systems

• Slow bring to room temperature in the space to be heated




Translated via software




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