underfloor heating

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underfloor heating

Post by La Dolcevita on Mon May 27, 2013 3:35 am

We're looking to put underfloor heating in to our property as it seems to be the most efficient (can't bare the cold) and most economical long term - our architect has put a spanner in the works as he has said that it can take a few hours to warm up/cool down. Has anyone had any experience of underfloor heating - thoughts/comments appreciated

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Mon May 27, 2013 6:58 am

La Dolcevita wrote:We're looking to put underfloor heating in to our property as it seems to be the most efficient (can't bare the cold) and most economical long term - our architect has put a spanner in the works as he has said that it can take a few hours to warm up/cool down. Has anyone had any experience of underfloor heating - thoughts/comments appreciated

Have underfloor heating here and find it is so much better than radiators. Heat is more even through the rooms as it runs at a lower temperature (circa 35C) so saves energy also.
It is not a turn on and heat the room instantly, as there is the floor mass to heat first. I prefer it over radiator systems I must admit.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by La Dolcevita on Mon May 27, 2013 8:51 am

Thanks Geotherm - How long does it take to get warmed up - we'll be living there permanently so it won't be heating up a freezing cold house that hasn't been lived in for weeks

Any particular system you'd recommend or suggest we avoid?



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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Mon May 27, 2013 12:25 pm

La Dolcevita wrote:Thanks Geotherm - How long does it take to get warmed up - we'll be living there permanently so it won't be heating up a freezing cold house that hasn't been lived in for weeks

Any particular system you'd recommend or suggest we avoid?



It can take up to 24 hours, just to change a room temperature by a couple of degrees, with UHF.
As I have a heatpump, that is controlled by outdoor and internal sensors, then it graduates the heating requirement. I would think with a pellet boiler, then you would need a heatstore, as you would be cooling down the hot water you have generated to cover the lower temperatures required for UHF systems.
As only being a specialised heatpump company, it would not be right for me to comment on other systems, but am sure others here can give advice on what they have installed.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by La Dolcevita on Tue May 28, 2013 7:51 pm

24 hours - gosh better watch the forecast like a hawk then.

Can you PM me the sort of heatpump you're talking about - or post here if that's allowed - thanks

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Tue May 28, 2013 8:00 pm

La Dolcevita wrote:24 hours - gosh better watch the forecast like a hawk then.

Can you PM me the sort of heatpump you're talking about - or post here if that's allowed - thanks
Mine is a IVT Greenline HT Plus, groundsource unit. Been running for over 6 years now with no problems.
http://www.geotherm.it/Pompe_di_calore_geotermiche_IVT_Greenline_HT_Plus.html

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by La Dolcevita on Tue May 28, 2013 8:07 pm

What do they cost? - mates rates of course!!!!!

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Tue May 28, 2013 8:12 pm

La Dolcevita wrote:What do they cost? - mates rates of course!!!!!

LOL ........ depends on the size of the pump that you need, How many sq mtrs is the house and what are the insulation levels going to be?

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by La Dolcevita on Tue May 28, 2013 10:29 pm

Around 120 sq metres - not sure as yet how it will be insulated - something else we have to research.....but it will be well insulated

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by The Original Relaxed on Tue May 28, 2013 10:49 pm

In my opinion, whether underfloor (slow response) will work for your house is to do with orientation. If you have a favourable orientation (most windows facing southish) it can mean that you have to open the widows because your floor will not stop giving you heat.

From the comfort point of view this is not really a downside for most of the year, though from the economy point of view it can get costly (and aggravating) in certain seasons. But you say that it is going to be your permanent home, and you will learn how to manage it, so on balance I'd go for it.
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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Wed May 29, 2013 7:13 am

La Dolcevita wrote:Around 120 sq metres - not sure as yet how it will be insulated - something else we have to research.....but it will be well insulated

For 120sqm then you would probably be looking at a 9Kw output unit. This at 0C consumes 2Kwh of electricity, but gives out 9.1. You can have a single phase supply, and I would suggest having the Enel BTA3 special meter for heat pumps as the unit rate is lower. Excavations for the ground loops would probably be circa 150mts. If you have the C9 pump then this has a integrated hot water tank of 165 ltrs. The unit would take up no more space than a fridge/freezer.
Regarding the operation, the outside sensor controls the heating needs, as when the air temp rises or falls, it adjusts the heat flow through the floor. On the one here, I have summer disconnect set at 16C, so over that I shuts down the heating cycle. Hot water is not affected, in fact mine only runs for about 1hr a day in the summer months.
With regard to cost, then the best thing is to go onto our website and get the free quotation, just mention you have been in touch with me and we can see what sort of deal we can offer.

http://www.geotherm.it/Richiedi-offerta.html

http://www.enel.it/it-IT/clienti/enel_servizio_elettrico/tariffe_per_la_casa/tariffe_per_usi_diversi/bta3.aspx?it=0

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by La Dolcevita on Wed May 29, 2013 6:24 pm

Ah - can see a slight spanner in the works. It's a townhouse without any land the only outside space is a roof terrace. Hmmm need to rethink - thanks for the help though

Our house has lots of windows so we'll be able to open them to allow any excess heat to escape - blimey that would be nice having a house with excess heat!

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Wed May 29, 2013 6:49 pm

La Dolcevita wrote:Ah - can see a slight spanner in the works. It's a townhouse without any land the only outside space is a roof terrace. Hmmm need to rethink - thanks for the help though

Our house has lots of windows so we'll be able to open them to allow any excess heat to escape - blimey that would be nice having a house with excess heat!
Well you could also change to a ASHP and put the external unit on the roof terrace.
http://www.geotherm.it/Pompe_di_calore_aria-acqua_IVT_Air.html

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by The Original Relaxed on Wed May 29, 2013 10:08 pm

Though a heat pump (especially ground sourced) is a great energy source for underfloor heating, it's not the only option. A gas (sounds as if you might have access to metano in a village) or even straightforward electricity could also be considered.
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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Thu May 30, 2013 4:34 pm

The Original Relaxed wrote:Though a heat pump (especially ground sourced) is a great energy source for underfloor heating, it's not the only option. A gas (sounds as if you might have access to metano in a village) or even straightforward electricity could also be considered.

Agree, if mains gas available then go for it!!

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by La Dolcevita on Thu May 30, 2013 5:42 pm

Mains gas is "supposedly" coming to our village last Easter!!! Actually it is on its way as everyone is having to get an adapter fixed for appliances - so our gas will now be 1/4 of the price it currently is - apparently our side of the village where there is no mains gas was somehow tied in to some sort of extortinate contract - it's never affected us todate as we currently have no gas/elec/water etc.

We'd like to use the gas only as a last resort to keep down costs - though at the same time I don't do the cold!!! Something of a dilemma me thinks!

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by ourtoscana on Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:20 am

For me the starting point for underfloor heating is to heavily insulate the shell of the house (walls, roof and windows) to reduce the heat dispersions to an absolute minimum. That's when you'll feel the real benefits and comfort factor. Has anybody ever tried underfloor cooling?

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:36 am

ourtoscana wrote:For me the starting point for underfloor heating is to heavily insulate the shell of the house (walls, roof and windows) to reduce the heat dispersions to an absolute minimum. That's when you'll feel the real benefits and comfort factor. Has anybody ever tried underfloor cooling?

 Agree, the more insulation, the better.

We have a few projects running underfloor cooling, either the passive type, using a normal heat pump, just circulating the cooler ground loop water through the floor. Also with a fully reversible pump that can cool the floor even more.
In both cases a antifreeze mixture is needed in the floor circuits.
With both types, there will probably be the need for some form of de-humidication, definately required for a fully reversible unit.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by ourtoscana on Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:23 am

Geotherm  I have a couple of projects where we are at the installation phase. Dehumidifiers are an absolute for both as you pointed out. I am curious to know based on your experience what design/ambient temperatures are to be expected when outside temperatures are 35°C+. Thanks.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:42 pm

To be honest, the question is very difficult to answer, as there are too many variables. The manufacturer of the pump or the design engineer should be giving those details, based on the thermal loss of the property. What temperature is the client looking for inside in the summer etc, etc.
If a fully reversible system, then you could get the floors down to 6C, but not advised. If you are installing a full reverse system, then fan coils are the best answer.
Have just run a test on the system here, to get some thermal data. There is no passive cooling installed.
Current underfloor system return temp is 27.5.
Outside air temperature 27.4 (North sensor)
Room temperature 26.8
Ground loop circulation temperature 20.5. This after a 30 minute manual cylcle. If with the underfloor system, then this would drop the floor temperature by about 7C. As I did not install the passive cooling, then I cannot give the details on the room temp drop, or return radiator temperatures.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by ourtoscana on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:20 pm

The idea was to take the internal temperature down to about 23°C to 24°C range using a Buderus Logatherm WPLSODU with a shell cooling parameter of 8.7 KWh/m2 year over about 400smq of net floor area. We've made provisions for addtional AC throughout to get the temperature down to the 19°C mark (but that is more to do with the resale of the property should somebody request it). Just curious to know where. I was just curious to know to what kind of temperatures users actually take the cooling to.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:07 pm

Are you talking about a Air Source Heat Pump, as cannot see anything on their site of a GSHP?
To put more AC units in, seems like overkill, if the system cannot get below 23C, then design parameters could be too low.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by ourtoscana on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:15 pm

Yes.. air source heat pump. The idea was to leave provision for a prospective buyer's "overkill" and not design around the worst case scenario. I guess some people want very icy temperatures with 35° to 42°C outside. Italians tend to get sore throats just at the thought!!

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by Geotherm on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:27 pm

Thanks. That explains my confusion, as a ASHP is not really intended as a cooling system, so, yes, in that case you would need to include AC units.
Would the cost differential be that great on the project to just put in a GSHP either reversible or passive cooling. It has a greater heating range because of the higher COP and obviously will cool better.

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Re: underfloor heating

Post by ourtoscana on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:44 pm

The last job where we seriously considered GSHP was for a 600sqm villa that we insulated with 14cm thermal aged plaster. We had 3 quotes and that were in the 25,000euro to 30,000euro range to bore + 15,000 to 18,000 range for the heat pump. The customer couldn't take advantage of the 55% tax break and had methane running right by the door which made the whole geothermal solution look much less attractive.
Since then, I've been looking at ASHP to reduce initial capital expenditure (with lowe COP)

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