3 essential finishing touches for underfloor heating installations
Effective underfloor heating (UFH) requires attention to detail. In the final stages of a project, it’s easy to forget the crucial details; throwing all your hard work to achieve an efficient system quite literally down the drain.
Here are 3 essential finishing touches for underfloor heating installations, to remember and to ensure every job you work on delivers the best quality results.
1. Get the balance right
Firstly, ensure there is enough water flow going through every individual heating circuit. If not, larger rooms like kitchens and living rooms will heat up slower than smaller rooms due to the differences in how much pipework makes up each circuit. It can also waste energy, and the larger rooms may not heat up properly.
This problem can be avoided by opening or closing the flow meters until the required flow is indicated. If the UFH system has been planned out through CAD, the level of adjustment will already be included in the design sheet.
As a rule of thumb however, for every 20m of pipe, there needs to be half a litre of water per minute flowing through, up to 2.5 litres of water per minute for a circuit which is 100m in length.
2. Don’t forget your labels
This might seem like a minor job but failing to label pipework can lead to huge issues. UFH systems require their own wiring centre, which is installed by an electrician, that then communicates with the thermostats around the property.
If you don’t label the pipework on the manifold, it is easy for electricians to wire the room thermostats to control the wrong circuits, resulting in zonal heating not working as it should.
The wiring centre can control up to eight different zones, using a combination of heating circuits. For example, one zone could be an open-plan kitchen and dining room, which uses four heating circuits to heat it up, another zone could be a small single circuit in a hall.
3. Beat the freeze
Always consider the time between the UFH project completion and the completion date of the property as a whole.
Many UFH systems are installed and pressure tested, and then screed is laid. However, the property can then take several months to fully complete. If there is a cold winter snap in between, then water that has been left in the UFH system from the pressure testing can freeze and split the pipework.
Always remember to mix the water with an appropriate antifreeze solution if you know that the UFH system could be subjected to sub-zero temperatures. If the pipework within the screed splits due to expansion, installers would have to dig up the screed and re-lay the pipes, which can add up a big cost to the project.
Following these simple tips can ensure your customers’ have an efficient UFH system that’s fit for years to come.