Installing Radiant Floor Heating Makes its Comeback

Installing radiant floor heating is not something from our days. Believe it or not, it can be traced to the beginning of human societies. There are records of Ondol heating systems in Korea dating as far as 37BC.  China, Pakistan, Mongolia, those  countries ancient tribes knew how to channel the heat of their hearths and stoves under their floors to keep their families warm during the cruel winters.

The Romans had their sophisticated ceramic Hypocausts, which would heat up their public baths and their villas from underneath.  It was a very effective method that used mostly wood for combustion, although in some places –like Spain--, the Gloria system used hay.  It was usually a big operation requiring a lot of combustible and hard work, as they had to keep manually feeding the firebox in order to generate heat.

During the middle ages, when fireplaces started to become popular, this excellent central heating system was forgotten in many areas of the world. But nowadays is making a comeback. Of course, now we have modern technology that allows us to make the most of it; different fuels to chose from and  floorings that can suit all tastes and budgets.

They are basically two different radiant floor heating systems:  electric and hydronic. Hydronic radiant floor heating uses  hot water or antifreeze fluids. A furnace, or a combi boiler, is installed to heat the water which will be channelled thru a circuit of tubes under the tiles, thus radiating warm heat to the whole house.

With the advent of solar, this free renewable energy can be used to produce hot water in a solar water heater on the roof, which can be connected to the combi boiler. This is an excellent solution that reduces emissions and saves on fuel.  Electric radiant floor heating can also be solar powered with a couple photovoltaic solar panels to avoid generating a large power bill.

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