Are you interested in hydronic floor heating for your new home, but are hesitant because you don’t know much about it? In the past, we have found that many people are put off taking their interest further because they don’t have all the information. We understand that this is a relatively new technology for Australia, so have aimed to answer as many of the more common questions as possible.
“At what stage of construction is the system installed?”
The simplest and, usually, most cost effective option is to have the system installed at the same time as your concrete slab is poured. This generally means that you need to look into heating options for your home well before construction has commenced.
“Are these systems suitable for any type of floor?”
We have found that hydronic heating is suitable for use underneath most floor treatments, including: carpet, rugs, timber floorboards, linoleum and tiles. You shouldn’t find that the system affects the wear or durability of hard or soft floor treatments, either.
“Can these systems be used on second or third stories?”
Some companies will allow these systems to be installed throughout your home, however, we recommend the use of panel radiators for second, third and subsequent stories. Radiators operate in much the same way, except they are mounted to the wall.
“Do you need floor plans to design my system?”
Having to-scale drawings can be a real benefit when it comes to planning and designing hydronic floor heating. Even if you do have drawings and floor plans available, however, a representative will visit your home to take measurements and photographs.
“Can my system also provide hot water to my home?”
Seeing as hydronics already utilises a boiler, hot water is a natural extension of the system. Your system can be used to provide domestic hot water at the same pressure as the heating itself; please speak with your representative if this is your intention.
“What happens during the installation process?”
Before the concrete slab is poured, reinforcing mesh is laid out using special mounts. Tubing is then wound around the area (in identifiable zones) and firmly secured. The concrete is then poured, with careful attention to ensure the components are not disturbed.
“Can the temperature be controlled in every room?”
Usually, the temperature of these systems is regulated by a number of separately controlled zones. These zones are planned according to your lifestyle and budget; some people will have a single zone for their whole house, whereas others will have two or three separate ones.
“Can these systems be used for cooling in summer?”
In short, the answer is yes. Whilst they aren’t overly popular in domestic applications, hydronic cooling has been put to use commercially (such as ice rinks and cold storage warehouses). These systems are highly energy efficient and don’t need access to mains natural gas.
Whilst we hope that we have addressed your most pressing concerns in the responses above, we understand that you probably have a whole lot more questions that need answering. If this is the case, make sure you speak with a hydronic floor heating specialist; they should be able to provide you with everything you need to know to proceed.