5 Things You Need To Know About Under Slab Heating Systems
in Slab Heating by Michael Eagleton
If you’re building a new house or embarking on a renovation, you might be considering the installation of an under slab heating system. This is an energy efficient way to keep your home warm throughout the cold winter months, which is the main reason behind its popularity. Before going ahead with the installation, however, there are a few things that you should know:
- What is it?
This sort of heating was invented by the ancient Romans, who used slaves to fan wood burning fires lit underneath elevated marble floors in order to keep them warm. The systems are laid underneath the floors of our homes, embedded directly in the slab, so that they can conduct heat through the floor surface rather than through the air.
- How does it work?
When we talk about under slab heating, we’re actually referring to a hydronic system. It involves a pipe network that is laid within the bounds of the home and the concrete slab is poured directly over the top. The pipes are connected to a boiler that feeds them hot water, allowing the heat to pass up through the slab into the room above.
- What are the pros?
There are a number of advantages associated with this type of heating – it keeps your whole house at a comfortable, even temperature from floor to ceiling; it doesn’t spread dust and allergens around the home; it is relatively silent in its operation; it is both energy efficient and cost effective; and it has low maintenance requirements.
- What are the cons?
There are, however, some disadvantages that you should be aware of – it is really only suitable for homes that are under construction (although there are solutions available for existing homes); it is more expensive to install than other systems; and it requires a professional installation (either a hydronic specialist or a plumber).
- Which flooring materials work best?
Whilst all flooring materials can be used with these systems, some will work more effectively than others. Materials with thermal-conducting properties (such as stone, concrete and ceramic tile) will conduct, transfer and hold heat effectively whilst withstanding high temperatures. Your installer can discuss your flooring options with you.
If you are considering an under slab heating system as the ideal way to keep your home and family warm over winter, we hope that the information provided here has solidified that decision in your mind. We love the heat generated by these systems and are committed to using some of the best components on the market – including boilers sourced directly from Europe.