Like any heating system, a water heated floor requires the installation of special equipment that allows you to adjust the operation of the heating complex. Unlike the old traditional heating methods using a centralized communication system, the new equipment is much more efficient, but requires more attention. The heating of the coolant for a warm water floor, carried out by autonomous boilers, must always be carried out under the control of measuring equipment. Otherwise, you can forget about the comfortable temperature inside the heated room, and the safety of such heating will be significantly reduced.
Issues related to the management and adjustment of underfloor heating are becoming relevant today. The reason for the increased interest of consumers in this topic is due to the fact that in most cases, the owners of new homes prefer a heating floor as a complete integrated heating system. Adjusting the heating temperature of a warm water floor allows you to make the heating system in the house flexible and dynamic, adapted to the real climatic situation.
The process of controlling heating equipment in a residential building is not associated with any special manipulations and complex equipment. Even such a large-scale heating system as warm water floors is controlled by regulators, devices that react to the slightest temperature changes, in the pipeline and in the room. For underfloor heating, adjustment consists in the correct setting of devices and devices involved in the operation of the heating system. Let us consider in detail which regulators take place in this case, what is the principle of operation of each device and how the installation is carried out.
The meaning and place of regulators for water floors
Let’s immediately dot all the “i” to indicate the importance of the information described in this article. Floor heating is a low-temperature heating system, which will only be efficient and effective when it is equipped with thermostats. Even the simplest version of heating with water circuits laid in the floor involves the installation of control valves on both parts of the manifold. By manually turning the valve heads, you can achieve an increase or decrease in the volume of hot coolant supplied to the water loops of underfloor heating. The only disadvantage of this method of adjustment is the setting on a whim.
By giving preference to manual control, you will have to focus on your own feelings. Moreover, the desired result will not come immediately. Warm floors with manual control — inertial system. Manually adjusting the temperature of the coolant for a water-heated floor will require you to be constantly present, reacting to climate changes outside the window. Significant assistance in the adjustment process is provided by flow meters, small and compact devices that control the volume of fluid supplied to the water circuit.
On a note: Having both rotameters (flowmeters) and control valves at your disposal, you can achieve a comfortable temperature in one room, at a certain point in the “constant” type.
For example: you are interested in heating the bathroom. This is a room in which there is always high humidity and a warm tiled floor will be an appropriate attribute. It is enough to adjust the devices once or twice and there will be a comfortable temperature in the bathroom, which does not depend on weather conditions.
For reference: According to users, the mechanical method of adjustment can cause air locks in the pipes of the heating circuits. Airing occurs as a result of a sharp change in the working pressure and temperature of the coolant that occurs during manual control.
Another thing is the automation of underfloor heating. In this case, you will have to spend money on the purchase of electro-mechanical and electronic devices. Such devices can solve several problems at once, depending on the method of controlling heating equipment. Thermostats and servo drives allow you to autonomously control not only the temperature of indoor air heating, but also the degree of heating of the floor surface. The temperature of the underfloor heating is a decisive factor in the effectiveness of underfloor heating, how the regulation is carried out, and thus the system works.
Thermostats are locking devices, while servos perform specific actions. Thermostats can be installed separately in each room, on the main units and assemblies of service equipment. Servo drives are individual devices designed to serve one water heating circuit. Compatible with thermostats, servo drives, on command, regulate the supply of coolant to the pipeline.
Temperature controllers — types of devices
The water floor is a rather sensitive system. The degree of heating of the heat carrier, the rate of water supply to the heating circuit and the intensity of the circulation of the heat carrier are the parameters that determine the heating efficiency.
From a technical point of view, temperature controllers are devices that ensure the performance of certain mechanical actions as a result of a reaction to changes in the specified temperature parameters. Temperature controllers solve the following tasks:
- automated switching on and off of the heating system;
- control and maintenance of the set temperature inside the room;
- programmable devices provide the inclusion of heating at a certain time;
- control over the degree of heating of the coolant provides energy savings.
On a note: in practice, it has been noticed more than once that installing and configuring a thermostat in a room for underfloor heating allows you to save up to 20–30% of the blue fuel consumed for the operation of an autonomous boiler.
In practice, the following models of regulators are used:
mechanical devices. This category of devices belongs to budget options. A distinctive feature of mechanical regulators is their reliability and easy maintenance. Adjustment is carried out by simply turning the dial, which is set to a certain scale value. In some cases, the front of the device has a mechanical lever that operates on the open / closed principle. In addition to monitoring the temperature of the coolant in the supply pipe, such devices are not designed to perform other functions.
Electronic devices have the same functions, only differ in the way they are implemented. The device is equipped with a screen and has buttons with which the adjustment is carried out. The instrument displays real-time parameters and programmable data. Push-button control allows you to set the specified parameters and carry out a gradual change in temperature.
On a note: electronic devices for adjusting underfloor heating cost three to five times more than mechanical devices.
Among electronic control devices, programmable devices occupy a special place. The presence of software creates the conditions for maintaining the temperature of floor heating, the temperature regime inside the room in real time and not only. The specified temperature parameters and time allow you to change the temperature of underfloor heating over time, adjust the operation of all units and assemblies of the underfloor heating, depending on climatic conditions.
Such functions are very convenient, freeing up a lot of time for the inhabitants of the house. With the help of programmable devices, you can ensure the operation of the heating system in your absence, maintaining a stable and comfortable temperature in the house. Saving energy resources when using programmable electronic controllers is 25–30%. In modern conditions, when comfortable housing is gaining popularity, programmable controllers are becoming in demand. Such systems can be controlled via mobile devices, remotely. Solving several tasks in a complex at once, adjusting the temperature of heating the floor surface and controlling the air temperature inside the room, electronic programmable devices are beneficial in all options. Even taking into account the fact that the cost of these devices is quite high.
Evaluating the types used in the adjustment of underfloor heating, appliances, we can draw some conclusions. In each individual case, one should start from what tasks the regulator should solve.
The principle of operation of regulators
The most widely used electromechanical devices. These devices successfully combine electronics and mechanical parts. At a cost, such devices are much cheaper than electronic analogues. The design and principle of operation of electromechanical thermostats is quite simple and understandable.
Electronics in this regard is quite expensive equipment. However, in terms of their efficiency, such devices are much more efficient and more convenient to use.
In order to make the right choice — to give preference to manual control or to focus on automation, you should understand the principle of operation of the regulators.
The main task that is assigned to the regulators in the system of warm water floors is the management of technological processes. The principle of operation of the devices is determined by the degree of use and operation of underfloor heating in residential premises. The design of the device can be partially automated or fully automated.
According to the principle of operation, the regulators are respectively divided into manual devices and automated ones. The first are conventional shut-off valves. It is with their help that you can stop or resume the supply of coolant to the underfloor heating pipeline. The scope of such devices is small heated rooms. Thermostatic regulators, devices of a much more complex design. According to the principle of operation, such products are similar to manual mechanisms, however, a special electronic sensor is provided in the design. Any change in temperature from the set parameters activates the circulation pump, which provides hot water. The device operates in accordance with a given program, completely taking over the main stages of controlling a warm floor.
Modern electronic thermostats have extensive functionality that provides the ability to control one water circuit or provide control over the operation of several underfloor heating pipes at once. Thanks to the embedded software, such devices are able to respond to changes in climatic conditions, creating comfortable temperature conditions for the inhabitants of a residential facility.
In order for the warm floor to work effectively, and you are satisfied with high-quality heating, it is necessary not only to have regulators built into the complex of control and measuring equipment, but also their setting is important. With mechanical devices, the situation is clear. Having an idea of the principle of operation of mechanisms, having the appropriate skills, you can configure such devices yourself.
With electronic and programmable devices a little more difficult. Here it is better to turn to the services of specialists who will be able to correctly set up automatic floor heating throughout the house.