Problems with heating residential premises during the cold period are the most relevant for the bulk of the population of our cities. It is not necessary to hope for a qualitative improvement in centralized heating. The process of equipping households with autonomous heating systems is proceeding rather slowly. If we talk about city apartments in houses of old construction, then here the situation generally looks critical. The desire of residents to equip the apartment with additional sources of heating comes up against the prohibitions of controlling organizations.
Despite the illegality of installation, many residents of apartment buildings are trying to equip their apartment with underfloor heating, a heating system that is recognized as the most effective today. One desire to make heating floors in your apartment is not enough. There are a number of technological challenges that will have to be addressed by those who want to improve the comfort in their own home.
The installation of the heating pipe itself does not raise any special questions. here it is important to observe the laying technology. Another thing is the heating source (heater). Gas boilers, centralized heating and hot water systems, all these connection options have a practical implementation. Against this background, it will be interesting to consider from a technological point of view the possibility of connecting a warm floor from a home boiler.
Trying to connect a warm floor to a home boiler. Rationale
The calculation and design of the heating system for each of us is a solution to the problem, in which there must be two answers — saving money and achieving the desired effect. In most cases, we try to make it easier for ourselves, to make the heating in our apartment as efficient as possible, while spending a minimum of money. It is this reason that makes us look for alternative options for connecting heating circuits. The idea of using an electric boiler for this purpose is not ideal, however, and this option has the right to life.
The main problem is that the operation of the electric boiler in this case will be considered inappropriate use, which naturally can lead to the failure of the heating device ahead of time. Domestic boilers are designed to provide the inhabitants of the house with hot water for domestic purposes. Attaching an additional load to an electrical appliance means fundamentally changing the manufacturability of the device.
The decision to use a boiler as a source of heating the coolant can only be prompted by an urgent need and a desire to quickly solve the problem of heating a home.
Electric water heaters. Design features
The heating system, which is based on electric water heating, is nothing special. A boiler is a device in which water is heated by electricity. According to the principle of operation, boilers are divided into two types:
For models with a storage tank, the main structural element is a heating element that provides water heating. Heating elements are usually installed in a storage tank where tap water enters. The mode of turning on and off the heating elements is provided by automation.
On a note: From a technological point of view, the storage boiler is more like a thermos. In the inner case, water is heated. The outer case of the device performs protective functions, protecting the inner tank from mechanical damage and reducing the amount of heat loss. The space between the housings is filled with insulating material (mineral wool or expanded polystyrene).
During normal operation of the device, depending on the power of the heating elements and the volume of the tank, the water is heated within 2–3 hours. The water in the boiler, due to the double case, keeps the set temperature for a long time (12–24 hours). The diagram shows the internal structure of the storage boiler, which is connected to an autonomous underfloor heating system.
Due to its high performance parameters, the storage boiler is by its design best suited to ensure the operation of underfloor heating in your apartment.
If we talk about an electric flow-type boiler, then here the circuit diagram is completely different. There is no storage tank, and the whole process takes place inside a compact flask, which is equipped with a heating element. Unlike storage devices, flow boilers are equipped with heating elements of greater power (6–20 kW), capable of providing intensive heating of the water flow in a short period of time.
Important! The water in the flow heater is heated to the required temperature in a matter of minutes (30–120 seconds), so the load on the home electrical network is rapidly increasing.
How to choose the right heater
For underfloor heating, a flow-type boiler can be considered unsuitable. It is not worth going into the details of this decision. There is one obvious fact — a large consumption of electricity!
Let’s dwell on the storage type boilers. When choosing a model, you should pay attention to the power of the device. It is this parameter that determines the intensity and speed of heating tap water. The power of a water heating boiler is directly related to the amount of electricity consumed. As a rule, household boilers have a capacity of 1.5–3 kW.
On a note: There are electric boilers on sale, the power of which is much higher than the proposed parameters (6–10 kW). Such devices are specially oriented to work in combination with heating systems. The only disadvantage of such models is the high power consumption. Are you ready for it, buy it!
After power, pay attention to the volume of the storage tank. The more hot water you get, the less often there will be periodic switching on of the device for heating the water circulating in the water circuit. For household appliances, the volume of tanks is usually 50–100 liters. Industrial boilers used for the heating system have a storage tank volume of 250–300 liters.
Boilers specially designed to work with heating systems have some differences from household appliances. The main differences are as follows:
- such devices have a different arrangement of inlet and outlet nozzles;
- section of outlet/entrance openings;
- large storage tank.
In the first case, we are talking about the fundamental location of the nozzles inlets and outlets of water. The cold water inlet is at the bottom, while the hot water outlet is at the top of the tank. Thanks to this arrangement of pipes, the maximum possible circulation of water in the heating system is achieved. With regard to the diameter of the inlet and outlet, here the acceptable diameter is at least 2 mm.
For reference: in domestic boilers, the holes are ¾ inch in diameter.
The power of the water heating appliance is determined in accordance with the traditional parameters 1 kW — 10 m2 heated area. Therefore, household storage boilers for heating residential premises are of little use. They can be used for installing underfloor heating in limited spaces (bathroom).
Design features of underfloor heating based on an electric boiler
When designing your own heating system, take into account:
- the number of branches and the length of the pipeline. The more water circuits you have, the longer their length, the slower hot water will circulate through the system;
- if the boiler power corresponds to the size of the heated area at the lower threshold, you may encounter a drop in the efficiency of water heating over time. The way out of the situation is to purchase a boiler with a power reserve of 20%.
- constant care of the condition of the water heater. Regular cleaning of the storage tank and heating elements from scale will allow you to keep the pipes of the water-heated floor in good condition and increase the life of the heating device.
Compliance with all of the above factors will allow you to proceed directly to the installation of the underfloor heating system, then connecting it to the boiler. Boiler installation is usually done in the bathroom or next to the room that will be heated. To increase the performance of your heating system, you can install a circulation pump. Thanks to this device, you can achieve uninterrupted supply of coolant to the water circuit.
Important! It is better to entrust the connection of the circulation pump to specialists who have an idea about the operation of this device.
Assessing the complexity and efficiency of the “warm floor from the boiler” heating system, you can already in the process of operation. Of course, this method of heating has its advantages. Installation of the entire heating system is quite simple. Lay the water circuit, connect to the heater and finally install the boiler, you can do it yourself. The main thing is to strictly follow the technology and instructions. Do not discount the low cost of such a heating system. Boilers cost an order of magnitude less than electric heating boilers.
However, this system also has its drawbacks. The most important and tangible is the high cost of electricity. With the constant operation of underfloor heating during the heating season, intensive consumption of hot water for domestic purposes, your energy costs will increase significantly. The best option for using such a heating system is heating a bathroom or a small country house.