Table of contents:

Floor heating: function, efficiency and costs
Floor heating: function, efficiency and costs

Video: Floor heating: function, efficiency and costs

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Video: The REAL COST of HEATED FLOORS - Are They WORTH IT? 2023, February
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Around one million households in Germany heat with floor heating. The decentralized gas boiler enables optimal control of fuel consumption with moderate investment costs. Learn everything in our guide about the advantages and disadvantages of floor heating.

Table of contents Table of contents at a glance: function, efficiency and costs

  • Floor heating: An overview of the most important things
  • How a floor heating works
  • Efficiency: advantages and disadvantages of floor heating
  • Floor heating: costs and legal provisions
  • Subsidies for floor heating

Table of contents Table of contents at a glance: function, efficiency and costs

  • Floor heating: An overview of the most important things
  • How a floor heating works
  • Efficiency: advantages and disadvantages of floor heating
  • Floor heating: costs and legal provisions
  • Subsidies for floor heating

Floor heating: An overview of the most important things

  • Floor heating provides decentralized heat for an apartment or a floor.
  • Most of the multi-storey heating systems are gas heaters for heating heating water or gas combination heaters, which also heat process water.
  • Modern gas boilers achieve high levels of efficiency thanks to condensing technology.
  • Advantages: Precise control, small space requirement, low heat loss, low germ load.
  • Disadvantages: No buffer storage is provided, generates noise, domestic water is not immediately warm, mainly gas is used as a fuel.

How a floor heating works

Floor heating supplies heat to an apartment or a floor. In contrast to central heating, the heat generator is located in the living unit. It usually hangs on the wall in the bathroom or kitchen because the heat consumption is greatest in these rooms.

Gas heaters are the most common type of floor heating. For this reason, one often speaks of a gas floor heating. A so-called combi heater heats both the heating and the process water in most cases. However, the heating and hot water circuits run separately.

In addition to the heat from gas combustion, modern gas heaters also use the heat of condensation of the exhaust gases. This principle of condensing technology enables high efficiency and low losses.

A combination term works as follows:

  • In the burner, an electrically controlled piezo ignition ignites the inflowing gas and activates the combustion.
  • The heating water pipe runs directly under the burner. A heat exchanger transfers the heat in the burner to the heating water.
  • If necessary, the plate heat exchanger transports the heat from the heating water to the process water.
  • The instantaneous water heater also heats the process water.
  • The circulation pump conveys the water through the heating circuit.
  • An expansion vessel lowers the pressure of the heated water. The system thus works efficiently since no water escapes through the safety valve.
  • A thermostat can be used to regulate heating and lowering times as well as the temperature.
Aufbau einer Kombitherme Etagenheizung
Aufbau einer Kombitherme Etagenheizung

The individual elements of a combination heater for the floor heating can be accommodated in a small housing.

Photo: Rotex

Efficiency: advantages and disadvantages of floor heating

benefits

Floor heating is a compact, inexpensive solution for heating apartments and small single-family houses. It does not require a fuel storage room or space for a large boiler. The only requirement is an existing gas connection. If you consider an apartment building, from the owner's point of view, central heating in the basement remains the cheapest solution in many cases. Even when there is an increased demand for hot water, for example in a large family, floor heating quickly reaches its limits.

In terms of environmental friendliness, a modern gas condensing boiler is considered ecological. Thanks to condensing technology, the heaters have an efficiency of up to 110 percent.

The advantages of floor heating also include the low heat loss along the pipes, since the heat does not come from the basement. In multi-family houses, where the exact distribution of heating costs among the individual residential units turns out to be difficult, the floor heating also scores. With one heat generator per apartment, each party can better control energy supply and fuel consumption.

The low bacterial load in the drinking water also speaks for a combination heat. In standing warm water, bacteria and Legionella multiply optimally from a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. With a gas boiler, you can only generate fresh hot water if you turn on the tap. This reduces the likelihood of contamination.

disadvantage

A disadvantage of the gas boiler is that it generates noise. Even if modern devices work more quietly, noise-sensitive people can be disturbed. If you also use a combination heater, the domestic water is not immediately warm, since it first has to flow through the instantaneous water heater. However, to compensate for this disadvantage, you can install a small buffer memory. This means that you have a supply of warm water if, for example, you want to take a shower after work without waiting.

Another disadvantage of floor heating is the low flexibility with regard to the fuel. Almost all floor heating systems use gas. Oil and wood, on the other hand, are not suitable because there is no space for fuel storage in an apartment. Also, gas floor heating without a buffer storage cannot be combined with regenerative heating systems such as solar thermal systems.

Floor heating: costs and legal provisions

The acquisition costs for a gas condensing combi boiler with an output of 15 kilowatts start at 1, 500 euros. Devices with 25 kilowatts are available from a price of 2, 500 euros. There are also installation costs of 2, 000 to 2, 500 euros.

The Energy Saving Ordinance also provides for regular maintenance of the floor heating. The manufacturer's guarantee also obliges the operator to carry out an annual inspection, in which a specialist inspects the efficiency and safety of the gas boiler. The costs range between 100 and 200 euros. Some device manufacturers offer all-round packages when they are purchased, which also cover maintenance and any repairs.

Tip: Compare the efficiency and costs of floor heating with other types of heating in our compact heating overview.

Subsidies for floor heating

Unlike gas hybrid heating, there is no subsidy from the Federal Office of Economics and Import Control (BAFA) for gas heating. KfW, on the other hand, may reimburse part of the costs for the installation of a combination heater with the 430 "Energy-efficient renovation" program. For example, the expansion of the old heating system including disposal is eligible. Tip: Are you planning to install floor heating? As part of an energy consultation, you will find out whether you benefit from tax refunds and bonuses.

Timo Jochmann

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