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Underfloor Heating


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#1
Serafina

Serafina
It appears winters are getting colder in Buenos Aires and homes were not built with the proper insulation and/or heating systems.
I am curious about underfloor heating systems and wonder if they are a popular choice. Any of you has it?

I gather that there are two types of systems: those with warm water as a heat vehicle and those with electrical wiring.
The latter sounds more expensive to run than the former. However, with the former one should consider also the boiler providing that heating. For example, my first Argentinian apartment had a gas boiler (caldera). Our holiday home had an electrical boiler (termotanque). What happens when you install an underfloor heating system? Does it require a separate boiler? I remember from my school days that underfloor heating with warm water required just warm water and not water that hot like for radiators.

I have never seen a house with a thermostat, i.e. a small device where you tell your heating system when to start/stop and what temperature it should maintain in the house.

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"Life is what happens while you are busy making asado." - Juan Lénon

#2
Mitch

Mitch
If you live in a condo, the space below the floor is likely not yours, it's common space. You need the buildings permission.  Good luck with that. If you choose to go ahead without permission and select the pressurized water pipe option, and you live there long enough, it will likely end in a catastrophic result for your downstairs neighbor. Until you pay up, as it is common space, all your neighbors are responsible. Not coincidently, that's how many people will sue you jointly. A rat can chew through a steel pipe when thirsty enough. PVC pipes which are what is used in these systems, is a butter sandwich for even a mouse. There is no way to access these pipes without ripping up your floor again. Some systems have auto cutoff in case of a leak. Would you risk your financial future on a device? Almost all condos in NYC specifically prohibit these systems.

The electric coil option makes even less sense. Why would you tear up your floor when you stick it against a wall and use way less energy to accomplish the same thing.

All that being said, they are common enough here. As to why,,, nobody living here for even a couple of years needs my editorial on that subject.

If you install it on the first floor of a house with a basement where you can access the pipes, and you own the house outright, they can make sense.

#3
Serafina

Serafina

Mitch, on 17 July 2017 - 11:06 AM, said:

If you choose to go ahead without permission and select the pressurized water pipe option, and you live there long enough, it will likely end in a catastrophic result for your downstairs neighbor.

Why? It's not like we have wooden built houses here. Also, what would it be worse than pressurized hot water pipes used for radiators? The water temperature is even lower, AFAIK.

We are redoing the floor, hence my questions if it is worth to grab the chance to install something below the tiles.
"Life is what happens while you are busy making asado." - Juan Lénon

#4
ceviche

ceviche
  • LocationCapital Federal
why dont you instal double function air conditioners..which cool in summers and heat in winters. They can be easily installed without creating a fiss and breaking floors.

I used to live in a building in Las Canitas and had that installed. Worked awesome in the winters.

My present building has "heated floors" and  becomes pretty hot when its not very cold. The heating is controlled by the management and yes we have hot water pipes.

#5
citygirl

citygirl
I had the radiant (under the floor) heating in my last apt building.  It was nice but yes, there was a leak in the ones above my apt and I woke up one night to my bathroom ceiling collapsing.  That was..unnice.  The upstairs neighbor had to have their floors torn up to repair it plus pay for the repairs to my apt.  I am guessing that was also less than pleasant for them.  Honestly, it doesn't get *that* cold in BsAs.  The splits (heat/cold) installed in multiple rooms work really well and are much easier to repair if needed.

#6
RodolfoWalsh

RodolfoWalsh
Do peoples floors get that cold? I keep my thermostat at 19 during the day and turn off the heat at night and my floors never feel that cold, even first thing in the morning.

#7
Aztangogirl

Aztangogirl
Rugs and slippers??

#8
Mitch

Mitch

Serafina, on 17 July 2017 - 11:18 AM, said:

Why? It's not like we have wooden built houses here. Also, what would it be worse than pressurized hot water pipes used for radiators? The water temperature is even lower, AFAIK.

We are redoing the floor, hence my questions if it is worth to grab the chance to install something below the tiles.

#1 It makes no difference what your house is made of, if there is a leak the water will find it's way down stairs. Plaster does worse with water than wood.

#2 Hot water radiator pipes burst and have leaks. They were legally installed and the damage they cause in the event of failure are the buildings responsibilty. Your installation is in a common area, you pay.

#3 These systems are made of PVC pipes, if they are incased in cement and there is movement in the building, they can easily spring a leak. If they are in the open, a mouse or a rat can get to them, and often do, and you have worse than a common leak.

#4 Don't waste time arguing with me, I'm just a renovator of old apartments whose been down this road many times. If you are in a coop, ask the board and see what they think. Unless your building rules state otherwise, it's your legal and moral responsibility to do so.

#5 As a responsible owner undertaking a project, your first and foremost concern should be your neighbors welfare.

#5 We are six posts into this and someone has already told you what I said is likely to happen to you, happened in their building. Please read this post more carefully than you appear to have read my first one. I do not mean to be harsh for the sake of being harsh. I take this tone to save you and others enormous grief. Nuff said?

#9
GMXam

GMXam
We have under floor heating, I'm guessing it's a feature for this particular building. The pipes aren't plastic for our building. The caldera provides both floor heating and water heating (like a radiator). Temperature is adjusted with a dial, currently set at 65 since it's our only heat source. I actually like the feel of warm tile versus freezing tile. On the other hand, we have experienced a leak from the floor above ours. We lost use of our kitchen for 3 weeks due to mildew in the paint. All was made better, but it can be pretty inconvenient when bad things happen. With cement buildings, it makes sense. Good luck, Serafina.

#10
Silvie

Silvie

citygirl, on 17 July 2017 - 02:52 PM, said:

I had the radiant (under the floor) heating in my last apt building.  It was nice but yes, there was a leak in the ones above my apt and I woke up one night to my bathroom ceiling collapsing.  That was..unnice.  The upstairs neighbor had to have their floors torn up to repair it plus pay for the repairs to my apt.  I am guessing that was also less than pleasant for them.  Honestly, it doesn't get *that* cold in BsAs.  The splits (heat/cold) installed in multiple rooms work really well and are much easier to repair if needed.
Other options would be considering to add heaters and/or change windows installing special thermoacustic glass (dvh), it helps retain a more pleasant indoor temperature during extreme cold/hot weather, unpleasant noises, condensation, etc.




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