Whatever the system may have a warm floor, it cannot be operated without a thermostat or, as it is often called, a thermostat. This device provides, if necessary, the inclusion of heating or shutdown to maintain the desired temperature of the air in the room or the degree of heating of the floor itself.
All specialists existing today thermostats are divided into three groups:
Mechanical thermostat for underfloor heating
Such a thermostat can be a simple mixing unit on a three-way valve, and can be an electromechanical device. In all cases, it always solves only one problem: it maintains the temperature set on its rotary scale. Such a regulator is easy to control and low cost.
The use of a three-way valve allows you to create a thermostat for a water-heated floor that directly regulates the flow of warm and cold water, mixes them and supplies water of the right temperature to the piping system used for floor heating, but such a thermostat for the floor can only be used if the house has a separate water heating system.
In most cases, this is rare. Yes, and such a system of temperature control of the floor is not always convenient, so when there is a desire to have a thermostat of a simple design, instead of three-way valves, electromechanical thermostats are most often used. In them, the required temperature is also set manually, but such mechanical thermostats control, in contrast to the three-way valve, not the flow of warm and cold water, but the voltage level on the heating elements.
Programmable thermostats, unlike the above-described manual mechanical thermostats, can not only maintain, like the last, the set temperature, but also program a change in its value during the day, or week, month, year. The degree of heating of the floor may be different on weekdays and weekends or at night, in the morning, at noon and in the evening. The use of intelligent thermostats for underfloor heating, intended for use in "smart home" systems, can also enable or disable floor heating, depending on whether there are people in the house and what is the temperature of the air outside the house.
For example, in the absence of a home owner, a programmable thermostat can reduce the power that is sent to floor heating and, thereby, reduce electricity consumption. As experience shows, a programmable thermostat saves up to 50% of the energy used for heating, and the usual - no more than 30%. In large areas, this effect will be felt especially strongly.
By its principle of operation, a digital thermostat is similar to a mechanical thermostat. The main difference from the latter is the presence of a digital display showing the temperature of the floor, which, in fact, is also set in manual mode. In this case, as a rule, not swivel rollers are used, but buttons, ordinary ones are used with a conventional digital thermostat, and sensory ones with a touch thermostat.
Temperature sensor - the main component of the process of its regulation
Maintenance of temperature by any type of thermostat is carried out taking into account the signals generated by the sensor built into the thermostat or external to it.
Thermostats of any system, regardless of whether they have a programming function or not, can be with a remote sensor or with an embedded sensor. The most common for thermostats are the following thermal control systems, taking into account the methods of connecting to them temperature sensors:
- with a sensor mounted on the floor, as well as built-in - to monitor the air temperature;
- with a sensor that monitors the temperature of the air, which can either be built into the thermostat housing or moved outside of it;
- with infrared sensor measuring the temperature of the floor;
- with temperature sensor embedded in the coating or consignment note.
For the placement of these devices are usually used wiring boxes, which bring the wires from the floor heater and signal cables from a remote temperature sensor. In addition, the entire system must be powered from the mains.
Temperature controllers should be installed in places where it is possible to provide convenient maintenance, readings and, if necessary, repairs. If a high-capacity warm floor is used, a separate line is necessary to ensure its power supply. At the same time it is better to mount the thermostat as close as possible to the electrical distribution board. If the power consumed by a warm floor is less than one kilowatt, then it can be powered even from a room outlet.
The thermostat is recommended to be placed as close as possible to the location of the heated floor at a level of 30-40 cm from its surface. This will reduce the length of the cables coming from the temperature sensor.
- Digital and electromechanical thermostat is well suited to those who do not want to “bother” with programming, and the heating area is small.
- It is advisable to use a programmable thermostat, on the contrary, in the case when the area of the heated room is large. Then the energy savings will be substantial.
- Thermal control using three-way valves is extremely simple, but only applies if there is a separate water heating system.
- Since today there are many different types of thermostats for sale in various colors, it is desirable that the thermostat of your choice best suits the overall design of your interior, if you cannot hide the location of this device.
- When determining which is better to buy a thermostat, consider first of all what maximum power it can regulate, what kind of surges in input voltage it can withstand, at what level of air humidity its efficiency remains. It is better to choose a temperature-controlled device with a good margin for all critical parameters.
- Pay attention to how and how easy it is to install the thermostat at the place of use.
- Ask who is the manufacturer of this device: it is better to overpay for the products of a well-known company, whose high rating on the world market is in itself a guarantee of quality than buying a cheap but unreliable product.
And in conclusion, it can be said that not only the quality of its work, but also the quality of our life depends on how correctly we choose the thermal control system.