UFH Pipework Layout Variations
Underfloor Heating provides an effective, space-saving heating solution for both residential and commercial spaces. When installing underfloor heating, there are three main layout options, each with their own unique advantages. The right layout for your project will be dependant on the use of the room, the specific system being installed and the desired heating effect.
The simplest layout option is the single serpentine. In this design, a single pipe enters the room and uses a ‘zig-zag’ motion to span the length of the room. The pipe then exits through the entry point. Though this method provides an easier installation, it can distribute heat unevenly. The hot water which enters the room gradually cools as it runs through the system. At the entry point, the system has a higher heat output, and the room therefore becomes cooler at one end. This method is predominantly used when installing spreader plates.
In a double serpentine layout, the pipe enters and runs along the perimeter of the room, before creating a ‘zig zag’ layout, then running back on itself to create a contraflow. The cooler water, therefore, runs alongside the warmer water nearer to the pipe entrance, allowing the temperature to ‘even out’ throughout the room. This is an effective method to create a more even distribution of heat, however, it can’t be used with plated systems.
This layout essentially forms concentric circles. The pipe is run around the perimeter of the space, then repeatedly tracked around the room, creating a spiral shape, before reaching the centre. The pipes deliver the most heat around the outskirts of the room, where heat naturally escapes, while the centre of the room is heated the least by the system. As heat loss is usually at its lowest in the centre of the room, the temperature across the room should average out.
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