This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links.
After learning how to install electric or wet underfloor heating, you’ll need an appropriate thermostat that works with your system. This will allow you to correct the heating needs accordingly to save both money and energy while keeping your house comfortably warm during the winter season. Besides, this will help you to control your radiant floor heating system efficiently to keep your floor at an optimum temperature.
One thing you need to note though is that floor heating thermostats work slightly different than those used with radiators. However, thermostats play the same role in both cases, which is to control the heating system.
But, can you use any thermostat for underfloor heating? Well, that’s what I’ll be discussing in this blog post. Afterward, I’ll show you some of the best thermostats for wet and electric underfloor heating systems you can use!
Let’s get into it!
How does a thermostat for Underfloor heating systems work?
Radiant floor heating thermostats are usually wall-mounted devices that are used to control the temperature of your UFH system. They can have various features such as touch-sensitive screens, digital push-buttons, simple turn dials, or compatibility with mart devices.
When you turn up the wall-mounted underfloor heating thermostat, it calls for heat distribution to the floor in that room. Interestingly, you can also have a separate thermostat in each room or zone. This prevents you from heating up the entire house when you only need heat in a specific zone or area.
In addition, you can program these devices to have different requirements on the weekend and different temperature settings at different times throughout the day. This helps to save energy by ensuring you’re not wasting heat when it’s not needed.
In some instances, radiant floor heating thermostats are inbuilt into the floor. This ensures that the floor doesn’t get too cold or overheat, especially if there are other heat sources in the room that can potentially ‘confuse’ the thermostat.
Another thing worth mentioning is that thermostats work differently depending on the kind of underfloor heating system you’re using.
Electric Underfloor Heating Vs Water-based Underfloor Heating
Electric UFH systems have a lot of heating wires installed on the floor surfaces and connected back to the electric supply. When you turn these systems on, they heat up due to the resistance in the cables. As for the thermostats, they’re either connected wirelessly or hard-wired to the electric UFH and back to the switch control that turns the separated circuits on or off depending on the demand.
On the contrary, a wet UFH system features a long loop of tubing installed in the flooring. Warm water circulates in this pipework, transferring heat from the water to your floor surface. Similar to electric floor heating, the thermostat in wet systems is either connected to a controller wired or wirelessly. However, the controller opens up a motorized valve on the heating manifold to allow warm water to flow to that area instead of tuning a circuit off or on.
Types of underfloor heating thermostats are available!
There are several different types of thermostats that you can use for underfloor heating on the market. However, almost all UFH thermostats can be classified into the following categories;
1. Standard digital UFH thermostats
Standard digital thermostats are quite basic in terms of functionality. They’re usually limited to timed operation cycles, controlling temperatures, and pre-programmed functions that heat up floors to a pre-set temperature selected by the user. However, the functionality tends to vary between various models and brands.
2. Touch Screen digital UFH Thermostats
These types of thermostats provide the same functionality as their standard digital counterparts. However, they’re more aesthetically pleasing and are equipped with a touchscreen to ensure a more user-intuitive operation. Moreover, this allows you to navigate different features and modes with ease. On top of that, they usually have a user-friendly operating system that allows you to program timed cycles with ease.
3. Wi-Fi Enabled (Smart) Thermostats
Smart thermostats are ranked at the higher end of the scale since they’re equipped with various innovative features that make it extremely easy to control your UFH system remotely. Moreover, they’re compatible with other smart home devices. This allows you to control your home’s heating via an app on your tablet or smartphone. At the same time, some models are Bluetooth enabled, meaning you can control them by a remote.
Can you use any thermostat for Radiant Floor Heating?
Although you can use almost any thermostat for underfloor heating, most units are designed for specific systems. For that reason, it’s important to check if the thermostat is fully compatible with your underfloor heating before you buy one. Similarly, it’s always recommended that you check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine if the thermostat will work with your particular system.
If possible, look for a thermostat model that comes with a floor sensor. This feature will help you to monitor the temperature of your floor surface with ultimate precision. As a result, you can efficiently maintain the optimum temperature in your home with the help of the underfloor heating thermostat.
Important Features to look for in a UFH thermostat
With so many types and brands of UFH thermostats available, there are various factors you should consider when looking for the best option for your home.
First, you should look at the device’s compatibility with your radiant heating system and other temperature control units. This will allow the thermostat to communicate effectively with various components of your HVAC systems. For instance, this will prevent the air conditioning unit from cooling down the room when the heating system is turned on. Better still, most modern thermostats are wi-fi enabled, allowing you to control your home temperature from anywhere remotely.
Controllability is another important factor you should consider when selecting or installing an underfloor heating thermostat. Besides, poor underfloor heating controls are one of the main causes of energy wastage in a UFH system. For that reason, it’s important to choose a device that provides a significant amount of controllability, depending on your requirements and lifestyle.
To sum up, underfloor heating does not require a particularly special thermostat. Instead, most thermostats for regular HVAC systems can be used for UFH systems as well. However, you need to check the specifications and instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that the device is compatible with your specific UFH system model. Also, do more research to find some of the best underfloor heating thermostats that will help to keep your home warm.
1. What temperature should you set your underfloor heating thermostat?
Although this varies from one person to another, the ideal underfloor heating temperature is about 21 deg C for living areas and 18 deg C for bedrooms. Therefore, you can set the UFH thermostat at 16 to 27 deg C (60 – 80 deg F). depending on the room.
2. Where should you position the underfloor heating thermostat?
Generally speaking, a thermostat should be positioned in a place where it can sense the average temperature of the room. It shouldn’t be positioned in a draughty area, under direct sunlight, or near other appliances since they emit heat, giving false readings to the device. That said, the underfloor heating thermostat should be mounted on internal walls at a height of about 1.5 m.
3. How many thermostats do you need for your UFH system?
You’ll need at least one underfloor heating thermostat per zone, and not per room since you may have multiple zones in a large room. However, you may need additional thermostats if you’ve got other heat sources like log burners.
4. How to control different zones with a UFH thermostat?
A multi-zone system is controlled by more than one room thermostat. This allows you to set different rooms to turn on and off at different temperatures and times. In the case of multi-zone UFH systems, wires or pipes are installed in different areas with separate thermostats.
For electric UFH systems, each zone is controlled individually through the electric controls. But for wet systems, the controls are connected back to the manifold, where they close or open the zones.