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Underfloor heating is increasingly becoming popular among homebuilders, thanks to its effectiveness and efficiency. Moreover, it is a luxury way of heating your home since it allows you to feel warmth under your feet. However, as energy prices continue to rise, it’s important to evaluate your home’s heating system to ensure it’s running efficiently. On top of that, you can consider creating a ‘zone’ UFH system in your home to reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions. But, how do multi-zones work in underfloor heating systems?
If you don’t, worry not! By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of what a multi-zone UFH system is, how it works and how it improves your home’s energy efficiency!
What’s a Multi-Zone Underfloor Heating system?
Multi-zone heating simply refers to separating your home UFH system into various ‘zones’. This is intended to help you heat certain areas of the house independently from each other. Also, this allows you to control the temperature in multiple rooms through a combination of thermostats.
As an example, a multiple-zone heating system treats the kitchen and living room as one zone, bathrooms as the 2nd zone, and bedrooms as a 3rd zone. That way, you can warm the main living area of your home at your desired temperature, while keeping the unused areas like bedrooms cooler. As a result, you’ll end up saving a lot of money on your heating bills, especially during the winter months.
Single-Zone Vs Multi-Zone Underfloor Heating system
As the name suggests, a single zone UFH system only heats a single zone/ floor at a time since they operate through one UFH manifold. In addition, this allows you to control your heating in a single room with a smart thermostat. For that, single zone heating is suitable if you want to install underfloor heating to a single zone/ room like a cellar conversion, or heating a new extension.
A multi-zone heating system, on the other hand, is controlled by many room thermostats. This allows you to set systems in various rooms to turn on and off at different temperatures and times.
Another notable difference is that a multi-zone system is controlled through a wiring center that regulates water flow through each loop. This makes it suitable for larger homes since it allows you to control each zone through programmable thermostats. Contrarily, single-zone systems use warm water that is directed through the manifold to heat the house.
How do Multi-zones work in Underfloor Heating Systems?
In the past, most homeowners would either heat a single area of their home or the entire home with underfloor heating. This is because it was almost impossible to control the areas that the system heater. However, zone-controlled underfloor heating gives you full control over the zone or areas your system heats.
In addition, multi-zone underfloor heating is a much more energy-efficient technique than traditional heating options. Plus, it’s much easier to only heat the zone you want to be heated if it has its thermostat.
That said, here’s how a multi-zone underfloor heating system works!
A multi-zone underfloor heating system follows a simple process that involves dividing the floor layout into zones. Each zone is then controlled by its thermostats and connected to the central control system. This controls the valves and hydraulic actuators that distribute hot water in a hydronic underfloor system in each zone.
In addition, the multi-zone UFH heating system works by controlling warm water into the loops. For that, the system has actuators and a wiring center that offers independent control of each UFH zone instead of a zone valve. However, the hot water systems and radiator are still controlled using zone valves.
As already mentioned, each zone is controlled by a programmable thermostat. This allows each room to have its temperature and time control. When any of those thermostats turn on, they open an actuator (electronically operated valve) that is fitted at the bottom of the manifold. This then turns on your pump and fires up the boiler.
Benefits of installing a Multi-Zone Underfloor Heating System
Installing a multi-zone underfloor heating system in your home offers some incredible benefits. For instance, it gives you more control over your home temperature. Other notable benefits include;
Better Energy Efficiency
Although a multi-zone underfloor heating system is more complex, it’s highly efficient when it’s used properly. For instance, it allows you to set lesser-used rooms to stay warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter than areas with more traffic.
Reduced Heating Bills
Multi-zone systems allow you to heat certain rooms less than others, helping you save money on your monthly utility bills. At the same time, the system will help you to maximize your heating efficiency, while providing improved control.
Lastly, a multi-zone system provides better comfort since you’re no longer depending on a single temperature setting across the entire house. As a result, you can be warm and comfortable in your living room, and set a low temperature in the bedroom when you’re not using it and vice versa.
Due to its ability to heat various parts of your home independently from each other, multi-zone UFH systems offer a convenient way to reduce your energy use. In addition, it prevents heating or overheating an unoccupied space, thus reducing energy wastage as well as your energy bills. Overall, a zoned system is much more comfortable and up to 40% more efficient compared to single-zone or central systems. Hopefully, after going through this article, you now have a basic understanding of how a multi-zone underfloor heating system works!