One question we often get asked here in the technical department is can trench heating and underfloor heating work together in the same room? Well, the answer is yes but you need to consider a few things.
- Will the units be running off the same circuit?
- What is the purpose of the trench heater? i.e. will the trench be there to simply ‘top up’ any heating shortfall or take care of any down draught from glazed facades for example?
- How will you control the two to stop them “fighting” against one another?
Underfloor heating (UFH) usually operates in the region of 40 degrees flow so if you are using trench heating too and running it off the same circuit you will need to size the trench units accordingly to take into account the design temperatures.
If you are using the UFH and trench in the same room then you will be best controlling them off the same thermostat to ensure that they don’t fight against each other. Most people who use UFH and have trench, do so to enable them to have a quick boost of heat while the UFH gets the room up to temperature.
Fan assisted or natural convection trench?
Most people who use UFH do so in conjunction with a renewable heat source, so running at lower flow temperatures, tend to go with a fan assisted trench to help them get the required output or simply as much output as possible while maintaining aesthetics, as the fans enable the unit to be smaller.
Having a trench heater in the same room as under floor heating (UFH) is no different to having a wall mounted radiator in a room with UFH, the only thing you have to consider is the positioning of the unit and to ensure that it is being controlled from the same thermostat as the UFH so the two systems aren’t fighting each other.
The best way to control….
This is very much dependant on the size and use of the units installed.
Small units that are only being used as make up heat might be installed “open” so that they are on all of the time, essentially making them into a by-pass for the system.
Alternatively if the trench unit is larger and being used as the primary source of heat, then this will need to be controllable to prevent overheating. Generally this would be done via a thermostatic control valve on the trench with the UFH running all the time.
In reality there are nearly as many ways to control the installation as there are options for the products being selected, and this should be taken under advisement from specialist involved as every installation will be different…
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