Floor heating can cover small or large areas, waterborne or powered by electricity and depending on type and placement it can be utilized for different purposes. In this article we'll try to sort out what's what and guide you to become a smarter energy user when it comes to floor heating. Let's start by looking at what types are readily available on the market, how they are generally used and how to control them via Tibber 🤓
💦 Waterborne floor heating
Due to it's effectiveness this is a very common type of floor heating, especially in slightly newer houses and when the entire heating system has been replaced during renovation. In short it works by water getting heated in a heat pump, electric boiler or hot water tank before getting pumped through pipes in the floor. The reason for waterborne floor heating being more effective than electrical is that water has a higher thermal inertia - it tankes longer to heat up but also longer to cool - so when water is hot, it takes less added energy to keep it that way than with air.
This type of floor heating is used primarily in 3 ways:
To heat a smaller area eg. a bathroom or lobby to improve comfort but not with the purpose to affect the heating of the house overall. This is common when renovating bathrooms when floor heating for the entire house is not available.
To heat a larger area such as the entire basement floor to create a better indoor climate in eg. a basement supports heating the entire house combined with eg. electric radiators.
In both cases 👆 it's possible to control your floor heating smarter by connecting a TADO Smart Termostat and connect that to the Tibber app. If your heat source is a heat pump it might be worth looking at controlling that directly instead 👇
To heat the entire floor area and thereby fulfill most or the entire house heating needs. It has since some time back been common in new constructions and when upgrading the entire heating system during larger renovations.
In this case it's often most effective to let Tibber control the actual heat pump instead of individual thermostats. With a Nibe S-serie or F-serie you can integrate it to Tibber using the myUplink and Uplink power-ups respectively. Please note that some older F-serie don't have support connecting to WiFi. Many other heat pumps can also be connected to Tibber via Ngenic Tune that is connected straight to the heat pump.
⚡️Electric floor heating
This is also a common type but mainly for heating smaller areas since electric floor heating is less effective that waterborne. With electric floor heating electrical cords are heated when exposed to voltage as opposed to waterborne where the water is heated in the heat pump and then pumped through the system.
Electric floor heating can also be controlled smart via Tibber, either by connecting the Ebeco EB-Therm 500 thermostat together with the EB Connect WiFi to the floor heating and connect the thermostat to Tibber. And the same power-up can be used to integrate Ebecos radiator serie Wallflex 500 to Tibber as well 👍
The slightly more advanced user can use other types of smart thermostats as well and connect them to Tibber via the smart hub Homey or FutureHome.
❓When should I activate Tibbers smart heating for floor heating?
It depends on if you use the floor heating as part of your house actual heat system or "just" for comfort.
If you're looking for extra comfort in a specific room Tibber smart heating might not be the ideal solution as of today since the algoritm controls the device to optimize heating without waiver too much on comfort. Here you can read more on how smart heating works but essentially it's not optimized for comfort and it's often more effective to try controlling your primary heat source, often a heat pump or radiators. Instead use the floor heating as a complement for comfort and when needed.
But if the floor heating is all of or a major part in your heating system and you want to optimize your heating based on both the hourly energy price and weather forecast there is often 💰 to be saved by using Tibbers smart heating.
📲 How do I get started?
First you need the right devices.
Tado Smart Termostat for waterborne floor heating.
Ebeco EB-Therm 500 for electrical floor heating.
Other smart thermostat with support for Homey or FutureHome.
With the right device installed at home it needs to be configured in the manufacturers app.
When done click on Power-ups in the Tibber app, find the manufacturers brand in the list, hit "Connect" and follow the instructions.
Go back to the home screen in the Tibber app to see the thermostat as a new bubble. Should you not see it, hit ⚙️ in the top right corner and ✅ to make it visible.
When clicking the bubble on the home screen you will see the set target temperature, the actual temperature and the state the device is in and you can click to get more information. At the bottom there is a button called "Smart heating: Off" and by clicking that you can choose to activate the feature and the button will then say "Smart heating: On" instead.
Now you're all set 🔥