The use of radiant floor heating dates back to the Chinese Kangtou (brick bed warmed by a fire underneath in Northern China), which was spread abroad and then innovated and developed. During the period of the ancient Roman Empire, it was mainly used in the residences of nobles. Heated flooring at that time was a layer of pebbles or marbles, which was heated by fire ahead of time. In the 1930s, floor heating was used extensively in high-grade residences of Europe.
Heated flooring's development in other countries
Currently, heater flooring has become very widespread in North America and Northern Europe 65% of newly constructed residences in Western Canada use heated flooring systems. In South Korea, Japan, and other Asian places, the popular rate of heated flooring has exceeded 80%. In China, the floor heating was originated from early 1990s and has been accepted by extensive consumers after over ten years of development with a dramatic increase year to year.
Schematic diagram of heated flooring system
Application of heated flooring in Chinese history
In the Imperial Palace, chimney flues were set under gray bricks to allow hot smoke to flow through during the winter. This would heat the bricks and then the air, making the room warm. In the late 1950s, a group of scientists and technical workers began to study radiant floor heating technology and put it into engineering practice. The entrance hall to the world-famous Great Hall of the People in Beijing also uses radiant floor heating technology. At the time, because they took up too much space and they had restricted conditions of usage, and because traditional radiator heating systems and hot air heating systems could not meet the demands, finally the way of radiant floor heating was adopted.
Operating principles for heated flooring systems
With traditional heating methods, the hot air moves upwards, making the roof hot and the floor cold. This kind of temperature distribution where the top is high but the bottom is low is exactly opposite of the way one should increase body comfort. It causes the head to become dry, while the legs and feet are still cold. Furthermore, traditional heating methods such as air conditioners and radiators primarily use point heat source. The areas near the heater are warmer, but those far away are colder, resulting in an uneven and transverse distribution and poor comfort.
Floor heating plays a certain role in maintaining one's health
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that "heat comes from the head, while cold comes from the feet. " Whereas, the heated flooring system uses a uniform thermal radiation throughout the entire floor, as opposed to a radiator heating system, where the heating operation comes from far away infrared radiation. In this way, heat is transferred upwards to heat the air, and the temperature at foot level will be higher than that of breathing level, giving people in the room a comfortable feeling of warm feet and a cool head. Meanwhile, the temperature difference within the room is extremely small and the temperature distribution is very even. Additionally, because the radiant surface temperature is less than your standard radiator, there is less moisture loss, air dryness, foreign smells, dry skin, dry mouth and other discomforts. The spring-like environment indoors really meets the human body's needs, thus improving the blood circulation, promoting metabolism and having a inhibiting effect on cardiovascular diseases. It is particularly applicable for the elderly and children, and can treat and prevent arthritis and arterial sclerosis occlusion.