Heating water can not only be transferred in pipes, but in walls too. When you are surrounded by walls that are radiating heat, your perception of temperature will be a lot higher than usual. Wall heating is based on the phenomenon and it is getting really popular in present days.
Wall heating is not a brand new invention; it has been used by the Romans to avoid steam convergence in their ever increasing sized baths. Back in these days, instead of hot water they were circulating smoke – which was generated on an external fireplace – in the floor and walls of the bath. Another heating type was discovered in the ruins of a pergamon bath built in the second century. On this occasion, clay roofing tiles were used, and their width from each other were provided by the little clay toggles hanging out of the main wall.
Another good example of combining floor and wall heating is the Emperor’s Bath in Trier, Germany. Back in those days, this method would have been considered optimal, and even until this day, we can get some useful ideas from it. The main principle of the wall heating was that they installed small diameter plastic tubes under the plasterwork. They circulated hot water in these tubes, which made the surface hot and provided warmth to the place.
Wall heating of course can be used to cool a room in the summer heat, the only thing you have to change is to circulate cold water instead of hot water in your system. These pipes are primarily installed on the external wall’s inner side, but they can also be placed on partition walls, too. Wall heating is used to warm up large surfaces using lower temperature water, which will result in a higher efficiency and higher conveniences. Wall heating can be used on its own, but it is usually combined with floor heating in rooms with cold floors (just like in the previously mentioned antique bath).
Wall heating has unified all the state of the art materials and fittings into one system which makes it cost effective and economical to install. The 35-40 °C water used in most wall heating systems is transferred by a suction pump from the boiler to the collection-distribution node. The heating water travels from the node’s studs into the pipes installed inside the plasterwork, and on its way it transfers its heat to the wall. The cooled down water then goes back into the boiler. The main advantage of this system is that by heating up the walls it provides a prominently pleasing sensation of temperature far better than of the regular radiators. As opposed to the traditional systems using regular radiators, the using of a wall heating system will result in radiation balance between the walls and the people in the premises. It will also provide an even temperature distribution from the floor to the ceiling resulting in an optimal sense of comfort. Wall heating systems also do not release dust particles in the air as opposed to regular heating systems.
The construction of the wall structure has a great significance in the optimal operation of a wall heating system. The wet laid wall heating system is like a floor heating system installed inside the walls. U shaped holding rails are installed on the walls, which will be used to clamp the plastic tubing on. After this is done, the walls can be plastered. Traditional lime rendering can also be used. However, before applying the final layer, a plastic roped rabic net is installed, to prevent any crack in the wall due to expansion of the pipes. The dry laid wall heating systems use tubing installed into string enchanced plaster sheets. These ready made parts can be installed easily and quickly, their application is simple, and they are especially advantageous for attics.
The applied plaster sheets are ready to be painted, or if you want you can decorate them with wallpaper or you can even install tiles. A heat shielded panel can be used in self-supporting composite houses or in attics. The heat shield contains 10 mm diameter plastic tubes which are to help protect against oxygen diffusion. The installed panels are covered with plasterboard afterwards. Its size is decided by the heat necessity. The installed tubes do not need any additional protection. You will have to be careful when drilling holes or hitting nails in the wall, however, with the use of a special heat sensitive film you can easily locate the exact position of the pipes. With the help of this you can easily drill the wall without the risk of damaging your heating system.
Wall heating can be used on its own, but it is usually combined with floor heating in rooms with cold floors. Due to its radiating effect, while providing the same kind of sense of heat as regular heating systems, the air temperature of the room can be 2-3 °C lower than otherwise, which will result in a much more economical operation. This alone can mean an approximately 12-15% saving on energy. It is a requirement with modern and economical heating systems that the room should be kept warm as long as someone is present. The startup time of the system is extremely short, the heat radiating through the thin layer of plaster can be almost instantly felt. The annual reduction in energy usage can be 20% or even more. An additional advantage of using a wall heating system is that it uses low temperature heating water, which means in it suitable to use with a condensing boiler or with devices using alternative energy sources.