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Under-Floor Heating (Electric)

Intelligent Heating - Multi-Zone Under-Floor Heating

Electric Under-Floor Heating is a common way to add comfortable heating to smaller spaces - it has a lot of the advantages of water Under-Floor heating but is easier to install. However, it will be more expensive to run, which is why it's usually used in smaller spaces.

An Electric Under-Floor Heating (UFH) system is powered by its own electrical circuit, which powers the electric heating matt that is installed below the floor. The wall mounted controller sets the times when the heating will be active and at what temperature, it also includes a thermostat to maintain the room's temperature at the correct level. These systems often have a temperature sensor installed in the under-floor matt to ensure that it does not get excessively hot.

This guide shows you how to add Z-Wave home automation to an Electric Under-Floor heating system

Add Home Automation to Electric Under-Floor Heating

These systems are quite self-contained, and the possibilities to add home automation control to them is quite limited unless you want to redevelop the whole system based on Z-Wave products.

Most people want to have the ability to remotely activate the system - this is what we recommend as being the most straightforward and cost effective way to add home automation to Electric UFH systems.

How it Works

The easy way to control the system using Z-Wave is to add a Z-Wave Relay/Switch into the main power feeding the system. You will then have control of the electric matt allowing you to over-ride the wall controller's On periods. This approach enables you to turn the matt Off when the timer says it should be On, but it does not allow you to turn the matt On if the timer is in an Off period. The main reason for doing it this way is to allow you to turn the system Off if you are away from home for a long time, or if you've forgotten to turn the system off - helping to save wasted energy and power. When the Relay is On, the Electric UFH system run itself in the normal way.

The Z-Wave Relay can be controlled wirelessly, so you have access to it whether you are at home or away.

Components - what they do

To add home automation control of your electric under-floor heating system, you only need to add two components (only one if you already have a Z-Wave system). Below we explain the function of each component and our recommended products.

Z-Wave Relays

These control the power to the electric matt, some can even report the power being consumed by the electric under-floor heating.

  • Fibaro Switch 2 (Single)
    Ideal for controlling mats up to 2Kw (8A).
  • Qubino Relay x1 Plus
    Single switch module can control up to 2,500W. Can be controlled via Z-Wave or from a manual switch wired to the relay module. Requires Neutral.
  • Aeotec Nano Switch with power metering
    Single switch module can control up to 2,500W. Can be controlled via Z-Wave or from a manual switch wired to the relay module. Requires Neutral.
  • Aeon Heavy Duty Switch
    Provides On/Off control of the heating mats, up to 7Kw (40A) and measures its power consumption.

As you can see there are a variety of Z-Wave modules to choose from. We have a very good guide that can help you select the most suitable devices for your application - take a look at our Choosing a Z-Wave Module guide.

Z-Wave Thermostat

These control the power to the electric matt and have an integrated thermostat function.

  • Heatit Thermostat
    Ideal for controlling mats up to 3.2Kw (16A).
  • Secure Wall Thermostat (SRT321)
    Wall mounted thermostat controls the boiler (via the receiver) and can have it's set-point changed by the Z-Wave controller. All heating schedules will be run in the Z-Wave controller and the heating's On/Off periods controlled by changing the wall thermostat's set-point. Requires boiler receiver or relay to control boiler.
  • Secure Programmable 7-day Thermostat (SCS317)
    Very similar to the Secure Wall Thermostat (SRT321), except it has an integrated 7-day timer that enables it to run the heating based on schedules you program into the thermostat - it can have up to 6 temperature periods per day. Requires boiler receiver or relay to control boiler.
  • Secure Wall Temperature Sensor
    Wall mounted temperature sensor can report the room's temperature to the 'Scene' running the heating control.
  • Danfoss Temperature Sensor
    Wall mounted sensor sends temperature to Z-Wave controller so that you can use this to control the heating.

Z-Wave Controller

The controller enables you to add and configure devices to your Z-Wave system and run 'schedule scenes'. It also acts as a gateway allowing you to control the system from a smartphone even when you are away from home. In the case of heating, the controller will run the schedules to control when the heating is On/Off and at what temperature, it will also run the hot-water times.

  • VERA Plus
    Extremely flexible controller for Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus and ZigBee systems.
  • VERA Edge
    Low cost, very capable Z-Wave controller for heating and complete home automation.
  • Fibaro Home Center 2 (HC2)
    Flexible Z-Wave controller with an intuitive User Interface (UI), includes dedicated Heating 'panels' for easier schedule and control of your heating system and advanced LUA programming capabilities.
  • Fibaro Home Center Lite
    Flexible Z-Wave controller with an intuitive User Interface (UI) and includes dedicated Heating 'panels' for easier schedule and control of your heating system.
  • Athom Homey Smart Hub
    Homey is a versatile controller with a really easy-to-use interface (UI), supporting 7 wireless technologies (like zigbee and LightwaveRF) as well as Z-Wave.
  • Homeseer Gateways and Software
    Homeseer offer the most advanced home automation software and gateways available. The HS3 software is available to run on a Windows PC and is also included in all the Homeseer hardware gateways.
  • Indigo Software
    Indigo is the advanced smart home Software for Mac OS X, compatible with hundreds of Z-Wave, INSTEON and other smart devices. Over 100 plugins to other devices make it the most powerful software solution available for Mac.
  • Further Guides

    These guides and videos show how these various systems can be integrated with Vesternet's home automation products.

    Copyright Vesternet 2017

    Updated: 31/05/2017

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