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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
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.
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.
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.
These control the power to the electric matt, some can even report the power being consumed by the electric under-floor heating.
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.
These control the power to the electric matt and have an integrated thermostat function.
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.
For more information take a look at our How to Choose a Z-Wave Controller Guide.
These guides and videos show how these various systems can be integrated with Vesternet's home automation products.