Thermostats are the ‘brain’ of the underfloor heating system and enable it to run safely and efficiently. Once underfloor heating is installed the thermostat is the only part of the system you will see and most are discrete and compact, although silver and graphite coloured thermostats are becoming increasingly sought after.
Most electric underfloor heating thermostats run on mains voltage and the heating system is powered directly by them. Thermostats fall into two main types, manual thermostats and programmable thermostats. Manual thermostats simply allow you to increase or decrease the temperature and turn them on and off. Programmable thermostats incorporate a timer and allow you to set up a number of different heating programs for each day, as you would with a conventional central heating thermostat.
To comply with Section 753 of the 17th Edition electrical regulations all electric underfloor heating thermostats must use a floor temperature sensor to limit the maximum floor temperature to a safe level. These sensors can take two forms, a hard wired temperature probe that must be installed beneath the floor covering or a high tech remote infra-red sensor that measures the temperature of the floor surface itself by measuring the infra-red radiation it emits.
Most manufacturers thermostats will work with most other manufacturers systems however each thermostat will only work with it’s own floor sensor, so if replacing a thermostat you must always ensure it is compatible with the floor sensor already fitted.