Ecowarm Compared To Under Sub Floor Plates, Staple Up, Or Hanging Systems
While usually promoted by companies selling DYI systems, these types of systems installed from below a subfloor are at the immediate performance disadvantage of having to push heat through the additional layer of plywood of the subfloor.
This limits output and requires significantly higher water temperatures flowing in the tubing, lowering dramatically the efficiency of the system and raising operating costs significantly. Despite these disadvantages, these systems are sold because the components are less expensive but the labor intensity is high. Since DIY installers often do not value their time accurately, these systems give the false impression that they are inexpensive. The life cycle costs of underfloor systems, particularly staple up and hanging systems, are much higher than Ecowarm.
Under sub-floor systems are installed usually one of 3 ways: stapling around a tube to hold it to the underside of the subfloor, attaching the tubing with clips underneath the sub-floor where it hangs in an air space below the sub-floor or installing plates up underneath the tubing and attaching the plates to the underside of the subfloor. The method using underfloor plates is the best performing of underfloor systems but plates are also prone to making creaking expansion noise if not installed by an experienced radiant contractor.