Sunday, September 17, 2006


Calefacción losa

Since Spring is arriving rapidly (I saw the first ice cream vendor on the beach today) I thought I'd write about heating before it's completely out of mind.

Our apartment, like many of the others we looked at, has losa heating. I don't think any of them had the forced air heating we had in Michigan. A few apartments had radiators and some only had electric space heaters. I'm not sure the space heaters would be very warm when the temperature was in the 30s.

Losa is radiant slab heating, where hot water is run through a concrete slab under the flooring. I wasn't familiar with it at all. It is very pleasant, on a cold morning, to put bare feet on warm tile. My daughter says it would be great for a cat-- curled up on the warm floor. I don't know much about it, but apparently it's gaining popularity in the US, particularly for alternative energy sources (solar, firewood, or geothermal.) I can't say anything about its efficiency, but it has been comfortable.

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A reader from Madison writes, "The radiant heat in the floor is actually an old idea. Frank Lloyd Wright used it a lot. The FUS [First Unitarian Society of Madison] meeting house has it. The problem was, like with many FLW things, he pushed the technology and they leaked, a lot. That set them back for years. [Some friends] had it in their old house and it is in their new house. It is really great on cold, damp winter days. It is very efficient and works well with geothermal heat pumps, but also with boilers."

FUS Meeting House
Just about every place in Korea uses the in floor heating system. I would guess it is very efficent since heat rises.
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