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How do I know if I have electric or water-based (hydronic) heating?
How do I know if I have electric or water-based (hydronic) heating?
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Written by tado°
Updated over a week ago

Generally, there are two types of heating systems: electric and water-based (hydronic). Most houses use water-based heating systems which are compatible with tado°. Electric heating systems, on the other hand, are not supported by tado° because of their high electrical currents.

Underfloor Heating

Both electric and water-based underfloor heating systems are usually controlled by one thermostat per room.

Electric underfloor heating systems warm the floor with the help of an electric current. The current runs through an electrical heating mat under the floor and is converted into heat. The room thermostat controls the temperature in the room by switching the current through the wires of the electric underfloor heating mat.

Because the currents that are switched by the thermostat are usually too high (exceed the threshold of 3A), these thermostats can’t be replaced with tado°. Therefore, tado° is incompatible with electric underfloor heating systems.

Water-based (hydronic) underfloor heating systems warm the floor with the help of warm water running through a pipe positioned under the floor. The room thermostat controls a valve that regulates the flow of water into the room. This valve is usually found at the manifold (a collection of pipes that regulate the water flow of the underfloor heating system).

If your room thermostat is connected to a manifold like in the picture above, it controls a water-based underfloor heating system. Or, if the heat for the underfloor heating is produced by a central boiler or heat pump, you can be sure that your underfloor heating system is water-based.

Radiator Heating

Electric radiators are heated with an electric current, and they are common in homes without a heating boiler. They are only connected to a power outlet and have a built-in thermostat. tado° can’t replace these built-in thermostats and therefore can’t control electric radiators.

Water-based radiators heat the room when hot water flows through the radiator. Often, there is a central thermostat that controls the heating of all radiators, or there is one thermostat per floor/zone to control all radiators on that floor/in that zone. tado° can replace these thermostats in most cases.

If you are not sure whether your heating is electric or water-based, please contact us with specific product information about your installed heating system.

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