In the European area, the first floor heating systems were used by the Romans (hypocaustum). The construction consisted of a kiln (praefurnium), a heating room located under the floor, the hypocaustum and extractors for the hot air and exhaust gases. The kiln was usually located outdoors. The heating chamber consisted of brick towers of square or round slabs, stacked at intervals of about 30 to 40 cm and initially supporting a larger top slab. On top of this lay the large supporting slab.

The entire construction of the floor was about 10-12 cm thick. From the boiler room located under the heated room, the hot air flowed into the wall ducts (tubuli), which in this way also heated the walls. Only then did the air escape into the open air.

Archaeological findings in North Korea also revealed a system for heating floors. In Unggi, the region of Ham Kyung Buk-Do, virtually intact remains of such systems were discovered in several ancient dwellings.

Archaeology dates these systems to about 3000 years ago, around 1000 B.C. They bear the name Gudeul, which in turn comes from the Korean guun-dol (heated stones).

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