Underfloor heating is a great way to keep your home warm. It’s lovely to walk on, it distributes heat evenly around each corner of the room, and it frees your walls from radiators, making more space for paintings, shelf units or even picture windows – or allowing you to create a minimalist look if you wish.
As the weather cools, nothing beats the luxury of warmth underfoot – especially first thing in the morning. Underfloor heating (UFH) is also energy efficient, convenient, frees up wall space and can add value to your home. As for installing it, the process isn’t as intrusive as you might think.
Ask any homeowner who has underfloor heating, and chances are they’ll say they’d never be without it! But why? Well one good reason is that, with underfloor heating installed, there’s no need for radiators.
Aside from spoiling the clean lines of a room, radiators can take up valuable wall space. Remove them, and suddenly a gap appears for extra kitchen units, storage, a sofa or even a doorway. Due to its outstanding properties, today the underfloor heating is increasingly used in construction practice. Its greatest advantage is the ideal temperature profile: pleasant temperature from floor to ceiling.
Therefore, under-floor heating is considered particularly pleasant and healthy. We shouldn’t neglect the cost of heating, as floor heating achieves the same feeling of warmth when the average room temperature is lower by 1-2oC than convector or radiator heat, and therefore it is saving energy about 6-12%.
In addition, the heat loss during ventilation is lower, than in the room where the heating body is placed under the window. Underfloor heating should be considered as one single heating appliance, while it is permeated thru the whole floor.
But at a relatively low temperature of the floor area of about 23oC warms up the total space that is heated, depending on the outside temperature, up to the desired 20oC. This is because, especially for large areas, the given heat radiation is from 50-80 %, whereas the given radiation from radiator or convector heating bodies is only 25%.
Hot-water (or wet) systems
Wet systems are made up of pipes that are typically connected to your boiler, and use warm water from the central heating system. While a condensing boiler will offer the greatest potential savings on running costs, any boiler can be used with UFH, as long as it has a sufficient capacity.
The water is pumped through plastic pipes that are laid on to a sub floor, before the new final surface is installed. Most of the plastic water pipes installed in today’s systems are continuous, so there is no danger of leaks as there are no joints – and the system is generally considered to be maintenance-free.
If you’re looking to heat a large area, this is the best option.
Where to use underfloor heating
Underfloor heating is mostly used in ground-floor rooms but, in reality, there is a system to suit any type of floor construction. Wet systems are most easily installed where it’s possible to take up floors or where new floors are being constructed, so is likely to suit new extensions, conservatories and new open-plan kitchen-cum-living areas.