Comfort levels, space restrictions, interior design — the benefits of underfloor heating are endless. The high levels of comfort, together with low running cost and the environmental benefits, have resulted in a growing demand for underfloor heating systems.
Underfloor heating is the most comfortable form of heating because it is largely radiant, and humans have evolved physiologically to prefer this form of heating. It is completely unobtrusive and some people estimate that this gives an average of 15% more usable space in a room compared to wall mounted radiators or night storage heating.
Underfloor heating is completely safe, more hygienic than radiators and it is more energy efficient. Radiant energy from the floor is absorbed by the other surfaces in a room, which warm up and become secondary radiant emitters. We become surrounded by gently radiating surfaces, which is very comfortable.
There are no floor draughts and the temperature in all parts of the room is even. Convective forms of heating, such as radiators, use the air in a room as the transport mechanism to move energy into the whole room from a small surface that must be very hot compared with the room air. The hottest air is at ceiling level and the coldest is at floor level. The air can become dry and cause dry eyes and stuffy noses. Convection circulation can also pick up dust from the floor and put it into the air we breathe.
What are the benefits of underfloor heating?
But just how much does an underfloor heating system cost?
Surely along with this luxury product you should be expecting a luxury price tag? This is not the case today, in a market that is still growing and becoming more and more competitive. However, the installation costs are dependent on many factors, including:
- Labour (installing a wet UFH system takes a small fraction of the time as opposed to a wall mounted system)
- Geographical location of project
- Project type – new build, renovation, home improvement
- Floor type – i.e., solid or timber
- Size of project – Square meter of the rooms/number of rooms
- Physical cost of the goods i.e. electric mats or wet system
If you are still considering a standard wall mounted heating system in a new build, consider the following points first;
- The time pressure on new build projects can be reduced by installing a wet underfloor heating system
- The future running costs of a wet underfloor heating system are lower than a standard wall mounted radiator option.
You can maximise floor space and improve the aesthetics of the room.
- You can utilise ‘wet underfloor heating’ as a key selling point for the property to prospective buyers
- You gain increased comfort levels though using a more efficient heating system
Most new buildings can be kept warm with heating power in the range 35 to 75W/m2, which can be achieved with floor-surface temperatures of just 24 to 27°C. The maximum floor temperature should not normally exceed 29°C, although up to 34°C is acceptable for bathrooms. An underfloor heating system uses water at a much lower temperature than that required by radiators, making it ideal to be fuelled by alternative energy sources such as solar, air/ground source heat pumps, or geothermal energy.
Depending on the conductivity of the floor, the water needs to be between 40 and 50°C to reach the design floor temperature. By contrast, radiators generally require the water to be at 70 to 80°C. When designing an underfloor heating system to heat an entire building, some modern boilers can supply the water at the low temperature required directly to the heating system.
The internal pump of such a boiler can be used to circulate the water around the pipe circuits. If the boiler cannot supply the water at the required temperature, it is necessary to add a water-mixing control unit to reduce the water temperature before it enters the underfloor heating system.
There are forms of underfloor heating to fit every type of floor construction (screeds, fully floating timber floors, battened and joisted floors), as well as floor constructions that incorporate acoustic components required to comply with Part E of the Building Regulations.
Before the screed is laid, edge insulation should be set all round the periphery of the room to allow for thermal movement in the screed during the year. The heating pipe is fixed to the top of the insulation, just before the screed is laid. The pipe can be stapled to rigid insulation or fixed with gripper rods or aluminium plates to soft insulation.
See our floor sections page for more information.
Underfloor heating is easy to install. The mechanism for fixing pipe or heating cable into the floor is simple. However, working out where to lay the pipe and what pipe centres to use is more complicated. Sorting out where to put manifolds and controls also requires an amount of expertise. EcoHeatCool has been offering you the simple solution since 1986 – we design, fit and work out the heat loss calculations for the whole system for you.
Using EcoHeatCool we will ensure that you will be receiving the most effective heat output for your property, rather than a DIY system that will generally be installed at 200mm pipe centre’s. This will not guarantee you a comfortable heating requirements if the calculations for each room individually have not been carried out.
We won’t charge for advice or quotations and we can offer Underfloor Heating System’s for varied budgets. If we have helped with your decision for follow the Underfloor Heating path then contact our friendly team to discuss your options.