Wet underfloor heating
The two most common forms of under floor heating systems in the UK are water and electricity. Water underfloor heating systems may also be referred to as wet, or hydronic systems. Since water systems are more complex to install, they are a better choice for new builds, property extensions, or substantial refurbishment projects.
With today’s focus on sustainable solutions, heat pumps provide a low cost solution ideally suited to water based underfloor heating. You can find out more about renewable underfloor heating solutions here.
How does it work?
Water Underfloor Heating systems work by pumping a regulated flow of warm water from a heat source, through plastic pipes laid into the floor. Due to the size of the heated area, water underfloor heating systems provide sufficient warmth evenly throughout the property. This even heat distribution can help reduce heating expense, or the need for supplementary heating.
The main components of a water based system are:
A pump is responsible for pumping the water into your system via the manifold. It is the heart of the operation. Its job is to circulate the water throughout the entire underfloor pipe network. It’s important to choose the correct pump for the job. There are several factors to consider, and the team at EcoHeatCool can help.
The manifold is the brains of the system. It’s the central control area, and is responsible for controlling the flow of water from the pump to different zones in your property.
- When a heat pump is used, a distribution manifold is the best choice. This type of manifold ensures water enters the system at a pre-controlled temperature.
- A mixing manifold takes already hot water, and reduces the temperature for the system through the different valve arrangements.
You can learn more about manifolds here.
Pipes allow the flow of warm water throughout different zones under your floor. Pipe choice is important, and using high quality pipework will lessen the likelihood of any leaks down the line. At EcoHeatCool, we use specialist PE (polyethylene) pipes in multi-layers. We’re so confident in the quality, we offer a 25 year guarantee.
The correct insulation for your water underfloor heating system will ensure it operates efficiently. Insulation can significantly reduce the time needed for the system to heat up. Good insulation will also reduce overall heat loss. Ultimately, a well-insulated system can reduce your running costs.
No system is complete without a thermostat to control the temperature for maximum comfort. Thermostats are an important consideration, and there are a range of options available for you to consider. You can learn more about them here.
When it comes to efficiency, a wet underfloor heating system is more energy efficient than traditional radiators in the majority of cases. This is especially true when choosing a company like EcoHeatCool to ensure your installation is carried out professionally.
Because heat from an underfloor system is distributed more evenly throughout the entire room, the system can use water at a lower temperature. Compare that to a traditional radiator that often has scalding hot water running through it. A radiator emits huge amounts of heat, only in the immediate area, while the other end of the room away from the radiator is colder. That doesn’t happen with underfloor heating.
In addition, multiple renewable energy sources are available that can make any system even more efficient. It’s worth noting however, that the savings on any energy bills ultimately depend on the overall energy efficiency of your home, the size of the room or property being heating, and of course how you go about using your heating.
What does it cost?
The cost of installing a new system varies depending on the property size and a number of other factors. A water underfloor heating system is generally more expensive to install than an electric one. Installation is much more complex, which requires a professional company to carry out plumbing and testing.
There are a number of factors that can affect the price. For example, the size of property, whether the system will be installed in all floors, ceiling heights, etc. will all make a difference. Although it may be more expensive to install in the short term, you stand to save money over a longer period when you take your energy bills into account.
You can find out more about the cost of underfloor heating in this article.
Unlike electric underfloor heating that uses easy to install electric underfloor heating mats, water underfloor heating is a much more complex process. It requires sound plumbing connections. Once installation is complete, a series of specific tests need to be carried out.
The floor also needs to be properly prepared, then insulated correctly in order to make the system as efficient as possible. Depending on the type of floor construction you’re having in your new build property or extension, it’s important that a professional carries out the correct calculations. This will ensure everything fits together properly with correct allowances for space. It’s crucial to also calculate for the correct amount of pipework to make sure the system runs as efficient as possible.
In recent years, an increasing number of low profile flooring systems have been developed for wet systems. These allow you to retrofit a wet system in your property with minimal disturbance to the current features.
How can EcoHeatCool help?
At EcoHeatCool we supply full water underfloor heating systems, designed with bespoke CAD drawings that show all the required pipework and valves, as well as electrical connections. In addition to this we provide full support and documentation to suit the heat source, whether it’s a conventional boiler or heat pump.
We have built up a huge range of experience over the years which allows us to provide some of the best solutions in the industry. Contact us today to find out more.