Modern Underfloor heating is a great way to heat your home and add an extra layer of insulate properties to negate cold bridging – the effect of heat transference being drawn into the foundations and the ground below an home. It is a symbiotic technology when it comes to renewables, meaning the effects of replacing a central heating system that consists of radiators will be both beneficial financial in lower energy bills as well as based on carbon release too.
Underfloor heating is best installed on a property when being built or when undergoing renovation and adding floor insulation. That way the required membranes can be laid underneath and the floor doesn’t need any further attention thereafter. It can be a costly system however the return can offer lifestyle changes and reduce energy costs. Let’s find out how.
What Are The Different Types Of Underfloor Heating And How Do They Work?
There are two different types of underfloor heating. Electric and water based. They both work on the same principles of delivering heat under floor. Electric underfloor heating can be laid in three different ways depending upon room size and floor material, loose wiring assembly, electric cable systems or the use of heating mats.
Firstly a layer of screed is usually laid, upon which a layer of floor insulation ensures the heat from the the electric floor heating’s system or cabling or mats is directed upwards. The floor tiles or other floor material is then laid on top. A current runs through wiring to provide heat transference to the emitter, the floor, as opposed to a radiator’s surface.
Water underfloor heating is a little more complicated and requires assessment of floor levels and its reaction to floor materials for maximum heating benefit. Water is driven around a tube circuit under the floor, much in the way a radiator works. Both systems deliver a lower temperature but as this is over a wide space, UFH generally leads to lower energy bills even when on for longer periods.
What Are The Benefits Of Underfloor Heating?
Once you have walked over floor tiles bare foot in a kitchen or bathroom, you will never return to a radiator system wholesale ever again. The feeling is of comfort, luxury and all the while lowering your energy usage and saving money on electricity and gas bills.
- By cancelling out the need for bulky radiators you can regain space in rooms to effect better interior design.
- The two different systems enable you to work with a variety of different flooring materials, even carpet if not too thick.
- Some systems can be installed yourself, allowing you to save on the cost of third party installation services.
- Due to the slow warming effect of both systems, a lower generation of power can be used, still resulting in lower energy bills.
- Electric UFH is far cheaper than that of a water based system and easier to lay.
What Are The Costs Of UFH And How Much Can Be Saved Or Earned?
When you make a comparison between underfloor heating and a conventional radiator system you may well save from 15% to 40% on energy bills. That said, you may have to rethink your use of energy when it comes to fed that through to any new UFH system. As mentioned previous, a ground source heat pump will be far more beneficial than running it off a main boiler using gas or electricity.
Systems however are not cheap, they cost several thousand pounds to buy and install depending on floor size. You may wish to select rooms to fit rather than doing so across the entire home. Kitchens and bathrooms are very popular end uses, however people do install in living rooms, even under carpets. The savings from UFH can be minimal when compared to other sustainable heating systems, though when used in tandem with solar thermal, solar power or heat source pumps, the effects across the home are compounded.
Is There Much Maintenance With Underfloor Heating And Are There Any Other Issues?
Unlike radiators which have metres of piping all around the home, often with joints under the floor or sandwiched between walls, an underfloor heating system is much more easier to maintain. All pipes and cables run back to a central manifold allowing for easy access, monitoring and repair.
Is Floor Heating The Right Renewable For You And Your Home Or Business?
Not all homes are suited to underfloor heating but this is usually a lifestyle choice which negates implementation. Underfloor heating takes longer to warm up, which is why we recommend the use of a ground source heat pump as an alternative renewable energy supply. As the heat from these pumps is lower and the energy costs far less than gas or electric, you can effectively leave both systems online for longer periods without noticing any impact on energy bills.
For those families or individual who have a need for instant heat, radiators may be the best option. You can save a lot of space by having heated floors, with no bulky radiators getting in the way of interior design. It is said that flooring heated in this way is not suitable for furniture, however not all say the same. That still leaves the kitchen and bathroom which could benefit. Not all systems will heat an entire room, a certified renewables assessor can advise further on individual projects.