Your Guide to Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating is an excellent alternative to traditional central heating, such as radiator systems. It is becoming increasingly popular and can be installed in new and traditional homes. Its popularity comes as no surprise. Underfloor heating (UFH) boasts many benefits, from physical to financial. If you consider installing UFH in your home, you’ll find the answers to your questions here.
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How does underfloor heating work?
An underfloor heating system transforms your flooring into an efficient radiator. There are two main types of UFH: warm water and electric.
Warm water underfloor heating works by using multiple tubes embedded in the sub-flooring. Warm water will run through the sturdy pipes, gently emitting heat into the room. This even distribution of heat will heat all areas of your living area. Warm water UFH is best-suited to new builds that can accommodate modifications to the floor level.
In contrast, electric UFH uses ultra-thin heating wire to heat the floor surface. This wire is installed directly underneath your flooring. Depending on your floor type, the cable usually arrives pre-spaced on a mat or in foil. You can also opt for loose cabling for more bespoke floor plans. In addition, electric UFH will not raise your floor level, the perfect addition to your existing flooring.
Is underfloor heating expensive to run?
While the high installation costs of UFH put some people off, it can be cheaper to run in the long run. This is because it can offer the same heat output as radiators at a lower temperature. However, it is worth noting that electric UFH is significantly more expensive to run than warm water UFH. This is due to electricity costing more than natural gas per kWh. For this reason, the electric option is mainly chosen to heat small areas such as bathrooms.
It is more economical to leave UFH running at a low temperature, increasing as required, than to turn it off completely. This is because it can take a few hours to heat up, which may use unnecessary energy if this occurs frequently.
How is underfloor heating controlled?
A thermostat will control your UFH system. This device regulates temperature. It will switch your UFH on or off depending on the temperature of your room. For example, if you set your thermostat to 25º and the room temperature drops to 21º, your UFH system will automatically turn on and heat the room.
If you choose warm water UFH, your boiler will heat the water. Therefore, your boiler must be maintained regularly to avoid the risk of breakdowns and damage. We offer extensive boiler servicing and repair services to keep you warm every season.
What are the benefits of underfloor heating?
- Heat will be evenly distributed up from the UFH pipes so that you can enjoy the feeling of warmth beneath your feet with no cold spots.
- Unlike radiators, UFH will not overheat; it will reach your desired temperature and maintain it until you change the setting on your thermostat.
- UFH uses 15-40% less energy than classic radiators. So after installation, you can expect your running costs to decrease significantly.
- It won’t take up wall space, meaning you can be far more creative with your interior design. Also, UFH works well with various floor materials, such as stone tiles, ceramic and timber.
Can I use underfloor heating with heat pumps and solar panels?
Yes! Absolutely. Both heat pumps and solar panels are compatible with UFH systems. UFH utilises lower water temperatures to produce heat. Heat pumps operate at lower temperatures than a standard boiler; therefore, they work much better with floor heating systems. In addition, heat pumps emit a lot more energy than required, so using them in combination with UFH can save you a lot of money on your heating bills.
Alternatively, solar panels convert solar energy into electricity, power your heating wire or warm the water for your pipes. Solar power uses rays of natural sunlight to create electricity. This dramatically reduces carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. Additionally, solar energy is much more sustainable. As the population increases worldwide, fossil fuels will eventually be exhausted. However, solar energy is harnessed from the sun, a limitless source. As long as the sun exists, we can collect energy from it.
Solar power can also decrease the carbon dioxide your home produces and is cheap to run. Enjoy paying less for your energy and reduce your reliance on utility providers.
Can I install underfloor heating myself?
While it is possible to install electric UFH systems yourself, you must be suitably experienced in DIY and have the time to complete the entire task without rushing essential steps. You will need to pull up your existing flooring. This could take a day in itself, depending on the size of your installation area. You also must ensure you lay the pipes correctly, or you may run out of them before you have covered your desired area.
You will always require an electrician or plumber to connect your UFH to the mains and thermostat. Therefore, we recommend leaving things to the professionals. This way, you avoid any risk of damaging your flooring and can enjoy your new UFH stress-free.
Will my pets be safe sleeping on underfloor heating?
Yes, UFH is perfectly safe for your furry friend. It will not become too hot and provide a cosy surface for them to sleep on. It can even relieve them from any aches or joint pains they may have.
Underfloor heating is an excellent investment to improve the efficiency of your home. It is particularly handy for homes with complex floor layouts, as you can achieve warmth in every corner of the room. Although people can be discouraged by the high installation price, UFH is an economical choice in the long run. Warm water UFH works perfectly with your boiler to achieve a heat output identical to that of a radiator using a much lower temperature.
You have complete flexibility to choose from warm water UFH or electric UFH, depending on your needs. If you’re looking for a system that heats up faster, electric UFH is the one for you. The system heats up much faster due to the electrical current flowing through. However, warm water UFH is cheaper to run.
If you’ve thought of a question we haven’t answered here, don’t hesitate to contact us.
PHS Trades Team provide professional heating services to homes and businesses across the Southeast. We are the leading provider of UFH repair services across East Anglia.
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