Underfloor heating | 4 Essential Things You NEED To Know About Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heatingUnderfloor heating removes the need for unsightly radiators and helps create a warm and cosy room, with warm feet and evenly-distributed heat. If building an extension or a conservatory you may wish to consider underfloor heating to replace a conventional radiator system.
What are the benefits of underfloor heating?
Under floor heating provides an evenly warm floor across the room, heating is more evenly distributed than in conventional radiator systems. Underfloor heating also has the comfort-factor that your feet are warmer than your head and draughts and dust circulation are reduced as heat rises evenly. It is cheaper to run than radiators because energy is not wasted, can respond quickly to heating demands and can be programmed to only come on in the rooms that you are using. Once installed, underfloor heating is virtually maintenance free and can last 25 years or more. It also allows you to remove wall-radiators, which is more visually pleasing and gives you back lost space. Underfloor heating is suitable for most types of flooring without affecting floor levels.
What are the disadvantages of underfloor heating?
The biggest disadvantage of underfloor heating is the installation cost and disruption. A plan needs to be made of how the system will be controlled and pipes need to be laid out. Installing underfloor heating will cause large-scale disruption and needs properly insulated floors so it is most easily done when building an extension. Underfloor heating, although cheaper to run, is also more expensive than a standard radiator system to install, coming in at around of £20 per square metre for supply and installation.
How does underfloor heating work?
There are two types of underfloor heating, hydronic and electric. Hydronic underfloor heating continuously pumps hot water in a concrete slab beneath the floor covering, the source for the hot water could come from your normal water heater, a wood boiler or even a solar water heater. You could also consider electric underfloor heating, which is generally maintenance free and has the added benefit that leakages don’t occur.
Which underfloor heating system should I choose?
In colder weather hydronic underfloor heating is more energy efficient, although it takes longer to heat up it is more suited to heating that will be turned on for long periods of time. Whereas electric systems are quicker to respond and easier to maintain but may cost more to run. In particular if solar heating is an option, hydonic underfloor heating will help you save money on your fuel bills.
If you are building an extension it may be worth considering underfloor heating, the disruption associated with installation will be minimal considering other building work and you could benefit from the luxury and comfort associated with underfloor heating in the new section of your home.