Our Guide to Underfloor Heating – Everything you Need to Know
You might think that underfloor heating is overly luxurious for your house and it could increase your household budget, you might also think that it is messy and difficult to install. Underfloor heating is an effective alternative to traditional radiators or hot air heating systems, especially if your rooms are traditionally cold floors that are made of stone or tiles, it is also quite cost effective.
If you’re looking to get underfloor heating in your home then carry on reading, our guide will tell you everything you need to know!
What is Underfloor Heating?
Underfloor heating uses the basic principle of heat waves rising through the air. You can either have a ‘wet’ system that will pump warm water through the pipes under the floor or a ‘dry’ system of electric coils that are placed under the floor that will heat up when the system is turned on.
Electric Underfloor Heating Systems
Electric underfloor heating systems will rely on an network of wires under the floor that will heat up. You can opt for heating maters which cover large areas, or you can get individual wires that get into every corner, depending on the size of your room. The heating mats are usually a bit cheaper as they are uniform on size.
The wires will sit on top of a layer of insulation which will fit under different floor types, if you’re carpet is too thick (a tog rating of over 1.5) then it will not work.
Electric wires are quite thin, making them easy to install and cheaper than a water-based system. However, they are a bit more expensive to run so might be better for a smaller area.
Water Underfloor Heating Systems
Water underfloor heating systems are a network of pipes linked to your boiler that then pumps hot water around the room. An underfloor heating system will distribute heat more evenly than radiators so they use water at a lower heat than radiators, this means your boiler will be more efficient.
The cost is a lot more to install a water based underfloor heating system as they are more difficult to install. The pipes are a lot thicker than wires so there needs to be enough room in your floor for the system to get installed or the ground needs to be slightly raised.
Is Underfloor Heating for you?
You might find that underfloor heating doesn’t save you any money, the Energy Saving Trust has said they a water-based system will only save you £20 a year for the average home using a condensing boiler.
Underfloor heating is better if you are building a new home, new room, bathroom or extension just because the majority of the costs come from the installation.
The main attraction for underfloor heating is comfort and with both types of systems heat will be evenly distributed around the room consistently. If you have a stone floor with underfloor heating built in, the heat will be retained even if you have the window open, compared to if you had a radiator, the heat will disappear as soon as a draft enters the room.
Underfloor heating also provides a clean and tidy look, a bathroom with underfloor heating will have no clutter created by radiators and the value of the house will also improve.