Underfloor heating is an alternative heating system to radiators. Electric underfloor heating systems run off the properties electric source and are most suitable for small rooms. Water systems using piping to run water throughout the floor and are connected to the main heating system.
Due to the cost of running, it would be most efficient to use water systems in larger spaces.
Both systems operates at a consistently low temperature so are well matched with renewable heating systems such as heat pumps and solar thermal for wet systems and solar PV for electric.
Designed well, an underfloor heating system will provide all the heating a property requires for 365 days a year.
Underfloor heating is suitable for both new builds and retrofit projects and to get the best performance from the systems, in a well-insulated property.
Due to the costs of running the electric system, it is most suited to smaller rooms such as utility rooms and small kitchens and bathrooms. Also, the cables are flexible enough to bend around small or awkward spaces, such as around toilets and sinks.
Electric underfloor heating can be installed by homeowners (although a tradesperson is recommended) however a qualified electrician will be required to connect the systems to the mains supply.
Water based systems are most suited to larger wet rooms, bathrooms, lounges and kitchens. Homeowners will require a qualified tradesperson to install the system as it is a more complex job.
Underfloor heating can be installed under most floor types including tiles, vinyl, carpet and timber.
Underfloor heating is perfectly matched with properties that have renewable technologies such as solar PV, solar thermal and heat pumps as they only require low temperatures, rather than the quick-fire high temperature bursts of a traditional boiler.
Underfloor heating acts as a central heating emitter which achieves indoor climate control for thermal comfort using conduction, radiation and convection from series of pipe or wires runs within the floor construction.
The difference between underfloor heating and radiators is that the radiator process only works on a convection process and surface temperatures of 55ºC or above as this is the temperature that air become buoyant.
Underfloor heating is now a complete solution for both existing and new construction homes. It can be installed within a variety of different floor constructions. The different floor constructions comprise of solid screed floors, suspended floors, structural floors and floating floors.
The insulation below the underfloor heating should be of an adequate thickness and resistance to restrict any downward heat loss.
Hints & Tips
- Underfloor heating is a great add-on sale for renewable energy and heating systems such as heat pumps
- We can design and estimate for underfloor heating as part of a solo project or as part of a wider renewables project