Menu

Four fabulous benefits of underfloor heating

Four fabulous benefits of underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is becoming an increasingly popular means of heating both commercial and domestic buildings in the UK, as people seek a more efficient alternative to traditional or hot-air systems.

Here at Bespoke Builders, we’re often asked about the benefits of underfloor heating. I’d say the top four things that make it so special are…

  1. It’s more efficient than radiators

Provided the system is used correctly, underfloor heating is one of the most efficient ways to warm a space. It’s all to do with the equal distribution of heat; if underfloor heating is installed underneath a stone floor, for instance, the heat will be retained even if the window is open. Yet, with a radiator, heat is lost the moment a draft enters a room. This all makes for a more sustainable and eco-friendly home.

Radiators warm up the area immediately around them, meaning heat is quickly sent upwards and away from the desired area. Underfloor heating, meanwhile, guarantees a more even dispersion of warmth around the room – meaning no cold patches!

  1. It’s a great choice for bathrooms

Underfloor heating works at a lower temperature and complements both tile and stone flooring, making it a popular choice for bathrooms or any other large, tiled space. During the chillier winter months, it’s always nice to step out of the shower and onto a warm, heated floor!

  1. It’s out of view

Buried beneath the floor, underfloor heating can help you to achieve a very clean and minimal look within your home or office. As well as being more aesthetically pleasing, it eliminates the need for clunky radiators and frees up more space in each room, making it a practical choice for smaller spaces, too.

  1. It’s cost-effective

With greater efficiency comes lower running costs, which will be music to the ears of many home owners. Radiators require water to be heated to a higher temperature, so they have to work harder for you to feel the effects. Underfloor heating, on the other hand, is capable of heating a larger area and maintaining a constant heat throughout, making it a more cost-effective option.

Unlike radiators, thermostats for underfloor heating should be left on a constant temperature, even during the summer months. If it gets a little toasty indoors, it’s better to open the windows rather than switch the heating off altogether.

Types of underfloor heating

If you’re interested in installing an underfloor heating system, there are two options to consider: a ‘dry’ system made up of electric coils placed under the floor, or a ‘wet’ system that pumps warm water through pipes.

Dry system

Electric underfloor heating relies on a network of wires and, depending on the shape of the room, you can opt for heating mats – suitable for covering large areas – or individual wires adapted to fit the layout and space of the room. Electric systems are cheaper to install yet slightly more expensive to run, making them better suited to smaller areas.

Wet system

A water-based system features a network of pipes linked to a boiler that pumps water around each room. As underfloor heating systems distribute the heat more evenly, they require water at a lower temperature than a radiator, making the boiler more efficient. While installation costs may be higher for wet systems, the investment will pay off in the long run.

What’s worth bearing in mind is that pipes are thicker than wires. This means that you’ll need more floor space to accommodate a wet system, or the ground may need to be raised slightly. This is an important factor to consider when deciding which system would work best in your home.

This example could be useful in assisting you in your choice of system:

  • Electric underfloor heating is usually rated at 200W/m². Therefore, for a 20m² room, the electricity usage is 4kW per hour
  • Wet underfloor heating systems is typically run at 50°c from a boiler (in some cases at 35°c or lower), whereas a radiator system is usually 70°c – 90°c

 

So, the efficiency gains are clear to see! If you’re thinking about building your dream eco home and considering underfloor heating, give us a call today on 01179 248335.