In this short article, we are going to take a look at how underfloor heating installation works, and also attempt to give some answers to some of the more common questions people ask about this kind of heating.
What is Wet and Electric Underfloor Heating?
There are two main ways that an underfloor heating installation can be done. Either using wet (water) heating or electric heating.
Water heating uses hot water pumped through pipes embedded in the floor itself to disperse heat, whilst electric heating relies upon a grid of electrical heating elements installed under the floor covering to generate heat.
Is an Underfloor Heating Installation Efficient?
The answer to this question relies heavily on how energy efficient the building is, how well it has been insulated, and the general level of heat that needs to be maintained.
For smaller properties such as houses or apartments, an underfloor heating installation may only be marginally more cost-effective than more traditional heating.
However, for some applications, such as heating large commercial premises, an underfloor heating installation will outperform any other type of heating with regard to running costs. Generally, the larger the premises, and the longer it needs to be kept warm, the more efficient underfloor heating will be over other options.
Is It Expensive to have an Underfloor Heating System Installed?
This primarily depends upon which type, wet or electric, you choose to install. A wet or water based underfloor heating installation is more expensive than an electric one.
A wet system is around 30% cheaper than an equivalent radiator based system to install. Eclectic is a little cheaper than a wet system. With regards to running costs, generally, underfloor heating will be more cost-effective, as it can take advantage of off-peak energy charges, and also heats a property more efficiently.
Can an Underfloor Heating Installation be Carried Out in Any Building?
The simple answer to this question is yes. A fuller answer introduces a few caveats. Although underfloor heating can be installed in any building, it does suit certain types of buildings better.
For example, underfloor heating is better suited to larger buildings, which are regularly occupied, and need to be kept warm for long periods. Underfloor heating, both wet and electric installations, heat a room much slower than traditional types of heating. So, if the building needs to be heated intermittently, and at short notice, underfloor heating wouldn’t be the best choice.
On the other hand, for buildings that are inhabited permanently, with the heating being run for days or even weeks on end, this is the kind of underfloor heating installation which will deliver superb efficiency.
Underfloor heating can also be hard to install in older buildings, especially wet systems, which require a thick creed layer to embed the heating pipes into.
How Comfortable is Living with Underfloor Heating?
The level of comfort which underfloor heating delivers depends upon several factors. Including the habits of the occupier, and their specific comfort tastes.
For families that leave the heating off when the property is empty, while they are at work, for example, underfloor heating may not be a good choice. This is a very slow form of heating, warming up a building after the heating has been switched off for some time can take a while.
Underfloor heating is also slow to respond to changes in heat requirements. For example, if you are the kind of person who prefers to sleep in a cooler room, and habitually turns the heating down before they get into bed, then underfloor heating would be slow to respond to this change in dialled in temperature.
Where underfloor heating does shine in the comfort stakes, is in the fact it can deliver a consistent temperature regardless of external temperature changes. If you set the heating for a specific temperature, it won’t need to be adjusted to provide a burst of extra warmth if the outside temperature changes quickly.
Is Underfloor Heating Installation Possible as Part of a Renovation Project?
Yes, but you may find that electric underfloor heating is the logical choice in this case. An electrical underfloor heating system takes up less of the room height than a wet system. This means that the instances of being forced to make other changes to accommodate the installation, such as adjusting the height of doors, will be minimized.
What Types of Flooring Work Well with an Underfloor Heating Installation?
Typically, underfloor heating both wet and electric works best when used with floors constructed from cement, stone, or thick ceramic tiles. This is because these materials have a long thermal memory, retaining heat and dissipating it into the room slowly. Both wet and electric systems work well with these types of floors.
Underfloor heating works with floorings such as carpet and wood, but less efficiently. Furthermore, only electric underfloor heating can be installed for these types of floors.
Many buildings have a combination of flooring types, typically cement on the lower floor and wood on the upper floors. In this situation, it could be possible to fit a hybrid underfloor heating system to attain the best efficiency.
The Underfloor Heating Company London specialises in both wet and electric underfloor heating installations. Our happy clients enjoy the comfort of living in a warm and efficient home.