Underfloor heating is an alternative to radiators where warm water circulates through pipes located within the structure of your floor (known as "wet" system; a "dry" system uses electric mats to warm the floor). This creates an evenly-distributed heat, radiating from the floor upwards. Stone, tile, wood and some carpet surfaces can then sit on top of this warm floor.
Advantages of Underfloor Heating
There are many advantages to heating a room in this way, including:
- More comfortable heat
Heat rising from the floor creates a cosy warmth, as your feet and body feel the warmer air from the floor while your head is slightly cooler as the warm air reaches the ceiling.
- Space saving
The fact that underfloor heating is located within your floor means it doesn't take up space in your rooms like traditional radiators do, giving you greater flexibility in furnishing your house.
- Effective with all heat sources
Water circulating through a water-based underfloor heating system is at a lower temperature than that used in a radiator-based system which means it perfectly complements heat pump and solar water heating systems. Higher temperature systems such as traditional gas and oil-fired boilers and biomass boilers can also be used with underfloor heating.
- Cost effective
The lower temperature of the water can lead to savings of between 15-30% on your heating bills, depending on your lifestyle.
- Hygienic and good for your health
Underfloor heating deprives the common house dust mite of the one thing it needs to survive and reproduce: moisture. Consequently, your rooms are more hygienic and better for your health.
- Virtually maintenance free
Modern underfloor heating systems are virtually maintenance free when installed correctly.
New Builds, Extensions or Existing Floors
If you are planning a new build or extension to your existing property, it is well worth considering including underfloor heating in your designs, as the system can easily be incorporated into your floor as it is being built.
Underfloor heating can be retro-fitted into existing buildings too, but this can be more disruptive as your existing floor may need to be removed or altered. Alternatively, water pipes could be laid on top of your existing floor then covered with a new floor surface, but this does alter floor levels which may mean doorways and skirting boards need raising. Consequently, adding underfloor heating to an existing room is often done as part of more extensive renovation works (such as improving floor insulation levels).
For free advice on how you can benefit from underfloor heating and the practicalities of installing it in your property, get in touch with Michael Magson.