Because underfloor heating systems distribute heat more evenly than radiators, they actually use water at a lower heat than a radiator. This ensures that your boiler is more efficient. Consequently, installing a water-based system is not easy and, unlike electric systems, shouldn't be installed without assistance. When renovating your bathroom, underfloor heating is especially worth thinking about. You will save a lot on the labour cost if the flooring is being lifted up and changed anyway. The comfort and the cost savings of running the system on your heating bills will work out to your advantage in a longer run. Cost of underfloor heating This will depend a little on things like the type of floor you have – solid or suspended, but it is safe to say that a wet system is far more expensive. Electric underfloor heating costs much less, with some systems as cheap as £20 per square metre. So for some it is a very attractive option. Underfloor heating is normally efficient because it effectively turns the whole floor into a radiator. The large surface area means it doesn't have to be a high temperature to warm the room – only a couple of degrees warmer than normal room temperature. It uses 15-40% less energy than traditional radiators. Electric underfloor heating Electric, or dry, UFH generates its heat via electrical resistance elements that gently warm the floor beneath which they are placed. Running costs for dry UFH are generally higher than wet systems, but that is solely down to the fact that they use grid electricity.
The disadvantages of underfloor heating Underfloor heating can take longer to heat up than traditional radiators. Care must be taken with certain furniture with underfloor heating, it is recommended to place pianos on insulation. Retro-fitting underfloor heating can be expensive and impractical.
The energy required for underfloor heating can be as little as two-thirds that needed for standard central heating. The cost of materials and installation varies, but you will face a bill in the thousands. Against this, the new system will add value to your home, unlike some other so-called improvements.
How much does underfloor heating cost to run? Underfloor heating systems can be more energy efficient than other forms of central heating, saving you money on gas and electricity. Electric systems cost less than 10p per square meter to run at full power for six hours.
How long will an underfloor heating system last? The pipes used for underfloor heating must have a projected lifespan of 50 years, in accordance with industry standard DIN 4726; however over 100 years is entirely possible.
It is advised that in the depths of winter, an underfloor heating system should be kept on at all times. Although it should be at different temperatures depending on usage and activity in the house. This is because underfloor heating can take two to three hours to warm up, so it is best to not completely turn it off.
WARNING: Shock & Fire Hazard If the Underfloor Heating System is damaged or not installed properly, fire or shock could occur resulting in serious personal injuries or damage to property. If the Underfloor Heating System is damaged, it must be replaced. Do not attempt to splice or repair any part of the system.
There are two kinds of underfloor heating – electric or 'dry' systems and water-based or 'wet' systems. Electric systems are more a ordable and less disruptive to install, but their running costs are higher, so they are best suited to smaller spaces such as tiled bathrooms, or spots that are awkward to get to.
Typically underfloor heating is more than enough as a standalone form of heating. However, its capabilities will often be dictated by other factors, such as floor coverings (see below) and a building's insulation levels (especially walls and windows).
Most free-standing furniture is fine to place on top of an underfloor heating system. Just be careful when placing items such as thick rugs or dog beds in the room because they can trap heat and cause issues.
Leaving your underfloor heating system switched on all day during particularly cold seasons won't cause any harm – in fact, it's not a bad idea. Leaving your heating on will encourage faster efficiency and warming up times, meaning that you are less likely to feel chilly for longer.
The even heat distribution is also great for any pets with joint problems and aches or pains. What's even better, is that unlike radiators, underfloor heating doesn't attract and circulate dust and pet hairs, helping those with allergies or asthma!
With the rising cost in energy pricings, underfloor heating is the perfect solution due to its lower temperature than radiators, but an even and pleasurable heat throughout a room, allowing for cheaper running costs, yet a more efficient heating system.
A good guide is between 2 – 8 hours for the full desired temperature using a non-insulated concrete floor. Insulated concrete slab flooring takes slightly less time, between 2 – 5 hours, whilst concrete with 10mm tile-backer insulation can take as little as one hour to heat up.
When remodeling your bathroom, radiant floor heating is especially worth thinking about. You will save a lot on the labor cost if the flooring is being lifted up and changed anyway. The comfort and the cost savings of running the system on your heating bills will work out to your advantage in a longer run.