Underfloor Heating - What is it?
Underfloor heating is not as new as many people may think. Ancient Romans actually invented the first method of heating floors by leaving empty spaces under their floors which they would then heat and then allow the air to circulate, warming the rooms overhead.
In the 60s, underfloor heating was achieved with electricity, but today, technology has advanced and underfloor heating can also be achieved with circulating hot water methods. Plastic tubes are installed in a subfloor and hooked up to a central boiler system, with each room having its own temperature control.
Types of Underfloor Heating?
Electric underfloor heating is still an option, which involves installing electric mats or wire systems under flooring.
Hot water systems are becoming popular, which involved pumping hot water through plastic pipes under flooring. Hot water systems do not require the water to be heated to the same temperature as the more conventional hot water (radiator) heating methods, meaning a reduction in the amount of electricity used.
Where Can Underfloor Heating Be Used?
Underfloor heating can be installed in most rooms of the home, including bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, dens, and bedrooms.
Most types of flooring are conducive to this type of heating system. It is possible to install underfloor heating under solid wood, engineered wood, vinyl, linoleum, laminate, stone, ceramic, bamboo, cork and carpet.
In order to ensure that the heating and flooring system are safely and properly installed, it is important to follow instructions when preparing the subfloor system as well as any special requirements the manufacturers give.
Pros and Cons of Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating provides more comfortable warmth in the home than the traditional heating methods, and keeps feet warm in cold months, something not many traditional heating methods can do. It’s also great for homes with young children who tend to spend a lot of their time on the floor or at lower levels while they play and crawl around.
In a properly insulated home, underfloor heating is more efficient than many older, traditional methods of heating such as radiator heating, electric heating and wood heating. It also distributes heat more evenly throughout the home because of its design and thermal properties. It also is a great selling feature that helps to increase home value.
While it is somewhat easier to install in a new building, it can be installed during renovations, and can also help do away with bulky heating systems such as radiators, freeing up more room and allowing for a cleaner décor.
Underfloor heating is also a more hygienic option for heating, with no fumes, dust, odours or particles that are common in many other heating systems.
Underfloor heating can take longer to warm up a room, which can be a drawback in cold weather, and it is also a much more expensive system to install in some circumstances.
Electric underfloor heating is less expensive to install than water-based underfloor heating, but costs more in the long run due to the price of electricity itself.
Installing underfloor heating is not a DIY project, which means that it will be necessary to hire a professional installer, further adding to the initial cost of the system.
Proper preparation and installation of underfloor heating can provide a pleasant environment in the home, while also helping to reduce not only heating costs, but also pollution and environmental concerns.
Please remember the above is just a guide and you should seek professional advice.