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What is Underfloor Heating?
Wet or hydronic underfloor heating consists of lengths of pipework embedded within the floor structure which emit heat into the room. As warm water passes through the pipework, the floor becomes warm, which consequently warms the air within the room it’s installed.
The amount of heat emitted depends on many factors including the floor construction, the floor covering, the temperature of the water passing through the pipes and the amount of pipework used. Heat is equally spread throughout the room so areas with underfloor heating can often be set 1 or 2 degrees lower than those with radiators, while still maintaining the same level of comfort.
The Benefits of Underfloor Heating
Having a warm floor beneath your feet
Free Up Space
Unlike a radiator system, you’ll never have to worry about where your furniture is placed again, hiding ugly radiators with covers or repainting them as they age. Correctly installed underfloor heating systems should last a lifetime.
Evenly Distributed Heat
Radiators by their very nature produce convection currents which can lead to the feeling of draughts and hot & cold spots within a room. As underfloor heating is primarily a radiant heat which is emitted across the entire room, rooms will always feel just the right temperature.
Very little maintenance is required for solar thermal installations which have been designed and installed to a high standard. It is recommended that the solar system is checked annually however and you may need to replace the solar fluid every 5-7 years.
Things to Consider
Your Heating System
Whilst underfloor heating can be successfully used with any form of heat source, gas boilers or oil boilers will often require different setup and components than a system being fed from a heat pump or wood boiler.
Underfloor heating can be installed into to any floor construction, however, heat outputs will vary from system to system. Itessentialtial that a heat loss calculation is completed to ensure the system is able to perform as you expect as mistakes can be expensive to put right!
Your choice of floor covering will also affect the heat output available. Solid or tiled floor have a much higher output than those with a carpeted finish and some carpets are not suitable. Wooden floor coverings can also be used if you prefer.
Underfloor heating systems can vary hugely in price, mostly due to the numerous different types available. As a ballpark figure, allow between £15-£25 per m2 for traditional screed systems and up to £50 + per m2 for overlay or structural timber floor construction types.