What Is Underfloor Heating?

by Editor on May 3, 2013

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Underfloor heating is a great way to heat your home without having to mount unsightly radiators. Under floor heating systems do just that, they are hidden away under stone, wood or even carpeted surfaces and heat your home using either an electric system or a water pump driven system.

Of course, there are underfloor heating pros and cons but many modern homes now choose to fit under floor heating and for good reason. They are a discreet and efficient way to heat the home.

Electric Underfloor Heating

The way electric under floor heating works is by using a series of electric wires which are professionally installed underneath or within your flooring. The size of system that you have fitted will depend on the size of the room and the type of floor covering it has.

The heating system itself can come in various options such as a loose fir flexible wiring which is good for awkward spaces, an electrical cable or in the form of a large mat which is rolled out to cover large areas.

Generally, electric under floor heating is used beneath tiled or stone floors but it can in fact be fitted under carpeted floors as long as the underlay is not so dense as to prevent the heat from rising up and through.

How it works…

The wiring or matting which is laid out beneath the flooring is set on top of a layer of screed. This ensures that the surface is level and that heat travels only upwards. The floor wiring system will be installed by a qualified electrician who will wire it in to your mains electric and connect it to a thermostat control. This means you can easily regulate the temperature yourself as well as turn it on and off. Electric underfloor heating is cheaper to install than a water pump driven system but it has slightly higher running costs.

Water Underfloor Heating and How it Works.

Water underfloor heating still fits under any floor just the same as the electric system and offers a great alternative to radiators. It can be used to heat bathrooms, kitchens or the whole house and works much the same as your current boiler system. A series of pipes are connected and run from your boiler to circulate the warm water through the flooring spaces. You can also connect these water pump driven systems to a solar water heating system should you so desire.

Heat from underfloor water heating system is more evenly distributed than that from a radiator and for this reason it can be run at lower temperatures. This makes it a much more efficient way of heating your home.

With a water pump driven system you will need to make sure there is enough room below your flooring to accommodate the pipe work required. It might be necessary to elevate the floor in order to allow correct fitting. Water fed systems, because of this, are better if they are fitted at the point of floor construction or in new builds. This way the floor can be designed specially to accommodate this method of heating.

About the Author

Guest post by Janet Harper, preparing her house for next winter with underfloor heating from ICS Heat Pumps.

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