Underfloor heating is a very clean and simple form of heating, ideally suited to today’s well-insulated, low-energy and airtight buildings. An underfloor heating system takes advantage of one of the most basic laws of physics – which is that heat rises. Underfloor heating is the oldest form of central heating, the Romans used a form of underfloor heating called hypocausts, which heated buildings and baths.
Why would you choose underfloor heating?
Comfort: The most compelling reason to choose underfloor heating is comfort. Radiation, like the heat we get from the sun, is the most natural and comfortable form of heating. Research has shown that people feel more comfortable when they experience warm feet and a cold head. An underfloor heating system produces these conditions naturally, there are no localised hotspots, just a gentle feeling of warmth throughout your home.
Energy-Efficient & Cost-Effective: Because an underfloor heating system uses radiant heat most people find they are comfortable at temperature settings several degrees lower than with other conventional heating systems. You can actually lower your thermostat setting while enjoying the same level of comfort and reducing your heating bills by anything up to 30%. This means that underfloor heating is energy efficient and cost-effective.
How Underfloor Heating Works
Water (25-40°C) is circulated through a series of polyethylene pipe installed and integrated within the floor make-up. The pipe is then connected to a centrally located manifold. The temperature of each room can be individually controlled as required via room thermostat. Each room thermostat can be set at 2°C lower than a room heated by radiators. This is because underfloor heating delivers 70% radiant heat and 30% convection heat as opposed to radiators, which emit 30% radiant heat and 70% convection heat. This means that an underfloor heating system is a more efficient way of heating your home. Each room can be controlled by a programmable room thermostat allowing each room to have time and temperature control, when any one of these thermostats call for heat they open an electronically operated valve (actuator) that is fitted to the top body of the manifold, this would then turn your pump on and fire up your heat source. Each loop on the manifold is capable of having its own control typically one loop per room.
Radiators distribute heat by convection currents, which can result in draughts and hot spots. Radiators transfer heat into a room largely by convection from a hot metal surface. Because the surface of the radiator is small, in comparison to the volume of the room, it needs a high heat input and doesn’t spread the heat evenly. Convection currents circulate allergens, dust particles, fumes and germs which are then distributed around the building, contributing to an unhealthy atmosphere.
Underfloor Heating is easy to install, requires low maintenance and is very cost effective to run. The room is heated mostly by radiation, like the heat we get from the sun, the most natural and comfortable form of heating. An underfloor heating system creates an even temperature, comfortable environment with no hot or cold draughts, just a gentle feeling of warmth throughout your home. Rooms with high ceilings such as churches, sports halls or industrial units gain even greater benefits. With radiator systems, some of the heat is immediately wasted as it rises to the ceiling. With an underfloor heating system, the heat is concentrated at floor level where it is most needed. In rooms with large areas, underfloor heating is the only way to heat the centre of the floor area effectively.