What you need to know about underfloor heating
The leaves are changing colour outside our windows and the nights are getting darker. Autumn is here, and before we know it winter will be upon us. It is always important to keep your home warm during this time of the year in the UK, but this year, with more of us than ever before spending more time at home it will be even more important.
With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to look at one heating option which has grown in popularity over the last few years. Underfloor heating has many benefits which we will look at in this article along with highlighting other points you should be aware of.
How does it work?
The first thing to know about how underfloor heating works is that there are two types of systems. There is one which uses warm water and another which uses electric. The warm water systems provide heat by circulating warm water through pipes installed under the floor. These pipes are installed in a pattern which will allow the heat to be distributed evenly across the floor and into the room above.
The electric system is slightly different as it uses a wire installed under the floor. When the electric system is turned on, the wires heat up, and this heat is then transferred through the floor. Both systems need to be professionally connected to a power or heat source, and both require a thermostat to control the temperature.
What are the benefits?
There are several key benefits to underfloor heating which make it a desirable feature in homes. Firstly, the heat produced by underfloor heating is even and consistent. With other heating systems such as traditional radiators, it can be a challenge to feal the heat unless you’re right up close to the radiator. Furthermore, in comparison to radiators, underfloor heating can be run at much lower temperatures to heat a room. This means the system is more efficient and can reduce your energy bills.
Secondly, underfloor heating takes up comparatively little space which allows you more usable living space. You can remove radiators from walls and open up your rooms for increased storage or just a more open feel. While it is not a massive increase, you should keep in mind a slight raise in the floor hight if you install a warm water system due to the space needed for the pipes.
Family safety is a benefit which can often be underappreciated with underfloor heating. If you have a young family, you may be concerned with your children touching a hot radiator and burning their skin. As underfloor heating systems are inaccessible to children, there is no risk of them hurting themselves.
Finally, depending on the size of your floor, you may be able to create heating zones. This can be particularly useful for large open-plan living spaces. For example, you may have a large kitchen and living space. With the temperature of the kitchen, you may not want to heat this part of the room anymore, but still want the warm feeling underfoot in the living section with your sofa or chairs. This is possible with underfloor heating and can be really useful.
Which rooms does it work well in?
The most popular rooms to install underfloor heating in are the bathroom, kitchen, living room and hallways. However, it can be installed almost anywhere in your home. One room which wasn’t mentioned above, but where underfloor heating can be really nice, is your bedroom. We have all experienced those cold winter mornings and the feeling of a cool floor when we first step out of bed. With underfloor heating you can set the system to warm your floor and room before you wake up, so you don’t have that cold shock first thing in the morning.
What kind of floor does it work well with?
Underfloor heating works with most flooring materials but definitely works better with some than others. If you intend to install carpet in your home and you want underfloor heating, then you need to make sure the carpet isn’t too thick. Vinyl flooring works really well with underfloor heating as it does not inhibit the heat in the same way other floors can, and it is naturally warm. Vinyl also works really well in the two most popular rooms for underfloor heating, the bathroom and kitchen.
Under floor heating can make a great addition to your home and really help improve the heating and comfort of your home. Hopefully, this article has given you some more information on the system and maybe some ideas of how it could help your home.