As heating solutions go, there are features boasted by underfloor heating not found in overhead central heating. Stepping on a toasty warm floor immediately after getting out of the bath, curling your toes on a plush warm carpet after a day’s hard work are a few joys of underfloor heating.
First things first, underfloor heating systems are of two types so if you’re on the lookout for one, these are the features offered by both. Wet systems rely on hot water piped through plastic tubing laid on a sub-floor. The heat radiates upwards and outwards through the floor and coverings like carpets. The second type is an electric system which has cables running along the sub-floor with heat radiating electrically.
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Both systems have good and bad characteristics. With wet systems, cost is reduced and even the amount of energy used to heat the water is comparatively low against standard radiators. However, there’s a risk of damage to the sub-floor and leakage can give birth to unhealthy living conditions, reduced efficiency and more reliance on energy. With electric systems, installation is cheaper and floors are not threatened with water damage but the cost of operation is noticeably higher. If money’s tight, this is not the type to pick.
You stand to benefit more by using both systems rather than one for an entire house or building. Wet systems are best installed in new floors or in floors with enough height (open floor plans, extensions etc). Since the pipes are larger they must have sufficient room to rest in. Electric systems, if used, can be set up on existing hard floors and even under rugs as they’re finer and don’t need too much room.
How underfloor heating works with different floors
Timber: Different floors heat differently with underfloor heating. Timber, which is quick to heat, should be deemed suitable for underfloor heating to prevent accidental fires and even warping. Most installers will insist that the top heating limit shouldn’t exceed 27O C but confirm with the dealer before making a purchase.
Carpet: Carpets and underlays must have a thermal resistance of not more than 2.5 tog. While most carpets can be used with underfloor heaters inquire at the dealer’s in case the one you choose cannot.
Stone and ceramic: Stone and ceramic, especially thicker tiles, take longer to heat than wood and fabric but once optimum temperature is reached, there’s no difference in heat output. So if you must have thick tiles installed, do so by all means.
Laminate and vinyl: The two can be used with underfloor heating systems but they must be specified as such. Being plastic based, they may run the risk of catching fire or may melt so make sure they’re compatible.
Underfloor heating is great for small rooms where installing a radiator would take up too much space. It lets you customize your floor and use a range of flooring options too. DIY systems exist for the expert homeowner though a professional installation cannot be matched.
Unlike central heating or a radiator, underfloor heating allows the floors to retain heat quite a bit after it’s turned off. You don’t need to leave it on for hours, maybe just twice or thrice a day for about two hours each session. The heat will be retained for even longer if the rooms are insulated well.
Underfloor heating is probably the best heating solutions for homes, especially bedrooms. Browse this website to know how safe and effective underfloor heating is.
By: Korwes Pilor
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