Underfloor heating is fast becoming one of the more attractive options with which to heat your home. Previously radiators had the monopoly on keeping us cosy but underfloor heating provides a viable alternative. Instead of having cold spots and cumbersome metal grids hanging on the wall, the underfloor heating system is hidden below your feet and heats the room to an even temperature. This allows us to say goodbye to those irksome morning moments of waking up and stepping onto a cold floor.
There are many positives to having underfloor heating, these include:
• Warm floors under foot during cold weather.
• No need for radiators, freeing up wall and floor space.
• Underfloor heating is available for lots of different types of flooring.
• It can be installed in a new home or fitted in an existing building.
• Some types of underfloor heating can be fitted by those of us with a penchant for DIY
There are two different options when it comes to underfloor heating:
• Wet underfloor heating.
• Electric underfloor heating.
Wet underfloor heating in its most basic interpretation works by turning the whole floor into a giant radiator. Pipes are set in concrete underneath the floor and these are connected to the central heating. The boiler then heats water that is then pumped through the pipes. The temperature and turning the system on and off is all connected with the central heating and the thermostat for the whole house.
Electric underfloor heating has several different fitting options such as mats to heat large areas, flexible wiring to fit awkward spaces or electric cables. These electrical layouts are then places beneath the flooring. When an electric current is passed through them they heat up, therefore heating the room. A thermostat is generally fitted in the room to control the temperature of the flooring. More advanced thermostats can be used to set the floor to turn on and off at different times.
One of the main points to consider when installing underfloor heating is insulation. The main idea behind underfloor heating is to keep a room at a constant temperature. Underfloor heating does however run at a lower temperature to radiators so that we do not burn our feet. If a room is poorly insulated then all the hard work done by the underfloor heating can be undone very quickly. It is also quite important to make sure a layer of insulation is installed beneath the heating system so that the heat does not escape down.