A Beginner’s Guide to Underfloor Heating

There are few things as calming and relaxing as the thought of kicking back in a warm, toasty home while snow falls outside. But maintaining a comfortable home costs money.

Fortunately, underfloor heating systems are now available, and they offer a number of advantages over conventional heating systems. Homeowners in Newcastle and other colder parts of the UK will appreciate the benefits they bring.

Photo by Vincent Rivaud from Pexels

How Does Underfloor Heating Work?

Underfloor heating has been growing in popularity steadily over the last decade or so. These days, many new homes or commercial buildings built in the north of England will include underfloor heating as part of their design.

There are two main types of underfloor heating: water and electric. Both types of underfloor heating work in slightly different ways, but both achieve the same thing. Whether you are buying a new home or you’re moving into an older property, you can take advantage of underfloor heating.

Electric

An electric underfloor heating system utilizes a series of electrical wires and heating mats in order to warm up the floor of a property. Different electric underfloor heating systems will vary in terms of the wattage that they run at, starting from 100 to 200 Watts per square meter. The voltage of a system will depend on a number of factors, primarily the size and shape of the room, the quality of insulation already in the room, and the type of flooring that will sit above and below the underfloor heating system.

In most setups, electric underfloor heating systems are generally placed on top of a layer of floor insulation. This ensures that heat travels upwards instead of downwards, which is much more efficient. The systems themselves are usually laid on top of a layer of sand and cement or suspended from the floorboards in order to ensure that they lie completely flat.

Once the heating wires are connected to the mains supply, along with the associated temperature sensor, the temperature of the system can then be controlled by a simple thermostat.

Electric heating systems generally operate at 25 to 31 degrees Celsius. However, the exact temperature that you are able to achieve with an electric underfloor heating system will depend upon the type of flooring that you have.

Electric underfloor heating systems can be installed anywhere where a mains power supply can reach. Because electric underfloor heating systems are generally cheaper to maintain than a water system, despite being less powerful, they are often used to heat smaller rooms, such as bathrooms or utility rooms.

Water

When compared to electric systems, water-based underfloor heating systems are more complicated and more costly to install. However, a water-based system will be more environmentally friendly and is also much better at heating larger spaces. A growing number of homes are choosing to combine water-based systems with electrical systems, enabling them to take advantage of the best of both worlds.

Many people are also turning to underfloor heating and heat pump systems from local businesses like Incognito Heat Co because they are environmentally friendly and as cost-effective as a water-based underfloor heating system can be. Incognito Heat Co also covers Scotland, the Lake District, and Northumberland.

If going green is important to you then you should definitely consider water-based underfloor heating over an electric system.

Water-based underfloor heating systems utilize a series of pipes that are connected to the property’s boiler in order to circulate water beneath the floors. The principle of these underfloor heating systems is the same as a radiator. Many underfloor heating systems are connected directly to the boiler, but they can also be connected to solar-heated water systems, or even ground source heat pumps.

Bigger systems will require much more piping in order to achieve the same temperatures. Larger systems also require more complicated manifolds, the systems that enable all the different pipes to work together. If you want to add an underfloor water heating system to your home, then you will need to contact a professional plumber in order to carry out the necessary plumbing work on your property.

Water-based underfloor heating systems generally run at a lower temperature than radiators do, giving a temperature of between 21 and 31 degrees on average. However, the exact temperature that our system is able to obtain will depend on the surrounding materials, in particular, the flooring that sits above the heating system.

Underfloor Heating Installation

Photo by Vecislavas Popa from Pexels

The amount that you pay for the installation of your underfloor heating in a Newcastle home will depend on a variety of different factors, not least the type of heating system that you go for and the architecture of the property you are installing it in. The cost will also be affected by whether you are planning on installing your heating system in a new room or whether you will retrofit an existing room.

Electric underfloor heating systems are cheaper and easier to install and maintain, but they are not well-suited to heating big spaces. Electric systems should be reserved for smaller rooms, which should make installation even easier. With an electric system, you only need to connect the underfloor wires to your mains supply. With a water-based system, pipes are needed to run from a boiler or heat source and transport water beneath your flooring.

Water-based underfloor heating systems are much more complicated to install. If you know what you’re doing when it comes to DIY, you might be able to install an electric heating system on your own. However, a water-based system is most definitely going to require professional assistance. You should never take on delicate plumbing work if you don’t know exactly what you are doing, so always call in the professionals if you are planning on adding a water-based system to your home.

Heat Pumps for Newcastle Homes

A heat pump can enable you to get even more value out of your underfloor heating system and can even enable more remote properties in Newcastle to heat themselves more efficiently. A heat pump extracts heat from the air or ground and uses it to heat homes.

A heat pump that is properly installed and maintained will have a lifespan that lasts for decades and can extract many times the amount of energy that it needs to run.

Benefits of Underfloor Heating

Both forms of underfloor heating can be beneficial for homeowners in a number of ways.

You Can Create Individual Zones

By laying down the underfloor components of your heating system strategically, you can create individual heating zones beneath your floor. You don’t necessarily want all the rooms in your home to maintain the same temperature. In fact, there are many situations where a warmer or cooler temperature than usual is required. For example, musicians who have high-end stringed instruments in their homes will want to minimise the kind of temperature fluctuations that strain metals over time and detune instruments.

Underfloor heating enables homeowners to divide their property into different individual areas in a way that just isn’t possible with other heating systems. Sure, you can work out the optimal arrangement of open and shut doors to create the kind of airflow and heat distribution that you are looking for. But this is never going to be as consistent or effective as an underfloor heating system that has been installed and calibrated correctly.

Create A More Comfortable Home Environment

Underfloor heating is one of the simplest, most consistent, and most reliable ways of heating your home evenly throughout. During the winter months, when particularly the North of England is often subjected to uncomfortably frigid temperatures, an underfloor heating system can make an otherwise freezing property feel warm, comfortable, and inviting.

With most types of heating systems, homes end up heated unevenly with hot spots located near to heating infrastructure. Not only is this inefficient, but it means that certain parts of your home end up being too warm while the heat is barely able to reach other places.

Underfloor heating systems snake beneath your floors, ensuring that they distribute heat evenly to all the areas of your home where it’s needed.

Save Energy

The cost of our energy bills seems to be going up and up eternally. It is one life’s few apparent inevitabilities that the price we pay for keeping our homes warm and comfortable is destined to keep creeping upwards, seemingly irrespective of any external factors.

So, one of the biggest advantages to underfloor heating is that, while you will still have to contend with price rises, you will still be able to enjoy much cheaper heating than other systems can offer. Because underfloor heating systems are more efficient than most other home heating systems, they have both energy and money while heating your home more effectively than most other heaters.

Once you have tried out underfloor heating, you’ll never want to go back. Underfloor heating is a cheaper, more efficient, and more effective way of heating your home evenly that surpasses all other methods.

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