The Benefits of Under Floor Heating
It may be June, but now is the perfect time to evaluate your homes heating system, and make the necessary changes for the upcoming winter. With heating bills on the rise, along with longer UK winters, many home owners are looking at alternative heating solutions to get them though the cold winter months, be energy efficient and save them money!
One popular alternative heating solution is under floor heating (UFH). With low running cost and clear environmental benefits, there has recently been a growing demand for under floor heating systems in the UK, with the market now growing at a rapid 20% per annum. We take a look at why you should consider under floor heating in your home;
Consistent Heat Flow
As under floor heating coils run evenly below the floor, warm air is equally distributed throughout the home, leaving no warm and cold areas as found with radiators. Radiant energy from the floor is also absorbed by other surfaces in the home, which evidently warm up and become secondary radiant emitters, gently bringing up the temperature in the home.
Traditional radiators push warm air around your home to heat it, which can produce a lot of moisture, and access moisture can evidently lead to damp in the home. Heating the home using under floor heating avoids this, as cleaner air is circulated around your home. It has even been proven that homes with under floor heating generally have less damp and dust mites due to the cleaner air circulation – with can also help with allergies.
Lower Water Temperature
Under floor heating systems use water at a much lower temperature than needed from radiators. For under floor heating, the water needs to be between 40 – 60°C, whereas radiators generally require the water to be at 70 to 80°C – ultimately resulting in lower costs for heating your home. It has been calculated that under floor heating can typically run at a cost of around £3-£4 per square metre per year, compared to running costs of around £3.50 – £5 per square metre per year for a radiator heating system!
For under floor heating systems to heat an entire building, some modern boilers can supply the water at the low temperature required directly to the heating system. The internal pump of such a boiler can be used to circulate the water around the pipe circuits – specialists Grundfos have a wide range of under floor heating pumps perfect for this job.
As under floor heating requires a lower water temperature; many homeowners turn to alternative heating solutions. Ground source heat pumps use pipes which are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground, which can then be used to warm the water needed for the under floor heating system.
A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe – called a ground loop – buried in your garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump, and as the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, heat pumps can be used throughout the year – even in the middle of winter!
For new builds and re-designs, finding the most effective spaces around the home to fit radiators and also achieve maximum heat circulation can be difficult. But with under floor heating, no space is sacrificed, giving you more room around the home.
Image courtesy of Flickr.