Choosing underfloor heating for your new build

Underfloor heating has become one of the most common means of heating a home. Not only will it feel like a bit of a luxury, providing warm floors underneath, but it's perhaps one of the most effective techniques of space heating.

Unlike radiators, which generally merely heat the air (what we call convection), underfloor heating (UFH) warms the space with a mix of radiant heat and convection, helping generate a more constant, pleasant temperature throughout the room, while lowering the possibility of cold spots.

In an existing home, while undoubtedly manageable, it can be disruptive to transition from radiators to an underfloor heating system. However, whether planning a new construction or extending your house, you'll be able to include underfloor heating in your designs from early on, incorporating it into your total construction works.

How does it work?

Underfloor heating is normally installed during a build, although there are expensive and intrusive methods for retroactive installation. There are two different kinds, electric underfloor heating and hydronic systems which use heat pumps to heat up water pipes put throughout the floor.

It is advised that an underfloor heating system be operated continually over the wintertime, as it takes significantly longer to heat up than other sources of heating. Adequate insulation is advised to boost efficiency. This includes insulating the concrete foundations.

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Why Underfloor Heating?

Here are a few perks of underfloor heating in a new build:

Electric underfloor heating delivers warmth across the entire space utilising radiant heat which warms objects directly and preserves the natural humidity in the environment. Unlike conventional heating, it uses less energy to function and is able to maintain a stable, cleaner, quiet and comforting source of ‘thermal heat’ that will not dry out the air or trigger allergies.

• Notice a difference within 30-60 minutes of turning it on
• A tip we advise is to look for ones that have been thoroughly tested for safety and are entirely waterproof.
• Using a high-quality underlay reduces heat loss downhill – maximising all available heat
• Flexibility, high-temperature performance, safety, and lifespan are all built-in.
• There are no visible elements or radiators, which makes it safe to use in a home with children.
• Timers and thermostats enable precise heating where and when it is required.

Installing a water or electric underfloor heating system during a new build is frequently easier than retrofitting a heater during a renovation. This is because you can incorporate the system's size and requirements into the design phase, specifying the ideal subfloor construction and zoning area arrangement for your chosen heater while ensuring that ceiling heights are not impacted.

Floor heating allows for greater design flexibility in your project. Your architectural ideas can thrive without being constrained by the massive radiators and conspicuous heating pipes of a central heating system. Additionally, underfloor heating is a considerably more energy-efficient method of heating a space than central heating, since its radiant heat technology enables it to operate at lower temperatures while maintaining the same degree of comfort.

Is it effective?

Underfloor heating has the potential to be highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly, however this is conditional upon the exact circumstances.

Electrical resistance devices installed in the floor or a network of pipes through which water circulates are used for hydronic systems. Hydronic systems can be heated using a variety of various fuel types, ranging from diesel and natural gas to electric heat pumps.

Underfloor heating operates at relatively low temperatures, which helps maximise the efficiency of the heat pump or gas boiler that provides the heat. A heat pump hydronic system would be significantly more efficient than an electrical underfloor system, comparable to the relative efficiency of an electric convection heater and a heat pump.