Many people believe that underfloor heating is a new concept. Actually, the ancient
Romans had a variation of underfloor heating that they used. The Romans used a
system of ducts and flues to circulate warm air beneath the floors of
buildings, this radiated heat to the rooms above the floor. This system relied
on an open fire to heat the air; fortunately, modern systems have come a long
way. Most heating systems create several vertical temperature zones in your
home because heat rises so they will create zones that vary from very hot and
stuffy at the ceiling to cold on the floor. Underfloor heating systems heat
evenly, since the warm air is radiating upwards from the lowest point of the
room, you will find that the room is more evenly heated from the floor to the
ceiling. Radiant heat, the type produced by underfloor heating, does not cause
dust or debris to be moved throughout the home. This can be very beneficial to
those that suffer from allergies or breathing disorders.
Get your own Underfloor Heating Kit.
WHAT IS UNDERFLOOR HEATING
There really is no better way to get up on a cold morning than to a warm floor – after all what
person doesn’t hate walking across a freezing cold floor first thing on a
winter’s morning? Underfloor heating is an increasingly popular DIY project for
many homeowners, but what is it exactly?
Underfloor heating is a central heating system which works from the floor upwards, warming the air through conduction and radiation. Heat is generated by electricity passing through conductive cables, film or mesh, or by hot water from a boiler, running through a network of
pipes. These are then hidden under the floor covering, whether tiles, wood or
HOW UNDERFLOOR HEATING WORKS
For the home owner that is considering an underfloor heating system, learning how
underfloor heating works, and the mechanics behind it, will allow them to
choose the system which might be better suited for their home, and the planned
The way underfloor heating works is going to vary on whether the system is a warm water
system (wet system) or whether it is an electrical system (a dry system).
Therefore, depending on wiring, where things are placed, and how the system is
set up, the manner in which it will operate is going to vary from home to home.
When choosing a wet system, the piping is going to be buried, and will be run
beneath the flooring surface of the home it is being installed in. Basically
the heat is going to transfer from all of the water which is passing through
the pipes that are run beneath the floor’s surface. The manner in which the
heat is transmitted will result in even heating around the home, since the
whole area of the flooring is warm, and not only a single section of the floor.
The underfloor heating system will not be required to be run at the highest
temperature settings like you would set a traditional heater or a radiator.
Since the heat is being passed through a larger surface area on the floor,
rather than a single area when you use a traditional heater, the warmth will be
evenly disbursed throughout the entire home, and not just a small section.
Since the heat is being distributed evenly, the system can run at a lower temperature,
and still produce the heat levels the home owners are seeking. When running
through the system the water is running at a constant temperature of anywhere
from 45 to 65 degrees Celsius, which is far lower than what you would set the
radiator at, and this continual heat is going to warm the home’s flooring to
about 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, making for the ideal warmth, even on the colder
If the home owner is going to be choosing a dry system instead of the water system,
the manner in which the heat is going to be transmitted is basically the same.
The main difference is rather than water providing the heat under the flooring,
electrical wires and heating elements are going to do the work and provide the
heat source for heating the home instead.
Depending on the temperature the home owner’s set this system at, the cost might be a bit
more than water systems to run, but there is also less risk for damage to the
home (flood or water if a pipe bursts). The basic principle behind how
underfloor heating works will be the same for both wet and dry. The only
difference is whether water or electrical systems are going to be providing the
heat to the home.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WET AND DRY UNDERFLOOR HEATING
How does the dry system work?
Installing an electrical system can be very straightforward and, depending on the system
used only the final connections will need to make by a qualified electrician.
Once the sub-floor has been insulated to prevent heat loss, the electrical cables or film
can be laid directly on to this. The floor covering can be laid, with a
self-levelling compound used depending on the type of system used.
How does a wet system work?
With a wet underfloor heating system, the existing boiler is used to pump hot water through
pipes embedded in the sub-floor.
A dedicated thermostat is used to control the temperature of the floor.
HOW TO INSTALL UNDERFLOOR HEATING
‚· Firstly, you need to decide the areas you want the system to be installed at.
Secondly, decide which type of underfloor heating system you want to install.
There are three types: Electrical, Hydraulic and Air heating systems. The first
use electricity to heat the floor second uses the hot steam and the third burns
a natural fuel like gas to provide the heat.
‚· Based on the above two factors, decide what kind of flooring will be best suited for
you. For e.g.: cemented tiled flooring is best for electrical underfloor
heating rather than the hydraulic or water pipe heating systems. For hydraulic
system go in for a wooden flooring as wood can absorb heat better and it will
not spoil the wood too.
‚· Choose a well-reputed agent or service provider, which is also
affordable and provides maintenance and customer services. If possible consult
by calling or read some of the testimonials by previous users.
THE BENEFITS OF UNDERFLOOR HEATING
Safe – The first benefit of underfloor heating is that
it is very safe. Being that there is nothing hot that you can actually touch
there won’t be any burns by you or a child. Think about it, how many times do
you worry about a child touching your heating unit or the vents themselves? If
you are like most people safety is the number one priority and that is why I
wanted to give you this benefit first.
Cost Effective – Another benefit is that this system is very cost
effective. If you are worried about the cost of a heating unit then you have
something to worry about because they can run upwards of $10,000 depending on
the size of the unit and the complexity of the layout. Just know that this will
save you money in the beginning and every month that you own it.
Better Air Quality – The last thing that you need
to know is that with underfloor heating you will have a much better air
quality. What most people don’t realize is that the air quality is very
important to a home and just because you have a clean heating unit doesn’t mean
anything; the heat itself can be harmful. Being that this is under the floor
you can be assured that the air quality doesn’t change due to the fact you have
heating coils/tubes under your floor.
Underfloor heating systems can be used under almost any type of flooring. They can be used under carpet, laminate, tile, linoleum, and most other types of floors.