Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating provides rising heat by gently warming water which circulates in pipes installed within the floor construction.
The result is a warm and comfortable environment which maximises living space because the room will be free of radiators and unsightly pipework. A correctly designed underfloor heating system is one of the most efficient ways to heat a room.

For an effective and efficient system, design should be for as low a flow temperature as possible. This is best achieved through the use of a large surface area of the emitter, for example, a large diameter and closely-spaced pipes.

Advantages of Underfloor Heating –

Underfloor heating works best with Heat Pumps due to the low operating temperature of the water required compared with standard radiators.

Radiators are comparatively small radiant emitters and they heat space more through convection than direct radiation – this difference accounts for a radiator’s higher operating temperature. Underfloor heating operates at a temperature that is usually only a few degrees warmer than the room air temperature (typically 21 – 25C) – but the heat is directly radiated, through effectively a large radiator in the form of the floor, directly to the occupants of the room thus eliminating “coldspots”.

Design Considerations

Depending on the floor construction there are many ways of fitting underfloor heating. At Warwickshire Renewables we have vast experience of not only fitting underfloor heating with insulation and poured screed but also retrofitting underfloor heating on suspended floors or existing solid floors.

The choice of floor finish and pipe centres effects heating performance. Heat transmission is best through stone, tiles and slate. The moisture content of timber used in a wooden floor should be about 8% for retrofitting and 10% for new build – to avoid warping in close proximity to a heat source. Carpets and rugs are insulators and require extra heat therefore should be avoided when considering a floor type. The closer the pipe centres mean greater heat output but at a greater cost.

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