Let’s have a look at underfloor heating and understand how it works and how it adds value to your home.
A popular version of underfloor heating is where pipes are laid in a screeded floor within an insulated layer. When the pipes are hot, they effectively warm up the slab around them meaning that you don’t have to have them everywhere, they actually spread the heat out underneath the floor.
There are two main types of underfloor heating and you’ll very quickly find that there are many suppliers to choose from who will be able to fit either for you. The first is electric underfloor heating and is more commonly known as a dry underfloor heating system. Then you have hydronic underfloor heating, which is known as a wet system. Both systems are pretty similar and have their own benefits so let’s see what the differences are between the two underfloor heating systems, shall we?
The main issue of electric underfloor heating is the running cost. When compared to the cost of heating the floor using a wet system, the electric or dry system can be almost double the cost to run.
However, the advantage of an electric underfloor heating system is the ease of installation, hence it is often used in smaller areas or DIY projects. The running costs if you are only using it once or twice a day in say a small bathroom won’t be too far off the pounds and pence needed to run a wet system. If it’s going to cover a larger area though, such as a 40-foot kitchen with a concrete floor then you should look at a wet system instead.
Although the initial investment into a wet underfloor heating system can be more it will certainly add more value to your home than the electric dry system. So, for larger projects, the wet system is the way to go. A quality wet underfloor heating system will last longer, be more efficient, add more value and have much lower running costs.
Wet underfloor heating is very efficient, it’s around 35% more efficient than radiators when paired with a condensing boiler. Unlike a gas boiler, which heats water to between 60 and 80c, a heat pump can generate hot water at around 40c so you should look towards running the wet system with a heat pump if you can. You can also install wet underfloor heating when you are renovating your property, just like the electric version, it’s not just new builds that can have it. When you are deciding on flooring, and you are arranging the concrete levels is a good time to discuss which type of underfloor heating system to go for as it may well affect the levels of concrete and screed you need to put down. An underfloor heating company in Bristol can give you some advice on this.
Your underfloor heating can be coupled with renewable heating sources such as solar thermal and air source heat pumps, which works on lower temperatures than traditional methods and thus reduces the carbon footprint that the systems take up. With the Government’s drive to reduce all our emissions over the next 10 years, it’s almost a certainty that the wet system will become the dominant type of underfloor heating which should mean that costs are reduced, and the dry system is gradually phased out of production, even for the smaller areas.
So much like the battle between Betamax and VHS in the ‘80s, you should see the wet system (VHS) come out on top. Thanks for reading about underfloor heating in our above article, written in collaboration with Summit Energies, leading experts in underfloor heating Bristol.