How Does Underfloor Heating Work?

What is better than waking up with breakfast in bed to battle those winter morning blues? Well, walking on a toasty warm floor with your bare feet!

Radiators warm the room temperature by heating the cold air that is within their reach. Once heated and released into the room, the warmth soon settles down only to be taken by the radiator for keeping the airflow in a cyclic fashion.

Underfloor heating systems, on the other hand, produce heat that is not only radiant but central, even, and thus, remains warm without any disruption. In addition to escaping conventional risks such as overheating and excessive energy wastage, installing an underfloor heating system is increasingly becoming a need instead of a mere luxury.

There are two types of underfloor heating systems that use either water or electricity for producing and distributing radiant heat.

Underfloor Heating: How Does it Work and Where Did It Come From ...

1. Electric Underfloor Heating Systems

Electric Underfloor Heating Systems comprise of a thermostat that is hooked to a competent network of ultra-thin wiring cables underneath your flooring. There are two options for laying out the wiring cables underneath your flooring.

The first option is to lay down an infrastructure of wiring in special mats or foils above the subfloor. If your subfloor has minor cracks or any kind of irregularities, covering the mats with a floor finish will be more than necessary. You can look into installing an inexpensive flooring option such as laminate floors or vinyl flooring as they are easy to install and clean at the same time. But, it is important that you lay out the wiring cables after layering them with insulation in order to prevent heat loss at the same time.

Another option is to install a loose wire system between the floor and the subfloor. While this option is safer, it is more expensive as there will be an individual set of wires running within an additional layer between the two floors.

2. Hydronic (Water) Underfloor Heating Systems

Instead of a network of wires connected to a thermostat, you need to lay down an infrastructure of pipelines underneath your flooring and connect them to your boiler. But, you can save money with a gas boiler as an electrical one will only increase your utility bills. Or, you can look into an air source or ground source heat pump as an alternative as well.

Installation of hydronic underfloor heating systems is expensive as you would have to place the pipelines within the sub-floor during construction. As opposed to electric underfloor heating systems, hydronic heating systems are only suitable if you are developing a new property or undergoing massive remodeling improvements. Electric underfloor heating systems are cheaper to install but can run up against huge bills depending on the size of the air that requires even heat distribution.

Despite being costly, an underfloor heating system is an ideal choice for people who one, plan on weighing the risks as with conventional heating methods, and two, want to enjoy a constant supply of radiant heat!

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