If you are considering installing underfloor heating in Gloucestershire, you have two choices – either electric or water-based underfloor heating. An electric system uses either heating cables or a heating mat which has cables running through it and a water-based system uses heating pipes through which hot water is pumped which have been heated by a heat source such as your boiler.
It is worth noting that electricity is an expensive method of heating, so if you want underfloor heating at the lowest cost the answer is water-based underfloor heating which is what we install at UK Screeds. However, if you are retrofitting underfloor heating to your home, you need to understand that it will increase the height of the floor, so if you want to maintain the same amount of space in your room an electric system will take up less room.
Water-based underfloor heating costs more to install than an electric system, but the ongoing running costs will cancel that out after a time. However, either type of underfloor heating will usually cost less to run than radiators. These heat the air and need to be heated up to 65-75 degrees Celsius to heat the room effectively, whereas underfloor heating only needs to run at a maximum of 29 degrees Celsius, or even less depending upon the type of floor finish, therefore costing far less to run.
A big advantage of underfloor heating is that it heats the whole room evenly. A radiator system heats the air nearest to it and this means that the room will have cold spots, so it feels colder in the middle of the room, yet hot next to the radiators. The radiant heat that is produced by the underfloor heating will heat the room evenly throughout and does not overheat any section. You simply set the desired temperature on the thermostat and that is what you get across the room.
A big benefit of underfloor heating systems is that they need virtually no maintenance once installed. Electric systems will not need regular servicing, while a water-based system may need a check-up occasionally just to ensure that everything is in proper working order. With underfloor heating, you don’t have radiators taking up space on the walls, so you can push furniture right up against the wall, making more space in the room. However, with underfloor electric heating, you cannot put furniture which has a flat bottom on an area where there is an underfloor heating cable because if you do that it will restrict the airflow and cause thermal blocking. The same thing is true of rugs or carpets with a tog value of more than 2.5.
Underfloor heating also has a benefit for your health because a radiator system causes air to circulate within the room, and along with it goes the dust. This doesn’t happen with underfloor heating.
Your underfloor heating system will need to be screeded and in the case of our liquid anhydrite screeds, this will be to a depth of 30mm to cover the heating pipes. This is considerably less than sand and cement screeds which typically need to be a total of 75mm deep. That means that it will take less time to warm up the room with our liquid screed than it would with sand and cement, so there is a further energy saving benefit there. Not only that, but liquid anhydrite screeds have a thermal conductivity that is nearly double that of sand and cement, so that saves even more money on your heating bills.
You can install underfloor heating with almost any type of flooring material, bearing in mind the tog limits of carpets and rugs. Tile and stone are by far the best flooring surfaces for underfloor heating because they heat up quickly and they also retain the heat letting it slowly into the room. This makes it perfect for places such as conservatories or tiled bathrooms.
Underfloor heating also works perfectly with a heat pump, whether that is a ground source heat pump or an air source heat pump because it does not need to be heated to anywhere near the temperature of a radiator, so with our underfloor heating systems you are saving money all round.