When it comes to heating your home, there are a number of ways to do it in the 21st century. Obviously, you can use a gas boiler or an electrically heated boiler. You can also have an oil-fired boiler to do the same job.

The boiler can provide heat to a radiator system throughout your home, and this can heat individual rooms or all the rooms since each radiator can be turned on or off as required and can also be set to the optimal temperature by using a thermostat. You can also get different types of thermostats such as manual ones which you turn up and down yourself, programmable thermostats where you can set the temperatures and the times that they switch on and off, or smart thermostats which you can control using your mobile or tablet from anywhere with an internet connection. The choice is yours. All of which is pretty clever.

However, one of the issues today with radiator systems is that they are notoriously inefficient, or at least they are compared with the latest developments in heating a building. Just to begin with, you can install underfloor heating today, and this is far more energy-efficient than radiators. At UK Screeds, as underfloor heating installers in Oxfordshire, (that is where our head office is situated – in Oxford itself), we should know.

A radiator system works by convection. Water is heated, usually by a boiler, and is then pumped through pipes to the radiators which are fixed to the walls of the rooms in your home. These need to be heated to around 75°C, and then they produce enough heat to heat the air around and above them, and this circulates through the room. Depending upon where the radiators are situated, this will mean that some parts of the room are warmer than others, so if, for example, you are sitting next to the radiator you may be comfortable, when someone sitting further away may not be warm enough. Equally, you could be too hot when someone further away is comfortable.

Underfloor heating works either by the use of electric heating cables installed under the floor or by a system of pipes through which is pumped water that has been warmed by a heat source. One of the biggest advantages of underfloor heating is that it doesn’t need to be heated to anything like the temperature of a radiator. 29°C is about the maximum. This will produce warmth in the room and most importantly that warmth will be even wherever you happen to be sitting. So, nobody is too hot or too cold. Of course, the heat levels can still be controlled by a thermostat.

Now you can immediately see that using underfloor heating requires a lot less energy than a radiator system, so it is better for the environment and will save you a lot of money on heating bills. At UK Screeds, we install water-based heating systems underfloor because they cost less to run than an electric system. If you think about it, electricity tariffs are not exactly cheap.

Furthermore, when using underfloor heating, the heat source can also be either an air-source heat pump or a ground-source heat pump. An air-source heat pump is about the same size as an air conditioning unit and is installed outside your home, and extracts heat from the air which is then used to heat the water in the underfloor heating system.

A ground-source heat pump uses a system of pipes similar to underfloor heating, which are buried in your garden and extract geothermal heat from the ground itself in order to produce the energy which heats the underfloor heating system. To be fair, a ground-source heat pump costs more to install than an air-source one because you have to dig trenches in the garden into which to install the pipes. Another way of doing that is to drill a borehole if you don’t have a very large garden.

Either way, whichever type of heat pump you use, it will considerably reduce your heating bills from then on. For more information on underfloor heating and heat pumps, contact us at 01865 660026 or email [email protected].