More and more today, modern homes are being constructed with underfloor heating built-in. Underfloor heating used to be thought of as only for higher-end properties, but the fact is that in this age of environmental awareness, underfloor heating has a lot going for it.
It is so much more efficient than a radiator system. Just to begin with, radiators need to be heated to 65°C – 75°C compared with underfloor heating which can be only 29°C or even less, depending upon the type of floor installed. Radiators work by convection, heating the air nearest to them first, and this has the effect of leading to cold spots in the room, while next to the radiators it is hot. Radiators also send dust around the room along with the moving air, which is not good for people who have breathing difficulties or asthma.
There are two types of underfloor heating, either electric or water-based. Electric systems use either a heating cable or a heat mat which has fine wires running through it. Since it runs on electricity you will find that your heating bills will be relatively high, unless you have solar panels, because electricity tariffs are far from cheap.
On the other hand, a water-based system uses heating pipes through which heated water is pumped around the floor. The water may be heated by a boiler, but equally could be heated using solar energy, a ground-source heat pump, or an air source heat pump, each of which is very environmentally friendly and costs very little to run, the only cost involved being the electricity to run the pump.
A ground source heat pump does require a certain amount of space in which to lay the heating pipes, but it can also be designed to use the heat from a borehole. An air-source heat pump extracts heat from the air using a piece of equipment around the same size as an air conditioning unit.
At UK Screeds we install water-based underfloor heating systems as these are less expensive to run than an electric system, and the savings will continue for as long as the building is in use. We will then cover the system with a self-levelling floor compound in Guildford, or wherever you are constructing the building. Our floor levelling compounds, or screeds, are in liquid format, unlike the traditional sand and cement screeds, as these have several advantages, especially when used in conjunction with underfloor heating.
When you use a sand and cement screed it may be mixed on-site in a sand and cement mixer or it may be delivered ready mixed. The latter will produce a more consistent mix. However, whichever way it is mixed, it still needs to be trowelled into position by a labourer on hands and knees and this is very time-consuming. By contrast, our liquid anhydrite screed is delivered to the site ready mixed, and then simply poured into position using a pump and a hose. This means that we can cover far greater areas in a day than a manually installed screed. In fact, our teams can install 100 square metres in as little as 45 minutes and up to 2,000 square metres a day, so the saving on labour is substantial.
Furthermore, a screed needs to completely cover the heating pipes, and as we use a liquid screed it will totally envelop them. A sand and cement screed is very difficult to install without leaving air bubbles and voids around the heating pipes. This means that the heat transfer into the room when using sand and cement is uneven, whereas the opposite is true of our liquid screeds.
In addition to that, our liquid anhydrite screed has nearly twice the thermal convection properties of sand and cement which means that the room will heat up more quickly and use less energy to do so. Not only that, but liquid screed can be laid far thinner than sand and cement in the first place, so there is less material to heat up which also contributes to the room achieving the desired temperature faster.
If you need underfloor heating installed on your next project, call us for an unbeatable quote.