If you are designing a new home in Milton Keynes, one of the things that you should consider is installing underfloor heating. This has so many benefits over and above a radiator system, not the least of which is that the heat in the room should be even across the whole room.
When you have a radiator system, it heats using convection. That means that the area nearest to the radiators and above them is hot while other areas of the room may be colder. As the warm air rises it can bring with it dust and dust mites that have lived in carpeting, and this can be bad for people with breathing problems or who have allergies. Underfloor heating makes the floor too warm for dust mites to survive, so it does away with any such issues. In fact, studies have shown that underfloor heating will reduce the amount of dust mites by as much as 80%.
Furthermore, when you have underfloor heating, the floor itself retains heat far longer than radiators which will cool down as soon as they are switched off. How long the floor remains warm will depend on the type of final flooring that is fitted, the best from that point of view being tile or stone.
On that subject, underfloor heating can be used in conjunction with almost any type of floor surface that you wish. Tile and stone are the best because of their high thermal mass, and they can be heated to over 29°C. This is perfect for areas that suffer from high heat loss such as a conservatory.
You can also happily use wood floors with underfloor heating. The key with radiant heating is the thermal conductivity of the wood. The thinner and denser the wood, the quicker the heating time is, and thus the more efficient the whole system. Engineered wood is perfect in conjunction with underfloor heating, while natural wood will have different options in density and moisture content. If you are refurbishing an older home, then it will likely have natural wood floorboards, and they will require greater use of insulation materials in order to provide an efficient heating solution.
Of course, many homes have carpet, and you can use underfloor heating in association with carpet as well. Carpets, of course, do tend to harbour dust, and as with other materials, if you have a radiator system it causes the air to circulate taking the dust with it. Again, for this reason, underfloor heating is the best choice. You do need to pay attention to the overfall thickness of the material, including any underlays or overlays. The underlay should have low thermal resistance, and the carpet should be hessian backed for efficient operation of the heating system. You should not use a felt underlay as this may impede the heat.
If you are going to lay carpet with underfloor heating, you need to check the suitability of it with the manufacturer. The overall tog value of the carpet and any underlays or overlays should not exceed 1.5 tog other wise it will impede performance.
Polished concrete is another floor choice and is ideal for use with underfloor heating because it has high thermal mass and thus quick heat up times. It also stores heat well.
Whatever type of final flooring you are going to use, you will need a floor screed in Milton Keynes to cover the heating pipes, and as we have said elsewhere, the best type of screed is liquid screed because of its’ high thermal conductivity and the fact that it can be laid considerably thinner than an old-fashioned sand and cement screed.