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Green Self Build - Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is warm water is circulated through a series of heating pipes, generally laid in the floor at the time of building. These pipes form a continuous loop between two central manifolds. Each room has its own circuit of pipes and can be controlled putting the heat exactly where you want it.

Underfloor heating has many benefits including aesthetics - there are no radiators taking up wall space. This allows greater freedom to decorate and furnish the rooms as you please. Underfloor heating can also be up to 25% cheaper to operate than a traditional radiator system when used with a high efficiency condensing boiler. This level of saving can easily be maintained and may even be exceeded.

Underfloor heating systems are generally no more expensive to install than a comparable radiator system. To give you a rough idea, underfloor heating will cost you about as much as a good quality carpet, or a fraction of the cost of a fitted kitchen.

You can use any kind of fuel to warm the water that circulates through the underfloor heating pipe. The most popular choices are oil, gas and solid fuel in the form of a conventional boiler. The best choice is a condensing boiler because these are at their most efficient while working at the lower temperatures required by the underfloor heating.

Alternative power sources can be used as the system operates on low temperatures (typically between 35C and 50C) it is ideal for connecting to alternative heat sources such as solar panels, a heat recovery system, a heat pump, or an Aga style cooker. These systems can be used in any combination to supplement the output from your boiler and save you even more of your fuel costs.

The systems are service free and have undergone extensive testing – a quality system should last in excess of 25 years.

Each room has a separate circuit and its own thermostat, linked to a motorised valve. Add-ons include a weather compensating system that monitors the outside temperature and maintains the system at your preferred temperature all the time.

Floor Covering
Hardwood flooring and wood laminates - underfloor heating is actually very good for wooden floors because it maintains a constant even temperature over the surface of the floor eliminating hot spots close to radiators. It is good practise to lay the wood flooring out loose to allow it to acclimatise to the room in which it is to be finally laid.

Carpet – the carpet and underlay should not have a combined tog rating greater than 1.5. Underfloor heating can be used in conjunction with any floor covering. Carpets will act as an insulator so the output from the floor will be slightly reduced. We can provide a quotation with guaranteed room temperatures based on your preferred floor coverings as long as you tell us about them when requesting a quotation.

Building Stages
Depending on your floor construction installation of underfloor heating should still be possible. Suspended timber floors where the floor levels are already set, preventing you from laying the pipes on top of your joists, you can install the pipes between the joists instead. This requires a little more preparation work from your joiner to install shelves between the joists where the pipes are attached. When it comes to laying the pipe our team will notch the joists to allow the pipe to pass between.

In a renovation i.e. built home fitting underfloor heating requires a high level of disruption and upheaval in and existing build and is often impractical, requiring the complete rebuilding of your floors.

Useful Links:

Borders Underfloor Heating

Floor Heating Systems Ltd

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