Is underfloor heating worth it?
Under Floor heating is a popular trend in housing and a luxurious home feature; it is a great way to keep your home warm. It’s safe and distributes heat evenly within the whole room, and frees up the spaces previously occupied by radiators.
However, these systems are very expensive to install, especially in existing houses. You may need to be considerate before making a decision.
In this post, we will address if underfloor heating is worth the extra cost and if it really is a better alternative to radiators. This article discusses everything you need to know about the underfloor heating system.
What are the Benefits of underfloor heating systems?
Higher heating coverage
Radiators are programmed to heat a room typically from the corner. But the case is different with an underfloor heating system; it can heat up the whole room evenly without leaving any corner untouched.
Underfloor heating systems can last up to 30 years, which is longer than most other types of heating systems.
Safety and Comfort
Underfloor heating is 100% safe, even when you have kids around; you don’t need to worry about sharp edges or hot surfaces of radiators. The system doesn’t get too hot to the touch.
Health & Hygiene
Underfloor heating system does not produce dust; rather it reduces house dust mites which are beneficial to those suffering from respiratory illnesses such as Asthma. The moisture content is low and combines with the heat ensures the mites don’t have the environment they need to thrive.
With underfloor heating, you will experience a more evenly distributed and comfortable heat level. The thermostat in the system allows you to easily control the heat. Again, radiators can sometimes provide some uncomfortable level of heat, but by making the air go dry, underfloor heating helps to conserve the moisture in the air, making the atmosphere more comfortable.
Improved heat distribution
A radiator is an inefficient means of heating room. This is because it only warms the air around it, causing it to rise to the ceiling. After the warm air becomes cool, it will fall to the floor so as to be warmed again. Underfloor heating eliminates this because it provides a much more even distribution of heat.
Can be used in almost all type of floor
No matter your floor type- vinyl, carpet, laminate etc., underfloor heating works perfectly with the aid of additional components in some cases.
Low maintenance costs
Perhaps one of the basic reasons why people decide to install underfloor heating is because it rarely requires any form of maintenance. Once they have been fitted properly; you have nothing to worry about. Just keep enjoying it! This can be attributed to the fact that these systems are installed beneath the floor where there is little or nothing to tamper with them, and this is applicable to both electric and water based underfloor heating.
Simple energy efficiency
Underfloor heating is far more efficient and cost-effective compared to radiators. Unlike radiators which cool down very quickly when turned off, making the heat they’ve produced disappear quickly, underfloor heating will help your home to retain heat much better. The idea is that the floor itself is heated making it easier to retain heat far better than old-fashioned radiators.
Superior all round comfort
Another benefit of installing underfloor heating systems is that the house will feel more comfortable because the heat produced will circulate evenly, allowing for a consistent temperature around the room. While we have some cases where a part of the room will be cooler than the other with a radiator system, you can never experience such with an underfloor heating system. Despite its overall effectiveness, the underfloor heating system also produces no noise and any annoying ticking as the pipes get expanded in floor voids.
Comparison of electric and water based systems
Comparing the two underfloor heating systems, the water-based systems are more efficient than electric-based systems. This is because they are reliant upon gas and the running costs are lower. While water-based systems are cost-efficient as regards running costs, electric underfloor heating are cheaper to install, even the most inexperienced DIYer can easily install it but in the long run, the electric based system becomes more expensive to run.
Types of underfloor heating and their installation cost
Currently, there are two main types of underfloor heating which are wet heating systems and electric heating systems.
Wet underfloor heating systems
Wet underfloor heating systems make use of warm water to create heat, supplied by the central heating system. The system puts the cost of water heating at the barest minimum compared to systems using radiators. This is because the water is heated at a lower temperature in order to work effectively. Wet heating systems can be easily installed in areas where the floor can be opened up and restored back into place such as extensions or new builds.
The installation cost varies largely depending on if you are installing into a new build or if you’re renovating your current property. To install the water-based heating system into a new build you are looking at costs of around £2000-£3000. If you are installing into your current property and require the flooring to be removed and re-installed along with the system installed into your central heating you should expect this to increase to anywhere between £3500-£45000.
Electric heating system
You guessed it, electric systems are powered by electricity. They are made up of coils embedded into mesh mats that are intertwined beneath the floor. They are then connected to the thermostat and the mains power supply in order to be used. Although, they are cheaper to install compared to water heating systems, the running cost is higher. Therefore they may be more appropriate for small rooms.
The cost of installing electric heating systems are much lower but also vary depending on it being a new property or a renovation project. For the electric underfloor heating systems, you should expect to pay around £1200 on average when installing into a new home. This price will be closer to £1500-£2000 when installing into your current property depending on the flooring you have.
Where can underfloor heating systems be installed?
Underfloor heating system can work with any floor type. We have found that the most popular places people install them are the bathroom, kitchen, and the living room.
How long does it take to install?
The heating system can be installed into a new build house in around 2 to 4 days. In the case where the installations are larger or more complicated, the installation period will be longer. If the heating system is installed in an existing area or room, some work will need to be done before the pipe can be laid successfully. To reduce the installation cost charged by tradesmen we recommended that you get as much of the floor prepared as possible. You can easily take up the existing flooring and sweep away any dust and debris. The deeper you can get down to the subfloor the better; but if it requires that you dig, it is advisable to leave to the experts.