It’s the middle of winter. You’ve just been rudely awakened by your alarm clock and are about to take your first tentative steps across the cold floor en-route to your shower room. Then the thought crosses your mind ‘wouldn’t it be great to have underfloor heating?’ Wouldn’t it indeed. Here are 10 reasons from builder, Mackenzie Hughes why you should consider having underfloor heating installed in your Edinburgh home.
A more efficient heat
Underfloor heating will give your home a more efficient heat than radiators. To illustrate this point it’s best to understand the differences between the two. Heat rises – therefore the heat from a radiator, which can be as high as 75 degrees, will simply flow forward a short distance then rise, with no heat being distributed below it. Anyone who has radiators yet still has cold feet will know exactly what we mean! The result is that the warmest part of the room will be above head height and only in the zone where the radiators are, leaving most of the room cold.
Underfloor heating (or UFH) is spread evenly under the floor’s surface. When it rises the warmest part of the body becomes the lower half, then the core and finally it cools down when it reaches beyond head height. This means your entire body remains warm but at a comfortable temperature of around 27 degrees.
Suitable from new-builds to period homes
The easiest way to install underfloor heating is in a new-build before the floor is laid. However, it can also be retro-fitted in a period home during a refurbishment or restoration. The radiator as we know it today was invented by Prussian born Franz San Galli in 1855. This means that early Georgian homes in Edinburgh’s New Town wouldn’t have had radiators of any kind, relying instead on cooking ranges for heat. You could say that by fitting underfloor heating instead of radiators in your Georgian home, you would be giving it a more authentic look, while keeping your home warm.
There are some beautiful and quirky radiators available. However, what if you need a bit more space? By installing underfloor heating, you can basically remove your radiators and free up valuable wall space.
Healthy and safe
Less moisture and lower air movements from underfloor heating may help reduce dust allergens. Also, there are no sharp edges or hot surfaces for little hands to come in contact with.
Renewable heat source
The heat source you use for your radiators will also be suitable for your underfloor heating. This includes conventional gas boilers, and renewable heat sources such as electric solar panels and ground source heat pumps.
If you live in a grand, old period property, you may know the feeling of being awoken in the early hours of the morning as your old cast-iron radiators start warming up for the day ahead. With underfloor heating, there no noise, just heat where and when you want it.
Suitable for most floor finishes
Floor finishes vary and some will offer better thermal conductivity than others. Ceramic and stone are perfect as they both have a low resistance to heat transfer. Timber wood floors (especially engineered wood) are also ideal but the temperature shouldn’t be set above 27 degrees; although it’s always best to check the floor manufacturer’s instructions or get advice from your builder. Linoleum is also suitable but, having a thin layer, offers a low resistance which means that the temperature shouldn’t exceed 26 degrees. Carpet is the most heat resistant of all but it can still be used in conjunction with UFH. Make sure the underlay is suitable and that the combined carpet and underlay tog rating is below 2.5.
Underfloor heating control via smartphone app
Underfloor heating from manufacturer JG Speedfit, comes with a smartphone app which will enable you to set the temperature of your UFH in different rooms for total control. This means if you live in a large period home with several rooms and high ceilings, you will only need to heat the rooms you live in most of the time. Although, it is a good idea to give unoccupied rooms some heating occasionally, especially in winter.
Reduced heating bills
Last but by no means least, underfloor heating operates at a much lower temperature than radiators, and, because it is more efficient, you don’t need to keep switched on for as long. All this goes towards reducing your fuel bills and the money is much better in your pocket than your energy supplier’s.