In the autumn and winter months the cold weather outside puts the effectiveness of our central heating systems and their limits sharply into focus. It’s therefore wise to make sure your heating provision is up to scratch in preparation for this period. One option you may not have considered before is luxury underfloor heating.
Rather than being a modern concept, underfloor heating in fact dates back to Roman times when homeowners piped hot air under their homes to help keep their homes more cosy. These heating systems can sometimes be known as radiant heating systems and need to be installed by qualified plumbers. The system works by using either hot water or electric heating units under the floor to evenly distribute heat throughout a room. In hot water (wet) systems the water running under the floor in pipes uses water from a central boiler to heat the room. It can therefore be programmed in much the same way as a conventional central heating system.
Many people believe that underfloor heating can offer homeowners significant energy savings because of the way it operates. Because the heating comes from the lowest level in the room and hot air rises, this type of heating works more effectively at a low level that may otherwise be difficult to warm. It also heats throughout the room more evenly rather than emanating from a fixed centralised point as a radiator does. This means you are less likely to crank up the temperature – and the energy used – to warm up a colder corner in the room. Underfloor heating also boasts a reduced energy requirement compared with the use of water-heated radiators. Pipes for underfloor use require water heated to around 113-149° F (45-65° C) compared to the 176° F (80° C) needed by radiators. This type of system will comfortably warm a floor to 77-82.4° F (25-28° C) and it has been estimated that it could make homeowners energy savings of around 15 to 40%.
Other benefits of underfloor heating relate to space and convenience. A room without radiators on the walls looks larger and less cluttered and is also easier to decorate. In addition, underfloor heating can help reduce the moisture content of a room, which can be of particular benefit to asthma sufferers who may suffer problems caused by dust mites, which can thrive in damp environments.