Content supplied by Underfloor Heating 1

Underfloor heating has risen in popularity recently and is certainly something to consider when looking at heating options for your home.

System Costs
The cost of the underfloor heating system depends on the size of the area(s) to be heated, the room configuration and the individual conditions in your home.

Wet underfloor heating systems, in which hot water produced by your heating source (boiler or heat pump etc) is pumped through pipes laid beneath the floor surface, are often more expensive to install than electric underfloor heating systems, in which electric wires supply the heat. However, wet systems are more efficient and therefore have massively lower running costs whilst performing much better.

With all underfloor heating kits, the cost per m² is difficult to gauge as there are many factors which affect the end cost – one customer may only want one thermostat per floor, another customer may want several for the same amount of pipe/circuits etc.

Any company who can ‘confidently’ give a cost per m² is probably adding plenty of contingency on the figure or simply guessing!

Installation
The cost of installing underfloor heating in your home depends on your answers to several questions.

  • Do you have the necessary skills to install the system yourself, or will you require professional installation?
  • How big is the area where the heating system will be installed? What type of system will be installed?
  • What is the floor construction i.e. screed floor, joisted floor etc?

If you have the necessary skills to install yourself, you can buy a wet underfloor heating kit from around £300, which includes the pump, mixing valve and digital thermostat as well as enough pipe for around 20m² of floor. There is no limit to the area that can be covered!

Electric underfloor heating is quicker and easier to fit than a wet heating system. DIY kits containing roll-out heating mats start at around £125 for 2m² although it should be noted that electric underfloor heating will NOT heat the space of a room like a wet underfloor heating system or radiators, regardless of what some suppliers/manufacturers claim.

Electric underfloor heating will only warm the surface of the floor and therefore recommend for small occasional areas such as bathrooms and definitely not for high glass rooms such as conservatories.

Although you may install underfloor heating yourself, professional installation is always recommended, even if it is just for accuracy and peace of mind.

Installation can take anything from a few hours to several days, depending on the number of rooms, the type of heating system, and the type of preparation involved before laying pipe.

Even if you decide to lay the pipes or cable yourself, it is still a good idea to hire a qualified tradesman to connect up the plumbing and electrics.
Running Costs
The running cost of underfloor heating depends on several factors, including the size of the property, the efficiency of the boiler/heat pump etc and most importantly – how well insulated it is.

Only an energy efficiency or SAP report specific to the property and its constructions can provide running costs.

For guidance you may use the following:

1.    Electric UFH is usually rated at 200W/m². Therefore for a 20m² room, the electricity usage is 4kW per hour!!
2.    Wet UFH systems run at typically 50°c from a boiler (in some cases at 35°c or lower) whereas a radiator system is usually 70°c – 90°c, so the efficiency gains are clear to see.

 

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