Underfloor heating: Something to consider
There’s nothing worse than hopping out of a warm bed on a cold winter’s morning, only to have to walk down a cold hallway and into a cold kitchen or bathroom.
There’s a simple solution: underfloor heating. Far from being just a way to warm up a cold bathroom, this approach can heat your home more effectively than other, more traditional systems.
Let’s investigate what underfloor heating is and why you should consider it.
What is underfloor heating?
There are two types of underfloor heating. You’ve got water systems (hydronic), which pump water through a series of pipes beneath the floor, and dry systems, which use electric coils or cables placed beneath the floor.
In both cases, the systems radiate heat up through the floor and out into the room. The result is uniform heating which spreads throughout a given space.
You’ll find more flexibility with a hydronic option, as you can use a number of ways to heat the water. For example, you could use geothermal heat pumps or a wood-powered boiler. With electrical coils or cables, there’s no such flexibility.
What are the advantages of underfloor heating?
The most obvious benefit of underfloor heating – aside from the uniform heat distribution – is that you can’t actually see it. Instead of heat pumps and wall-mounted radiators, everything sits beneath your home.
There’s also the obvious bathroom advantage. These systems heat up cold tiles and keep them warm while you use the bathroom – great in the morning. Note that bathroom underfloor heating is more typically the electrical coil or cable system mentioned previously, although the effect is the same.
Furthermore, hydronic underfloor heating is also futureproof, as you can swap out the heat sources for the underfloor system.
What are the disadvantages of underfloor heating?
The primary downside for an underfloor heating system is the cost, especially if you want to add one to your existing home. They’re most affordable when installed as part of a new build or if you’re doing major renovations involving gutting rooms.
These systems also take longer to heat a room than a traditional heater, so you’ll need to set them up with a timer (timed to turn on an hour or two before you wake up, for example).