Underfloor Heating (UFH) is the most efficient way to heat a building that uses a renewable heat source. Hydronic Underfloor Heating (UFH) is ideally suited for direct connection to a heat pump, because heat pumps produce energy at the ideal lower flow temperatures suitable for direct use in UFH systems, unlike traditional boilers which produce flow at too high a temperature to be circulated directly in the floor. Boilers requiring a mixing set for UFH which adds cold water back in to cool the boiler flow before it enters the floor, this is inherently inefficient since fuel has been burnt to generate the high flow temp, only for cold to be mixed in to allow circulation in the floor, essentially inefficient by design. Heat pumps require no mixing set and no use of energy other than the exact amount required by the UFH system. We provide full MCS approved heat loss calculations room by room and heat outputs from UFH with specific floor finishes to the Watt. This is unlike almost all installers and manufacturers who will typically only give a rough Watts /m² output, leaving an element of uncertainty in how the system will preform once installed.
A huge range of system types are available for new builds and retro fits, including solid floors and suspended floors.
Many clients believe that Hydronic UFH is impossible to retrofit without serious upheaval/disruption to the property or significant impact on room heights, however, overlay systems (such as WarmUp’s Total-16) are specifically designed to avoid these issues, through the entire UFH system including insulation boards and pipe work only requiring 16mm of build up in total to an existing slab or suspended floor, whilst still achieving very high heat outputs per m².
UFH can be installed as the sole emitter type in a property or as part of a mix of radiators and UFH to suit site specific/client requirements, all supplied via the heat pump. UFH can function with most floor finish types from polished screed or tile, through to carpet. Floor finish is key to achieved heat output in all UFH systems, with tile best and carpet worst due to differences in conductivity of heat.
Advantages of UFH:
Frees up wall space: No radiators mean every wall becomes an option for furniture locations and so interior design options are far more varied.
Efficiency: Creating the whole floor area as an emitter means the flow temperature of water required around the system can be set lower than in a radiator circuit, hence less energy input/ work from the heat source is required, reducing running costs overall. When connected to a heat pump, efficiencies of 330% to 450% are achievable (for every 1kWh of electrical consumption, 3.3kWh – 4.5kWh of heat output is achieved into the building)
Higher quality form of heating: Radiators do not radiate heat, they convect heat and hence heat the air nearest the ceilings first before the heat is felt in the lower, habitable parts of the room. UFH however purely radiates heat from the floor, hence this heat is felt where it is required in the room. A knock-on effect of this radiant heat is that it stays in the room far more than convected heat does which tends to move around the building far more readily. This adds to the controllability of the system as a whole in terms of target temperatures in adjacent rooms that can be set differently to suit your preference. The coverage of heat in a room is also far more even, through the entire floor emitting heat rather than heat being focused around individual radiators in a room.
Advantages of UFH:
Flexible: Suitable for connection to virtually any wet heat source.
Room by room control: Every room has its own thermostat with an UFH system, so that each and every room can be controlled entirely independently of all others. If one room calls for heat, only that room will receive flow until satisfied, unlike a radiator circuit where the whole circuit must flow for individual thermostatic valves on radiators to take any effect. UFH thermostats are fully programmable and so once set up, there is no extra effort needed to control the system.
Cost Effective Installation: For new builds, fully installed costs of UFH systems are in almost all cases lower than equivalent radiator circuits and mean no visible pipe work or radiators on show.
Dust: Due to being a radiant rather than convective heat source, dust circulation in the building is far less from UFH than radiator systems.
Safety: A lower temperature system throughout which is an advantage compared to radiators which can pose issues for some infirm people or very young children, also no hard edges of radiators around the house.