Different Forms of Underfloor Heating – What You Should Know

Underfloor heating, or “heating under the floor” is one of the most common types of heating systems used in homes today. While this particular type of heating system has been around for decades, it is increasingly used in homes around the world today.

When people think of underfloor heating, they automatically think of heating a home’s interior to a pleasant temperature, without drafts, which is the purpose of under floor heating. One of the biggest advantages of using this type of heating is that the water that is pumped through the system warms rooms very evenly. The floor is made warm and is pleasant to the touch.

There is no wasted space around wall radiators because none are needed. Without any radiators present there is also no danger of injury from a very hot radiator. The mass of the concrete within the underfloor area also acts to store heat, which can mean that the home stays warmer overnight, and when the heating is switched off for parts of the day, than for a radiator heated home.

The way that a hot water underfloor heating system works is by circulating the hot water from a furnace (boiler) water through a number of pipes placed within a concrete layer under the floor. This process makes the water in the pipes warm up the underfloor concrete. After passing through the network of pipes in the underfloor area the now tepid water is conveyed back into the home’s central heating system furnace, heated again, and continually recirculated.

There are a few different ways that this can be done. One way that a homeowner can do this is not to have a gas or oil fuelled boiler at all, but rather to use a small pump to make the water from a “heat pump system” circulate. The circulation water pump can be housed a hole that has been drilled into the floor, or in the workings of the furnace (boiler). Another option is to have the water pump placed on top of the floor in a cupboard or similar. Both locations for these pumps will work well in most homes.

Another way that you can add warmth to your home is by installing an air “heat pump” system around your home. This works by forcing air through a heat exchanger provided for the room that is being heated. The heat exchanger is connected to an air-conditioner (refrigerator) working in reverse. This in cold weather, extracts low-level heat from a large volume of air and produces a smaller volume of hot water from it. These “HVAC” systems can also work the other way around, to bring in cooler air into the room during hot weather.

Underfloor heating is one of the most popular types of heating systems that are available today and is getting more popular because it works very well in well-insulated low carbon emitting “heat pump” heated homes. There are many ways that people can make the use of this particular type of very sustainable and environmentally low-impact heating system. It can work for them through the whole year if well designed, overcoming the problem with solar heating of how you will keep warm at night etc. With solar heating main disadvantage is that it cannot provide sufficient heat to heat a room all the time 24 hours a day and overnight, without a means of storing the electricity. This expensive, (battery?) storage problem, can be largely overcome when using heat pump technology.

If you plan on using a pump for the purpose of heating in summer and cooling in winter then you should do your research to find out which pump will work best for you. A pump that is placed on top of the floor will be able to keep the warm air circulating throughout the room in winter and keep the cool air in, in summer.

When you are looking for cooling fans to place around your home for use in summer for cooling, you will need to consider how much space you want to work with. Some fans are made to sit on a shelf or stand on their own so that you can keep one fan at a reasonable distance from another.

Some people have been very successful at DIY water underfloor heating installation by laying a floor screed for underfloor heating in which the hot water heating pipes are carefully cast. They are cast into the floor screed concrete after being fixed, and spaced evenly, out across the full floor area of each room.

Flushing underfloor heating to clear out collected dirt, may become necessary over a long period of use.Therefore, it is prudent to design your hot water underfloor heating system so that flushing equipment can be easily installed, and used when necessary. If no forethought is given to flushing, the ability of the underfloor heating to keep the room warm will diminish overt time as silt and rust etc. accumulates in the pipes.