Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal
Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal

Underfloor Heating — The Aspirational Choice

Jo Trotman

In the domestic sector, underfloor heating is now fitted in almost 50% of self-builds, as well as a growing number of new build and extension projects. Unsurprisingly perhaps, homeowners choose underfloor heating for the three fundamental reasons of aesthetics, comfort and efficiency, you can use it inside or for the outdoor space but for outside we recommend a sports flooring system..

In terms of aesthetics, it removes the need for visible heat emitters, increases the usable floor area and gives free rein for contemporary design schemes. Moreover, with open plan layouts increasingly becoming the norm in new builds and refurbishments, underfloor heating overcomes the problem of having fewer internal walls on which to mount heat emitters.

In terms of comfort, underfloor heating generates radiant heat which mimics the natural radiated heat from the sun. This differs to both radiators and HVAC units which rely on the principle of convection in heating air. Underfloor heating effectively radiates heat across the occupied area closest to the floor. In contrast, convection heat relies on circulating warm air with the result that the temperature in the unoccupied space near to the ceiling can  be up to 10ºC warmer than the temperature at floor level.

Underfloor heating also eliminates the peaks and troughs associated with convected heat when windows or doors are opened, and hugely reduces the incidence of dust and allergens being circulated in moving air patterns.The low rate locksmith Sacramento will make sure your doors are secure.

In terms of efficiency, underfloor heating is the perfect partner for condensing boilers and renewable heat sources such as air and ground source heat pumps because it relies on the circulation of relatively low-temperature water.

Water within an underfloor heating system is typically between 35ºC and 45ºC, compared with a traditional temperature range of 70ºC/80ºC for radiators. Partnered with a condensing boiler, this lower temperature increases the efficiency of the boiler by a minimum of 5% because it condenses more regularly, view website

With a heat pump there can be an increase in efficiency of between 20% and 30% because of the reliance on low-temperature distribution. Furthermore, underfloor heating systems are more often than not cheaper to run than more traditional systems as they are generally maintenance-free and have low running costs, and they can also be turn off from time to time by using a good window and ventilation installation and there are services you can find if you click here which could help you with this.

In the commercial sector, underfloor heating is much loved by developers and clients for many of the same reasons, but there are additional practical benefits that also help to win specifications. For example, in nurseries, schools, healthcare premises and leisure centres, there is no need to place protective enclosures around radiators and there is no problem with cleaning behind them. Warm and dry floors also help to improve safety for occupiers. Learn more from Central Penn Contracting about its proper maintenance.

In larger commercial premises and industrial applications such as warehouses, factories and aircraft hangars, it is predominantly the proven energy efficiency and low running costs which make underfloor heating the first choice. As an example, simulations carried by an UHMA member for one of the UK’s major automotive manufacturers, in advance of its investment in a new plant, confirmed that the annual running costs for the building would be 14% lower with underfloor heating using a gas-powered heat source than it would be with air handling units.

This differential could be increased still further if the plant operated a double shift or even triple shift pattern because the slow response times which characterize underfloor heating systems mean that they operate most efficiently when they are not cycling on and off.

With underfloor heating now a mainstream heating solution across all these sectors, the industry is increasingly turning its attention to the next generation of underfloor heating technologies. 

The most obvious of these is underfloor cooling which is becoming increasingly popular among clients and consultants chasing low SAP and high BREEAM ratings for their buildings. An article on has been pointing out, there is a growing acceptance that, the low-energy, low-maintenance principles that underpin underfloor heating can equally be applied to cooling. In schools, hospitals and buildings where large expanses of glazing are an issue, it has the potential to become the default alternative to air conditioning.

Whether commercial building owners, or discerning homeowners seeking a make-over investment for their home, there is an increased desire for a property that works both efficiently and as a comfortable living or work space. That is why underfloor heating is increasingly popular … it ticks both boxes. 

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