Are you a water baby or an electric dreamer?

Underfloor heating (UFH) has been in use in the UK for many years now and has been accepted as the sole source of central heating for the majority of new build and renovation projects, as well as supplementary heating for all kinds of property development.

The UK is quickly catching up with the Scandinavian model where approximately 80% of properties use underfloor heating as the sole source of heat – a great benefit not only for energy efficiency, sustainability and economy, but also for the interior design freedom without the restriction of radiators! UFH can be installed in virtually any property, of any age or construction, but which version is right for you? Here we look at water vs electric underfloor heating systems in more depth.

 

The Options

There are two main types of UFH systems: warm water (also known as hydronic) and electric, and we offer over 60 UFH floor construction options to suit every possible need. Warm water systems are similar to the traditional central heating system where the water is heating at a central point and pumped around the property via a series of pipes. Electric underfloor heating systems are either loose cables or cables embedded into mesh mats, which are laid onto an existing substrate usually covered with a thin screed (sometimes this is the tile adhesive if using them as the final floor finish) and connected up to a thermostat.

Benefits of Each System

So, which is the right UFH option for you, electric or water? Here are a few benefits of both systems:

Warm Water Underfloor Heating

  • Traditionally included in a new build construction, although systems in our LoPro® range can be laid over an existing floor making them ideal for renovation projects.
  • More powerful in heat output than electric systems plus much more energy efficient than radiator systems and can completely remove the need for traditional radiators in your home.
  • Screed based UFH systems have longer response times, but retain their heat well, keeping the floor warmer for longer.
  • Can use a variety of heat sources to run, meaning renewable energy sources, such as air source and ground source heat pumps.
  • Our new OneZone® underfloor heating kits offer the same high quality components, reliability, ease of installation and level of customer support that you would expect from any Nu-Heat system and are an ideal off-the-shelf purchase for DIYers and installers. The kits include everything required to install warm water underfloor heating in a single area – whether small and large – where a full system design is often not needed. This could be as part of a new extension or in a renovation project.

Electric Underfloor Heating

  • Perfect for a smaller area and can be used as an add-on to a larger warm water system or as a standalone set up.
  • Cheaper to install than wet systems.
  • Heats up quickly, but also loses heat faster than warm water UFH
  • Usually more expensive to run than wet UFH, due to the cost per unit difference between electricity and gas or oil, but good for a small area where you want a speedier response, such as guest bathrooms.
  • Great way of exploiting existing solar PV or wind technologies.
  • Specialist electric systems, such as our new ElectroMat® OneZone ®, require no prior experience or any specialist tools and includes everything that you will need to install it; system controls, flexible ElectroMat® cable, de-coupling membrane and a fully illustrated installation manual which brings it well within the scope of a skilled DIYer.

Which system is suitable for which area?

Warm water UFH is suitable for virtually any space and any area; it just takes a little knowledge to understand what works best where. A new build will typically require a screed UFH system, where the UFH tube is held within a layer of screed, or a screed-replacement system like FastDeck®; a brand new, completely dry, combined UFH and floor deck solution. Upper floors are not excluded from warm water underfloor heating as the UFH tube can be fitted between, or straddling, the joists on upper floors. This is sometimes held in place by a metal heat diffuser plate, such as ClippaPlate®, and has a zero build-up height as it is laid below the floor. There is also a floating floor solution available for joisted floor constructions.

For renovations a low profile UFH system, such as one from Nu-Heat’s LoPro® range, is ideal and is laid directly on top of the existing floor, with minimal disruption to fixtures and fittings. These low-profile, higher heat output systems are ideal for older properties, where UFH may not otherwise have been an option. Build-up heights of between 15-22mm are dramatically lower than the traditional 55-60mm of in-screed systems.

Electric UFH can be used throughout the home but is best suited for use within smaller areas either as a standalone system or as an add-on to a warm water UFH system. ElectroMat® is particularly suited to bathroom and kitchen areas and is completely waterproof, so can be used within a wet room environment too with ease.

Nu-Heat ElectroMat UFH

Renewables Integration

The continual need to be eco-friendly and cost-conscious ensures we consider renewables integration throughout the design and fit process. Warm water underfloor heating can be used with any heat source including standard gas and oil boilers, range cookers and renewable technologies such as ground and air source heat pumps.

Warm water UFH heating is typically around 25% more efficient than a modern radiator system as it works at much lower flow temperatures (typically 35-55°C as opposed to over 70°C for radiators), this makes it ideal for heat pumps which provide optimum efficiency at low temperatures, therefore reducing heating costs. As mentioned above, if you are able to exploit existing solar PV or wind technologies, electric UFH is a good option for you to consider as your running costs  may well be competitive to a warm water system in smaller rooms or areas.

Summary

Having underfloor heating installed as a replacement for radiators is not only extremely pleasing visually but is also a big win when it comes to keeping your home clean as no radiators means no dust or dirt magnets for you to manage! Both types of underfloor heating systems have no exposed hot surfaces or sharp edges making them a safe option for young children, the elderly and for pets. They are also great for allergy sufferers as they provide warmth free from draughts and dust movements which can aggravate these conditions. Finally, if you are developing the property for resale, then it is an accepted fact that purchasers will pay more for a property which has underfloor heating installed.

Whichever system you are considering, contact us for a free quote. Our wide range of underfloor heating systems, both warm water and electric, allows us to offer you the most suitable and cost-effective system for your project.

Discuss your next project with Nu-Heat’s specialist UFH advisors on 01404 549770 or email info@nu-heat.co.uk.

Introducing Apple HomeKit

With as many as 66% of UK consumers considering smart homes an appealing concept*, homeowners are increasingly looking to manufacturers and suppliers for new ways to control – and connect – their household gadgets and devices.

Nu-Heat’s neoHub+ works with Apple HomeKit

We are pleased to announce that you can now use Apple HomeKit home automation technology to control your Nu-Heat underfloor heating system, when you choose any neoHub+ smart control package.

What is Apple HomeKit?

Apple HomeKit technology provides an easy, secure way to control your home’s lights, doors, thermostats and more from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

There are no contracts or subscription fees, and you can easily configure HomeKit control of your Nu-Heat underfloor heating in a few simple steps.

How does it work?

Nu-Heat’s neoHub+ responds to Siri and the Apple iOS10 Home app, giving you the option to set and adjust heating temperatures via the Apple Home app or Siri voice control. You can also set HomeKit automations and remotely control your heating settings in conjunction with any other HomeKit compatible products you may have in your home.

How do I get Apple HomeKit?

Apple HomeKit functionality is available with any Nu-Heat underfloor heating system with a neoHub+, which now comes as standard with any of our smart packages. Speak with one of our underfloor heating experts on 01404 549770 to find out which heating system and smart package is right for you.

Already have a Nu-Heat underfloor heating system?

Contact us on 01404 549770 or via info@nu-heat.co.uk to find out how you can upgrade to Apple HomeKit technology.

*Source: GfK smart home study 2015

Nu-Heat showcases acoustic UFH solution, AcoustiPanel®14 at Ecobuild

AP14

AP14 partners

Nu-Heat’s new acoustic underfloor heating (UFH) solution, produced in partnership with Knauf and Thermal Economics, will be showcased at EcoBuild this year. AcoustiPanel®14 comprises a pre-routed gypsum board over a high performance IsoRubber-UFH-NH base, into which Nu-Heat’s 14mm Fastflo® tube is neatly installed.

When installed as part of an acoustic floor cassette, AcoustiPanel®14 with 5mm IsoRubber-UFH-NH has been proven to reduce airborne and impact sound transmission through suspended timber floors, assisting in exceeding Part E compliance standards. The system is suitable for new-build and renovation apartments where an efficient and discreet underfloor heating solution is required as part of an acoustically robust system.

The combination of tongue and groove panels and self-levelling skim offers high thermal conductivity, allowing quick transfer of heat into the room as well as an extremely stable and level floor.

As a low profile, acoustic solution with outstanding performance AcoustiPanel®14 provides a sustainable, high quality, fit-and-finished floor section. Installation of the routed panel is simple and similar to that of a typical tongue and groove deck, and the thin skim coat dries overnight with no impact on the site programme.

This tailor-made acoustic UFH system offers:

  • Just 31mm height build-up
  • Less thermal mass – between 36.2-44.9kg/m2 (depending on panel configuration) – compared with 50mm liquid screed at 77.4kg/ m2 and 65mm sand and cement at 120.4kg/ m2
  • Simple installation directly over a level screed section or structural working deck
  • No mechanical fixings required, meaning quick installation and fewer materials
  • A panel with interlocking edges – results in a solid, flat surface
  • Single manifold, up to 100m2 – for a quick installation, using less material and plant space
  • Heating and floor deck in a single solution
  • Recycled gypsum & IsoRubber-UFH-NH content
  • Point load tested to BS EN 6399-1 – high performance figures resulting in minimal floor deflection ideal for high-end stone and ceramic floor finishes
  • Full design indemnity

» For specification data and more information visit www.nu-heat.co.uk/ap14 or call 01404 549770

» Meet our UFH & renewables experts at Ecobuild, 8-10 March, on stand E3276

NEW AcoustiPanel®14
Combined Knauf acoustic floor deck solution with integrated Nu-Heat warm water underfloor heating.

This new acoustic solution from Nu-Heat, produced in partnership with Knauf, comprises a pre-routed gypsum board over a high performance IsoRubber-UFH-NH base, into which Nu-Heat’s 14mm tube is neatly installed.

The combination of tongue and groove panels and a self-levelling skim offer high thermal conductivity allowing a quick transfer of heat into the room and the creation of an extremely stable, monolithic floor finish.

When installed within an acoustic floor cassette, AcoustiPanel®14 exceeds Part E making the solution suitable for new build and renovation apartments, where an efficient and discreet underfloor heating system is required as part of an acoustically robust system that is simple to install.

AcoustiPanel14 UFH

This tailor-made acoustic UFH system offers:

  • Fast heat transfer combined with high performance heat output of up to 96W/m2
  • A low profile UFH solution with outstanding acoustic properties exceeding Part E
  • Minimal height build-up at just 31mm, saving typically 69mm compared to typical acoustic batten solutions
  • A low weight solution compared to liquid screed or a typical sand & cement screed UFH system
  • Ultra-low deflection, monolithic ‘fit and finished’ floor section over IsoRubber-UFH-NH base ideal for large format tiles and luxury floor finishes
  • A sustainable solution, with the gypsum board being made up of a minimum of 60% recycled product and categorised under Knauf Environmental Product Declarations – according to ISO 14025
  • IsoRubber-UFH-NH made with a recycled content in excess of 90% waste rubber, a Global Warming Potential of Zero and an Ozone Depletion Potential of Zero

A straightforward installation

  • Installed directly over a structural working deck – either suspended timber or concrete/screed
  • Fully tailored designs with 6 panel options for optimal heating layouts and pipework back to manifolds
  • Self-levelling skim dries overnight, resulting in reduced site programme
  • Single manifold, up to 160m – for quick installation, using less material
  • Complete mechanical & electrical installation design and AcoustiPanel® layout drawings, provided by Nu-Heat
  • Floor finishes can be fitted after just 72 hours

Find out more about AcoustiPanel®14 at www.nu-heat.co.uk/ap14

Timber Expo 2015

Timber Expo is the most important timber event on the UK construction calendar and is brimming with the latest products, innovations and developments across the timber sector. It runs from Tuesday 6th – Thursday 8th October 2015 at the NEC in Birmingham.

Our experts will be on stand T3/435 to give you advice and guidance on integrating underfloor heating, including new AcoustiPanel®14 into your project.

Get your free tickets to Timber Expo here.