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.

5 tips for choosing an underfloor heating system to install yourself

5 tips for choosing an underfloor heating system to install yourself

If you are renovating a single area of your home, you might be looking to do much of the work yourself. Whilst traditionally this might involve painting and decorating, there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider fitting the underfloor heating (UFH) yourself too – but it is important to choose the right system.

Here are 5 top tips for choosing a UFH system for DIY installation:

1.Consider the weight of the UFH system

It might seem a strange place to start, but the logistics of moving your UFH components where they need to be should not be overlooked. If you are tackling the installation yourself, you don’t want to waste time and effort lugging pallet loads of heavy components into the right part of the house. Choose a lightweight system and your back will thank you.

2.Choose quality

There’s an old adage that says ‘if you buy cheap, you pay twice’. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy the most expensive UFH system that you can find, but it does mean that you should choose a quality product that will save you both time and money in the long run.

3.Opt for a low-profile system

When you are renovating a property and fitting UFH over the existing floor, it is important to choose a low-profile system that minimises any disruption to fixtures and fittings. Some systems add as little as 15mm total height build-up.

4.Ditch the screed for a quicker, easier install

Choosing a completely dry UFH system avoids the need to call in specialist screeding contractors, and also means there is no waiting around for the compound to dry. Floor coverings can then be fitted immediately.

5.Choose a system with pre-routed channels for the tube

Make life easier for yourself by choosing a UFH system where the channels for the tube are already in place. Pre-routed panels and boards make it straightforward to run the tube around the room and back to the manifold, changing direction when needed. They also hold the tube securely in place.

LoPro®Lite – the ideal DIY UFH solution

Lightweight, low-profile, versatile and completely dry, LoPro®Lite is a retrofit UFH system that has been designed to be easy to install. The latest addition to Nu-Heat’s award-winning LoPro® range, LoPro®Lite is available as both a designed whole-house system and a high-quality OneZone® kit for single rooms or areas.

LoPro®Lite consists of pre-routed, high-density EPS (expanded polystyrene) boards which have an excellent point-load strength, and add just 15mm (the height of a 5p coin) to the existing floor level before the floor deck. Diffuser plates sit in the straight sections of the boards to enhance heat distribution from the 10mm FastFlo® tube, and a standard chipboard deck is laid over the top of the panels and UFH tube before floor coverings are fitted.

Get in touch

Find out more about LoPro®Lite OneZone® kits

Call 01404 549770 or info@nu-heat.co.uk to discuss UFH solutions for your home.

Is underfloor heating right for my home?

Warm water underfloor heating (UFH) can be used in almost any project, from new builds to renovations, and conversions to extensions.

Read on for answers to common UFH queries that will help you choose a heating system that perfectly fits your home.

Is my home suitable for UFH?

Whatever the age, size or construction of your property, chances are it’s suitable for UFH. Whether you’re plotting an extension, tackling a new build or giving your existing home a complete overhaul, we will design your UFH to be a perfect fit.

I’m renovating, will I need to dig up my floor?

No! UFH can be fitted directly on top of your existing floor, and our low-profile systems will minimise any disruption to fixtures and fittings.

Can I have UFH upstairs?

Yes, UFH can be installed on all floors. We even have specialist acoustic UFH solutions to reduce airborne and impact noise between floors.

How long does the UFH installation take?

This depends upon the best solution for your home. If you are building from scratch, your UFH can be installed within your floor as it is constructed. If you are renovating your property, there are a number of UFH solutions that can be laid over the top of your existing floor, some of which are ready for your floor coverings to be fitted immediately.

How much does UFH cost to run?

Warm water UFH is really efficient – around 25% more efficient than radiators when paired with a modern condensing boiler and up to 40% more efficient when running from a heat pump*. Because of this, running costs are often lower than a traditional radiator system and around a third of the cost of an equivalent electric UFH system.
*EuRay 2005

Do I need a special boiler?

No, UFH works with gas, oil and LPG boilers as well as heat pumps. UFH can also be run alongside your existing heating system.

Can I have carpet?

Yes. UFH is compatible with a wide range of floor coverings, including carpet, tiles, polished concrete and vinyl. We’ll design your UFH system to work with your choice of floor covering, providing a consistent, controllable heat.

How do I control my UFH?

We’ll design your UFH to give you complete control over your heating, with individual room-by-room temperature control and scheduling. You can even hide your thermostats away and control your entire UFH system from your smartphone or tablet.

Why should I choose a designed UFH system?

Properties of all ages can be suitable for UFH, but just as no two homes are the same, neither are any two rooms in your property. We’ll carry out room-by-room heat loss calculations before designing a bespoke UFH system tailored for your home and how you use it.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about UFH for your home, or would like us to send you a quote, please call us on 01404 549770 or email info@nu-heat.co.uk.

Free your home from radiators

Underfloor heating gives you the freedom to enjoy your home

How we heat our homes affects how we live in them. If you find your chilly kitchen a no-go zone, frequently abandon your comfy sofa to fight for the hot-spot by the radiator, and discover yourself reaching for an extra blanket, it’s time to break free from bad heating.

Don’t let radiators spoil your fun. It’s time to reclaim your space.

Why choose underfloor heating over radiators?

“I don’t know why we put up with radiators for so long – I’ll never go back!”

We hear this all the time from people living with underfloor heating.

Warm water underfloor heating gives you the freedom to enjoy every last inch of your home, meaning you can place fixtures and fittings where you please, box up the blankets and reclaim your space.

We believe that underfloor heating is the very best way to heat your home – and here is why.
It doesn’t cramp your style

Underfloor heating frees your walls so you’ll never have to place a sofa on a jaunty angle or compromise on your interior design ever again. You can even hide your thermostats away and control the entire system from your smartphone or tablet.

Reclaim your space

Cast off your fluffy slippers and put the champagne on ice – your cold kitchen has suddenly become the perfect entertaining space. Every part of every room is gloriously toasty when you choose underfloor heating. No draughts, no cold spots and no need for socks!

Enviously efficient

The great thing about underfloor heating is that it feels fantastic and frees up your home whilst still being incredibly efficient. Up to 25% more efficient than an equivalent radiator system*.
*EURay 2005

Choose heating as it should be

Whatever the age, size or construction of your home, chances are it’s suitable for underfloor heating. Whether you’re plotting an extension, tackling a new build or giving your existing home a complete overhaul, your heating should be designed to be a perfect fit. We will work out heat loss calculations for each and every room, designing your tailor-made underfloor heating system to ensure super-efficient, sensational snugness throughout your home.

Want to break free from radiators?

Call us on 01404 549770 or email info@nu-heat.co.uk to find out how we can help you reclaim your space.