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.

Nu-Heat MD behind bars for children’s charity

Locked up for a good cause

Our Managing Director, David Roberts, is preparing to be put behind bars next month in support of the Nu-Heat’s nominated charity of the year, Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

Found guilty of misplaced sporting loyalties, David will be locked up at Exeter Castle on Friday 21st September as part of the charity’s Jail & Bail fundraiser.

Nu-Heat MD David Roberts needs to raise £999 bail for Children’s Hospice South West to secure his release
Complete lack of remorse

Showing no remorse for his heinous crime of supporting Bristol Bears rugby club whilst living and working in Exeter Chiefs territory, David’s only hope of release is to raise bail of £999 from his cell. All the money raised will be donated to CHSW.

Time off for good behaviour

David Roberts explains:

“Whilst I have little chance of being found innocent, I am hoping to be let out early for good behaviour on account of my fundraising efforts! We chose Children’s Hospice South West as Nu-Heat’s charity of the year in order to do our bit for this important cause. The work that CHSW do to provide care for children across the region who have life-limiting conditions, as well as support for their families, is awe-inspiring – and definitely worth getting locked up for.

“I’m determined to raise as much as possible for CHSW, so am putting out an early plea for donations towards my bail target, which will be added to the money we have already raised at Nu-Heat through our annual charity raffle and fundraising events. To make a donation, please visit my fundraising page.”

The race is on

Find out if David earns his get out of jail card in time by following Nu-Heat on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Find out more about the work of Children’s Hospice South West.

Industry Insights: Does the UK need a Scandinavian approach to heating?

Promoting sustainable heating

Nu-Heat has been working with NIBE (a leading European manufacturer of sustainable energy solutions) to promote the adoption of the renewable energy and low flow temperature heating solutions for over a decade. Together, the two companies champion the winning combination of ground or air source heat pumps with warm water underfloor heating.

In the first of our series of Industry Insights, Phil Hurley, Managing Director of NIBE, considers whether a Scandinavian approach to heating could be the answer to the challenges facing the UK today.

NIBE Managing Director, Phil Hurley
The promise of a greener future

Sustainability, home building and the use of high carbon fuels are all hot topics right now, and recent Government announcements see the UK publicly striving for a greener, cleaner and more certain future.

Government has promised to support sustainability in house building, committed to protect and ring-fence the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) budget until 2020/21, and pledged to phase out the use of high carbon fuels by 2030. These are steps in the right direction that offer a positive vision of the future, but what we need now is a clear plan that sets out how these ambitions are going to be achieved.

How can heating make a difference?

You might think that, in comparison to reducing carbon emissions from transport and waste, for example, choosing a more sustainable way to heat our homes might have little impact on the big picture. However, with the Committee on Climate Change estimating that almost a third of the UK’s total carbon emissions come from heating, there is real merit in making smarter heating choices. The ability of heating to help achieve the Government’s ambitious 2030 target should not be underestimated, but action needs to start now.

A good place to begin is with building regulations and best practice for new build homes. As a nation that has committed to reduce its carbon footprint, it seems ludicrous that new homes built off of the mains gas grid are still being heated with oil, leaving homeowners with heating bills that are only ever likely to go up, and a heat source that is anything but green. Surely building regulations should reward, encourage and facilitate the use of renewable energy and lower flow temperature heating systems in these new homes?

Accommodating renewable options like heat pumps, and lower flow temperature heating systems like warm water underfloor heating, would not only tick the box for sustainability and reduce carbon emissions, but reduce running costs for homeowners and allow them to benefit from RHI payments. We need to get to the point where sustainability is the norm rather than the exception.

This is where our Scandinavian friends have the right idea. Take NIBE’s home country, Sweden, as an example. More than half of the country’s energy comes from renewables, and the use of heat pumps combined with low-flow temperature underfloor heating is prevalent. It is no wonder that Sweden’s carbon emissions are lower – and their ambitions higher – than the UK.

The right time to change

The UK’s construction industry needs support to move away from ‘the way things have always been done’ and take the long-term view. Companies like NIBE and Nu-Heat can and do play their part in supporting installers and homeowners to make greener choices, but if we are to see a seismic shift towards sustainability – and meet the UK’s ambitious targets – then the rules of the game need to change.

This is an achievable ambition, and there are many reasons to be optimistic. We are leaving behind the years of uncertainty caused by the financial crisis, and are once again seeing growth in the building sector. The confirmation of RHI budgets for another few years offers greater confidence for installers and homeowners alike – a confidence that is reflected in the growth of the heat pump market. We are starting to see recognition for lower flow temperature heating solutions in building policy. The UK has made a public commitment to delivering more sustainable homes.

The time is right and the opportunity is there – all we need now is for actions to speak louder than words.

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.