Knowing your underfloor heating controls and how to operate them correctly will help you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without wasting energy, costing a fortune or costing the earth.
We answer your most frequently asked questions to help you confidently control your heating. From how to use thermostats to efficiently control your heated floor, to understanding underfloor heating control panels.
Jump to an underfloor heating control guide section
- How to use underfloor heating thermostats
- Best underfloor heating temperature settings
- Balancing Underfloor Heating – Step-by-Step
- Controlling different underfloor heating types
- Example of underfloor heating control panel
- Different types of Nu-Heat UFH thermostats
- Why choose the neoStat smart thermostat?
A thermostat is simply a switch that turns the heating on and off depending on the room temperature. Thermostats are commonly mistaken for a throttle, turned up high with the misconception that this will speed up the heating of your home. By correctly using a heated floor thermostat and setting it at the desired temperature, you avoid wasting energy by accidentally overheating your home.
This varies from person-to-person, but generally 21°C is the ideal temperature for living areas. Bedrooms tend to be set slightly cooler at 18°C. You can set this using your underfloor heating control panel.
The underfloor heating temperature you choose can make a big difference to both the comfort of your home and your bank balance. Turning your underfloor heating room thermostats down by just 1 degree could save around £80 and 330kg CO2 per year, according to the Energy Savings Trust.
Should I leave my underfloor heating on all day?
This can depend on the type of underfloor heating system you have installed and your lifestyle. Generally, for a comfortable and welcoming home that isn’t wasting energy, you should set a timer that ensures your heating is on when you need it.
Balancing Underfloor Heating – Step by Step Guide
Wondering how to use underfloor heating thermostats?
When you ‘balance’ an underfloor heating system, you time how long it takes for a room to heat up and cool down, using this information to work out how to schedule your underfloor heating. Try these balancing underfloor heating tips.
- When setting up your timer, use a cold evening and time how long it takes for the underfloor heating to warm up to a comfortable temperature – this is the warm up time.
- Switch the system off, and time how long it takes the system to cool down to cold.
- With these two figures, you can now work out an accurate timing schedule for the underfloor heating heating system. If you know it takes 30 minutes to reach 21°C, you can set the heating to come on half an hour before you arrive home from work or get out of bed.
If this sounds too complicated, you may choose to install a more sophisticated thermostat like Nu-Heat’s neoStat. Many underfloor heating controls come with self-learning functions, and are able to automatically adjust when your heating switches on throughout the year for optimum performance.
What is the most efficient way to control underfloor heating? Warm water underfloor heating is highly efficient, but can be made even more so by making sure you’re balancing underfloor heating in the best way.
There are two main types of warm water underfloor heating and they are controlled in very different ways:
How to control screed underfloor heating
In a screed system, common in new builds, the heating tube is embedded beneath a layer of screed.
It will have a high thermal mass, so you can expect it to take some time to warm. Because of this, screed underfloor heating should be turned on around an hour earlier than an equivalent radiator system. A screed underfloor heating system will hold heat well, meaning that longer “off” periods are possible.
For an efficient system and quick response times, set your underfloor heating temperature to 16°C in “off” periods. This will result in a quicker warm up time as the heating system needs to supply less energy.
How to control low profile and retrofit underfloor heating
Retrofit underfloor heating systems, like LoPro®, or solutions where the heating tube is close to the floor surface will heat up quicker than a traditional screed underfloor heating system.
If you have a low profile system with good heat outputs, you can control your underfloor heating in the same way that you would a radiator system, using your underfloor heating control panel.
Does it matter where heated floor thermostats are located?
Yes, definitely. Underfloor heating room thermostats should be placed in a location where they can receive a free flow of air from the room, to read an accurate temperature for balancing underfloor heating.
It’s important that they are not blocked by items such as curtains, pictures, or furniture. You should also make sure that they are not near any additional heat sources, like a log burner, or draughts.
Do I need to update or replace my existing heating controls?
A heating system should have a boiler thermostat, programmer/timer, and room thermostats (or thermostatic radiator valves with radiators). Providing you have these, it’s generally just a case of understanding how to effectively use them.
If your existing controls are over 14 years old it may pay to upgrade them. Newer, more precise controls could well offer greater savings and comfort levels.
Here’s an example of a newer style of heated floor thermostat, which can be controlled via smartphone.
We’ll cover other types of thermostats further on in this guide, including simple dial thermostat styles.
Controllability is an important consideration when installing underfloor heating – one of the biggest areas of wastage from an underfloor heating system is down to poor underfloor heating controls.
Lifestyle tends to dictate the amount of controllability required and you should consider:
- Will there be a benefit to thermostats that offer remote controllability, enabling the heating to be turned on or off on the way home from work, or in a holiday home?
- Do you spend most of your time at home with a standard routine? If so, a simple dial underfloor heating room thermostat may meet your requirements perfectly.
To help make the choice of underfloor heating controllers and thermostats easier, we look at some of the most popular in our range, explaining what they offer and the projects they are most suited to.
Meet the high quality, hard-wired, Nu-Heat neoStat, wireless neoAir, and standard dial thermostat.
neoStat with optional neoHub and smartphone app
The all-singing, all-dancing neoStat allows you to control your underfloor heating via a downloadable app. It has holiday, temperature hold and temperature override functions. Two key benefits are:
- The energy-saving Optimum Start calculates the amount of heat up time required to ensure warmth when needed, automatically adjusting this throughout the year
- Can be partnered with neoHub to unlock a range of ‘smart’ functions. A great solution if you’re looking for how to control underfloor heating temperature in a precise way.
Programmable heated floor thermostats help improve energy efficiency and responsiveness as rooms are controlled at the precise temperature required throughout the day. They’re particularly suitable where different areas of the house need to be programmed to heat at different times of the day, such as heating bedrooms for shorter periods and living rooms from late afternoon into the evening.
Wireless programmable thermostat
Due to being wireless, these underfloor heating controllers can be fitted into an existing building without the need to chase wiring into the walls, causing less disruption. They offer the same functionality as the hardwired programmable neoStat thermostat, but are often the best choice for renovation projects.
Standard dial thermostat – simple underfloor heating control
- Offers simple and effective individual room-by-room UFH control
- Similar to standard heating controls, so most will be familiar with how it works
- Suitable for the majority of heating projects and home renovations
Smart vs. standard dial underfloor heating controls
Nu-Heat offers a range of programmable and dial thermostats to suit every property. The smart neoStat range can offer remote control of the heating system through a downloadable app.
By upgrading to the neoHub and syncing the neo system to a smartphone or tablet, it opens up features such as geo-location, which enables the heated floor thermostat to switch the underfloor heating on and off depending on the user’s proximity to the property.
The hard-wired neoStat and wireless neoAir make balancing your underfloor heating temperature easy, perfectly timed and set to match your lifestyle and daily routine.
Installing a neoStat floor heating controller
The neoStat is installed like any other wired underfloor heating room thermostat and is suitable for any project. A neoHub – similar to a wireless router – is required to enable remote access to the app.
Each individual neoStat in the property can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet, so there is no need to directly engage with the thermostats. If your home decor is very minimalist, the remote control option, via the downloadable Nu-Heat App, means that underfloor heating controls can be hidden away.
Aside from the standard functions you’d expect from a thermostat, the neo system also offers:
Use your phone location to turn heating off when a certain distance away from home, then back on again when returning. This can be a great back-up that will automatically turn underfloor heating off when the property is empty – perfect for weekends when the heating may be programmed to be on all day.
Delay the start-up of underfloor heating to the latest possible moment, to avoid unnecessary heating and ensure the property is warm at the programmed time.
Optimum Start uses the rate of temperature change information to calculate how long the heating needs to raise the building temperature 1⁰C, then starts the heating accordingly. The neo automatically adjusts the heat-up time throughout the year.
Reduces the set underfloor heating temperature in the property to the frost-protection temperature setting. It will them automatically return to the program mode on the homeowner’s return.
Enables a choice between air temperature, floor temperature, or both. When both sensors are enabled, the floor sensor is used as a floor limiting sensor and is designed to prevent the floor from overheating.
Interested in installing underfloor heating?
Nu-Heat’s thermostat range is available as part of their complete design and supply package for underfloor heating, whether as part of a renewable heating system, or more traditional boiler system. Our experts can help you figure out the best system for you, and how to control underfloor heating efficiently.