Bare Feet Living: The Benefits of Underfloor Heating
Walk into one of our luxury new-build homes and one thing you might notice is the absence of radiators. For very good reason.
At Brookworth Homes we want to enhance your living experience by bringing superior comfort to your home life. Which is why, in many of our properties, we install underfloor heating.
What makes it better than more traditional heating systems?
In a moment, we will take a look at five major advantages of underfloor heating.
What is underfloor heating and how does it work?
Rather than relying on radiators or storage heaters, underfloor heating – as the name suggests – warms your home through a system installed below your flooring.
There are two types of underfloor heating:
a ‘wet’ system (water underfloor heating)
a ‘dry’ system (electric underfloor heating).
With water underfloor heating, a network of pipes is laid out on a subfloor below your feet. These are connected to your boiler and pump hot water around the room, heating the flooring above.
Electric underfloor heating uses electric coils to warm your floors. There are three different types of cable that can be fitted, depending on the type of flooring and the size and shape of your rooms: loose wire, matting, and foil mat, which is specifically designed for laminate flooring.
So now you know the different types of underfloor heating, what are the main benefits of using it to heat your home?
1. More control
Underfloor heating gives you more control.
It allows you to regulate the temperature room by room. So if there are individual rooms in your house that do not need to be heated, you can save energy – and save yourself some money.
Or it might be that you prefer a cooler temperature in your bedroom for sleeping at night while preserving a warmer environment in the main living areas. Again, that is easily achieved. Different rooms can be heated to different temperatures, at different times of the day.
In Brookworth Homes properties, our underfloor heating is controlled through a Heatmiser neoStat Series Smart Thermostat and the Control4 Smart Home system. This allows you to set the perfect temperature for a room, from wherever you are – whether that is at home or elsewhere. So when you are out and about enjoying a bracing winter walk in the countryside, you can ensure your home is warm and cosy, ready for your return.
2. Less maintenance
Underfloor heating, once installed, requires very little maintenance.
Servicing is rarely required for electric underfloor heaters while water underfloor heating systems only need the occasional check to make sure everything is running as it should.
Furthermore, water underfloor heating uses continuous plastic pipes. These have no joints, which means you do not have to worry about leaks.
By contrast, there are many problems that can beset a traditional central heating system over time, from air pockets, radiator leaks, and thermostat valves seizing up to faults with a diverter valve, and the accumulation of debris or sludge in a radiator necessitating powerflushing.
Most people expect to have to bleed their radiators for trapped air now and again but when this becomes a frequent occurrence, it could be a sign of a more serious issue that requires the attention of a professional heating engineer.
3. More space
Underfloor heating opens up the space available in your rooms.
Radiators, particularly older models, can be bulky and awkward. They place limits on how you decorate your room and arrange your furniture.
With no visible radiators, underfloor heating frees your walls for shelving units, artwork, a snugly fitting sofa, or whatever else you want to do with them.
4. Less energy
Underfloor heating uses less energy.
Heat is distributed more evenly in an underfloor heating system than in a system using radiators. The floor itself becomes a ‘radiant heater’. That means the system does not need to be on for long before the whole room reaches the temperature you desire, thus saving energy.
It also means that underfloor heaters can use water at a lower temperature than radiators. This results in your boiler being much more energy-efficient.
Radiators only heat the areas where they are situated. What you get is uneven temperatures across a room, with several colder spots.
By contrast, underfloor heaters result in no random areas without heat and they maintain a consistent temperature around the room.
Not only that but, with underfloor heaters, floors stay warm – even when there is a draught or your windows are open.
5. Superior comfort
Underfloor heating makes your home far more comfortable.
Imagine being able to walk around in bare feet during the height of winter. With underfloor heating you can. So if you go to the bathroom or pop down to the kitchen without your slippers during the night, you can return to bed without ruing the decision to forego your footwear.
Radiators can exacerbate certain health conditions like asthma by making the air dry. Conversely, underfloor heating can actually make your home more hygienic. The warmer floor temperature will be loved by your feet but hated by dust mites.
Plus, as we saw above, underfloor heating gives you an evenly heated room.
By contrast, the heat from a radiator centres on the area nearest the radiator. This leads to large disparities in temperature in the same room. One area can feel uncomfortably hot even while the majority of the room is still too cold.
Life without radiators
We are so used to seeing radiators – in our homes, hotels, and offices – that we have perhaps stopped noticing them.
Once you have experienced living with underfloor heating, however, the presence of radiators in other people’s homes is something you will become acutely aware of.
You might also find that you quickly get used to walking around your house in bare feet. Toasty warm bare feet.