Underfloor heating is a form of central heating which uses radiant heating. Underfloor heating takes the form of a 'mat' which is laid under the flooring. This mat is essentially a long heating element. A low electric current is passed through the element which heats according to a thermostat.
Underfloor heating systems are popular because they are easy to install, energy efficient and safe. They emit radiant heat provide more comfort.
How underfloor heating works
Advantages of underfloor heating
·Thermal comfort – radiant heating from the floor is considered superior to many other methods of heating, including convection. The whole room feels more comfortable and thoroughly heated as shown in the diagram.
·Aesthetics – there are no devices placed around the area to disturb aesthetic properties.
·Air quality – the radiant heat generation gives no drying of the air or no dust circulation.
·Energy efficiency – underfloor heating is more efficient in domestic use than alternative systems.
Disadvantages of underfloor heating
·Installation – Underfloor heating is only suitable to be fitted when a floor is replaced. The prohibitive costs of replacing a floor just to fit heating means the two processes are partnered.
·Maintenance – If there is a problem with any parts of the underfloor heating then more often than not the whole system will be investigated, this will be invasive to the floor.
·Compatibility – For certain floors such as those with thick underlay, underfloor heating may be so ineffective that the cost/benefit may not make it practical.