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The Benefits of Underfloor Heating


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Modern underfloor heating systems (also sometimes referred to as radiant heating systems) are growing in popularity in the UK. Low operating costs, low environmental impact and pleasant home temparature make those systems a success.

Plumbers often present underfloor heating system as a modern technology that is being heavily used in the mainland Europe and gaining hearts in the UK. However, the plumbers are wrong. Underfloor heating was used thousands of years ago by the Romans, to run hot air under their floor to centrally heat their buildings.

A network of small pipes was used to run hot air from a central furnace and heat up the building. The hot floors created a warm air convection which heated up the main living space.

Underfloor Heating Systems - ModernTimes

Modern underfloor heating systems that are installed by many professional plumbers in the UK use either hot water (wet systems) or electric heating units (dry systems). Wet underfloor heating systems, normally installed by trained plumbers use pipes that are buried in screen or run underneath the floor surface. The water running in the pipes are a transferring medium of heat from a central boiler into the floor and onto the living space of the room.

Even Heat Distribution of Underfloor Heating Systems

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Keeping the floor warm ensure even distribution of heat across the entire space of the room. Furthermore, hot feet and cooler air of the face height is much more comfortable for the body than radiated heat from a concentrated point (similarly to a typical radiator).

Underfloor Heating Systems Efficiency

Over the last few decades most plumbers installed traditional radiators which run at high temperatures or 80c or over. In contrast, underfloor heating systems, which many modern plumbers install these days, run a much reduced energy requirement, thus saving on heating bills and CO2 emissions. An underfloor heating system uses water at a temperature of 45-65c, which in turn warms the floor to a temperature of 25-28c. This temperature creates a warm and very comfortable surface to walk on and still heats the room to an evenly distributed temperature.

Underfloor Heating Systems Cost Savings

Underfloor heating systems are very cost effective. When installed by a capable plumber, a good system can result saving of 15-40% on your heating bills compared to a traditional radiators system. This is also important to the growing concern about the impact of heating on global warming, as the underfloor heating systems have far reduced CO2 emissions, thus reducing the impact on the environment. Furthermore, underfloor heating systems work very well with ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels, which further improves their eco-credits and reduce running costs.

Underfloor Heating Systems Visual Benefits

Aesthetically, underfloor heating systems are superior to traditional radiators system because there are no radiators on the walls. Rather than installting wall hung radiators, your plumber will hide the heating system from view under the floor. The plumber can remove old radiators to make more space and clear off the walls from old and unsightly radiators, making more room and improving your flexibility to place furniture all around the room. What’s more, underfloor heating ensures wet floors dry up far quicker, and there are no peeling of wall paper and paint discoloration. Since underfloor heating is buried under the floor and is a fully closed system, there are no ‘ticking’ or ‘clunking’ noises that can come from radiators.

Underfloor heating has an additional benefit of reducing the moisture content in the home, thus reducing dust mites and other unwanted parasites. This can be important to sufferers of asthma and other breathing complications.


This page has been written with contributions from qualified plumbers from Essex and heating engineers from Sutton. Several of the company's plumbing and heating engineers from Berkshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our plumbers from Hammersmith and our Hendon experienced heating engineers.