Underfloor heating systems are specified based on the heat loss potential through the walls, windows and flooring.
When it comes to installing the systems, preparation and planning is essential.
The location of the manifold, for instance, should be in a central place to ensure minimal pipework runs.
The type of flooring installed should also be carefully considered.
Underfloor heating can be used beneath carpet. To make the most of the installation, a maximum TOG rating of 1.0 should be considered for the underlay whilst a 1.5 TOG rating is advised for the carpet itself.
However, ceramic tiles are the best floor covering for underfloor heating as the material is a natural convector of heat.
When installing a timber floor covering over an underfloor heating system, it is advisable to check what the maximum floor surface temperature is with its manufacturer.
A floor sensor could also be added to make sure that the maximum temperature is not exceeded.
Older properties can benefit from underfloor heating but, if the system is installed in a modern property built to high air tightness standards, then the energy efficiency returns will be higher.
To prevent underfloor heating pipes from freezing in the winter, anti-freeze can be added into the pipework but it is important that it is flushed from the system before commissioning.
However, there is a low risk of the pipes freezing once the system is operational since underfloor heating is kept at a low surface temperature.
Underfloor heating should also be kept on at all times as, unlike radiators, the system takes some time to heat up.
Whilst radiators warm the air around them before distributing it around the room, underfloor heating systems heat a larger surface with low temperature water.
It creates radiant heat that is of a consistent temperature throughout the room and is distributed evenly to prevent any cold spots.