The Benefits of Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating has become increasingly more popular in the UK because of its ability to provide an efficient and uniform heat distribution. The radiant heat provided at floor level creates a large heated surface that dissipates heat evenly into the living space, in contrast to a radiator which will produce convection currents that rise to the highest part of the room, meaning that a significant amount of the heat is lost at ceiling height.

This makes underfloor heating more efficient for two main reasons;

  • The heat emitted is used more effectively, resulting in less wasted heat
  • The heat required to enable this is generally delivered between 35-55°C compared with 65-75°C for radiators which means that the heat source will operate for a shorter amount of time and therefore use less energy.

These energy savings combined with silent running and increased flexibility for room layouts gives a solution that will add real value to a property.

The Most Efficient Means Of Heat Delivery

 Family Enjoying Underfloor Heating Comfort

You could be forgiven for thinking that underfloor heating isn’t any cheaper to run that a radiator system. After all, the end result is a room heated up to a given temperature. In fact, given how luxurious underfloor heating feels compared to a radiator system, you could be excused from thinking that underfloor heating is more expensive to run that radiators.

In fact, when operated with heat pumps, underfloor heating yields lower running costs than traditional radiator systems.

Why is this?

LOW TEMPERATURE = LOW COST = LOW CARBON

To understand why underfloor heating the most efficient distribution option for your property, we need to understand how heat pumps operate.

Heat pumps extract solar energy that is stored either in the ground in the case of ground source heat pumps, or in the air in the case of air source heat pumps. This energy is then moved by the heat pump into the property to comfortably provide all of your heating and hot water requirements. The closer the temperature difference between the energy source (the ground or the air) and the energy destination (the house), the more efficiently the heat pump operates.

Underfloor heating systems incorporate a much large amount of pipe than a traditional radiator system, and therefore contain a larger volume of water. This means that to deliver the same amount of heat to a room, underfloor heating can achieve this with water at a lower temperature. And low temperature is the key, because the lower the flow temperature, the more efficiently a heat pump will operate, resulting in even lower running costs. Low temperature in the context of a heating system generally means 35°C - 50°C.

SO, WHAT ABOUT RADIATORS?

Don’t worry – if radiators are your only option this isn’t a problem. It’s all about the temperature at which your distribution system operates. Low temperature is achieved by having a large volume of water in the distribution system, which in the case of radiators simply means that the radiators need to have sufficient volume for the heat pump to operate at low temperature.

For every single project, we conduct a detailed room-by-room heat loss analysis, which includes a design for your distribution system. Depending on the thermal performance of your property, you might need to upgrade the size of some of your radiators. This is a straightforward job for your installer, and the cost benefits in the long run – by having a more efficient heating system – far outweighs the cost of the upgrade.
 

The Obvious Choice For New Builds

Underfloor heating is the obvious choice for new build developments. Underfloor heating systems designed to be laid directly into screed are the most cost-effective option, with only a very small cost differential compared to the traditional radiator option.

Underfloor heating can work with a variety of heat sources such as gas and oil fired boilers as well as renewable technologies such as air and ground source heat pumps. It can also be installed to almost any floor type from concrete slab, timber joist and as a retro fit system over existing floors

The benefits of choosing underfloor are numerous:

  • Optimise Space
    By choose underfloor heating, you don’t take up valuable wall and floor space by hanging radiators, giving homeowners the best flexibility for their room layouts
     
  • Luxurious Feeling
    The feeling of a warm floor beneath your feet creates a feeling of luxury which cannot be replicated by any other form of distribution system
     
  • Low Running Costs
    Underfloor heating systems are very efficient when they are designed and installed correctly. By enabling low temperature distribution, you get the best out of your heat pump.
     

Why Choose Alto Energy

EMMETI

Alto Energy works in partnership with Emmeti UK to provide a premium underfloor heating package. All Emmeti products are made to the highest international standards, complying with EN and ISO requirements and all products carry a guarantee and manufacturer’s warranty compliant with BEAMA Underfloor Heating terms.

Emmeti has been present in the UK for over 15 years, and operating throughout Europe for 40 years, and they currently manufacture over 44 MILLION meters of pipe each year. Our staff are highly experienced working with the Emmeti underfloor heating system, and we are always amazed at the minimal number of faults reported on system components, which is quite unprecedented in the plumbing and heating industry.

DESIGNED WITH HEAT PUMPS IN MIND

 Underfloor Heating Design Drawing

At Alto Energy we have over 100 years combined experience working with heat pump and underfloor heating products. By choosing Alto Energy for your underfloor heating system, you ensure that the system has been designed with the heat pump in mind.

Heat pumps operate very differently from boiler systems, and so it is very important to ensure that the underfloor heating system is designed appropriately. In order to optimise the low temperature design, the following factors all need to be considered:

  • Individual room heat loss and ventilation rate
  • Pipe spacings
  • Floor coverings
  • Design star rating under MCS
  • RHI funding

It is a requirement of the MCS standard that the distribution system is incorporated into the overall design o the heat pump system. If the heat pump is eligible for RHI payments, the design of the underfloor system directly impacts the amount of funding you receive.
 

Contact Us

So if you are looking at installing a heat pump, and are interested in combining it with underfloor heating, please get in touch with us.

Our underfloor heating service includes the following:

  • Floorplans with pipe layouts
  • Pipe layout tables with pipe spacings and actuator quantities
  • Details of zoning
  • Balancing details
  • Manifold drawings and arrangement
  • Laminated A3 drawings sent to site when requested

You might be surprised to see that our pricing for fully designed underfloor heating is very competitive.