You can’t see it but it will sure keep you toasty, writes Jennifer Veerhuis, about underfloor heating
Expert advice on the best underfloor heating
QWe’re building a new house and we’re considering underfloor heating. Does it actually work and at what point would we need to get it installed?
AWhile there are many different types of heating on the market, underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular.
Underfloor heating is installed during the building process, either when the house is being first built or as part of a renovation. It can be installed under a variety of surfaces including tiles, stone, timber, vinyl, bamboo and carpet, usually over concrete slabs.
Amuheat supplies electric and hydronic underfloor heating systems and director Alfred Vasco (pictured) says both types are popular.
Hydronic systems use pipes and hot water, while electric systems have electric cables.
“Typically hydronic heating is installed in areas that are greater than 100 square metres,” Alfred says.
“When you compare a hydronic heating system to an electric system, the running costs for hydronic are considerably less.”
But, he says, it is not suited to smaller spaces and that’s where electric systems can be used. “If you install hydronic underfloor heating in an area less than 100 square metres it actually costs more to run compared to an electric-based system,” he says.
“Electric underfloor heating systems are popular if someone is doing a bathroom renovation or a kitchen renovation or in a home where they’re trying to heat just one room or two rooms.”
Alfred says underfloor heating can be used as the primary heat source in the cooler months.
“The benefits of a floor heating-based system are that it offers more comfort as the heat is evenly spread throughout the house,” he says. “You don’t have heat concentrated in one corner where the heater has been installed. Heating from the floor creates a comfortable environment.”
A thermostat allows you to control the temperature effectively.
“Also for people who are sensitive to allergies or dust, the underfloor heating doesn’t contribute to those common causes of allergies,” Alfred says. “There’s no moving air and there’s no gas in the space.”