No need to envy those lucky peo­ple un­der­floor heat­ing. Get it in­stalled be­fore win­ter sets in.

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - FRONT PAGE -

The last thing you want to do on a cold morn­ing is get out of bed.

But imag­ine if you could step out on to a warm car­pet... Sounds bliss­ful doesn’t it? Well, many peo­ple dream of having un­der­floor heat­ing.

In a sur­vey, a third of peo­ple said they’d like it in their new home when they next move.

De­sir­able as it may be, un­der­floor heat­ing can seem like an ex­pen­sive and dis­rup­tive home im­prove­ment, but it’s of­ten more af­ford­able and eas­ier to fit than you might think. There are two types – elec­tric and wet or hy­dronic, which cir­cu­late warm wa­ter between pipes un­der the floor and the boiler.

If, like me, you thought the pipes have to be laid in a new con­crete floor, you’d be wrong. With some wet sys­tems, the plumber can lift up the ex­ist­ing floor cov­er­ing, fit the heat­ing pan­els, lay ply­wood on top and then re­place the floor­cov­er­ing (as­sum­ing it’s not dam­aged).

Most types of floor­cov­er­ing are suit­able, in­clud­ing car­pet, tiles, vinyl, lam­i­nate and wood, al­though it should be in­su­lated un­der­neath to pre­vent ex­ces­sive heat loss. While it’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to have un­der­floor heat­ing in some rooms and ra­di­a­tors in oth­ers, the for­mer is more en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

It works at a lower tem­per­a­ture to ra­di­a­tors and yet de­liv­ers the same level of com­fort, sav­ing you money be­cause the boiler or other heat source doesn’t have to work as hard and so uses less en­ergy.

A ra­di­a­tor heats the air im­me­di­ately above it, with the heat ris­ing to the ceil­ing and then fall­ing in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion as it cools, whereas an un­der­floor sys­tem heats the en­tire floor from the floor up, pro­vid­ing a more even heat through­out the room. This re­duces the con­stant air cir­cu­la­tion caused by ra­di­a­tors, which cre­ates draughts and dis­trib­utes dust.

If your home has a ground, air or wa­ter source heat pump, or you’re con­sid­er­ing in­stalling one, this is the per­fect part­ner. Heat pumps work at their most ef­fi­cient at low-wa­ter-out­put temperatures and so having a low-tem­per­a­ture heat emit­ter, such as un­der­floor heat­ing, is ideal. Both heat pumps and boil­ers can heat wa­ter to the lower tem­per­a­ture needed, but heat pumps do it more ef­fi­ciently than boil­ers.

It is, of course, im­por­tant to get your un­der­floor heat­ing from a rep­utable man­u­fac­turer that of­fers a guar­an­tee – some man­u­fac­tur­ers guar­an­tee their heat­ing pipes for up to 50 years – and to use a plumber or heat­ing en­gi­neer with ex­pe­ri­ence of fit­ting sys­tems like yours. So how much does it cost? Prices ob­vi­ously vary from sys­tem to sys­tem and home to home. Wet un­der­floor heat­ing for a three-bed­room house costs around £2,100 to £2,600, ac­cord­ing to Ask for Un­der­floor. Visit www. ask­forun­der­floor.org.uk for more in­for­ma­tion on prices.

Pic­tures: PA Photo/www.Ask­ForUn­der­floor.org.uk

Above, a room with un­der­floor heat­ing; right, Polyp­ipe Solid Floor un­der­floor heat­ing

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