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Why Underfloor Heating Is More Energy Efficient

Apr 12, 2008
Probably one of the most popular central heating facilities is the radiator heater. However, underfloor heating systems are now beginning to be more widespread for household heating, as well as in some offices. This heating system is not a new concept and has been around for many a century since the Roman period. Underfloor heating can also be traced back to Ancient Korea, whereby heating was spread from the kitchen area.

History

Before the advent of radiator and underfloor heating systems, the Romans were one of the first to introduce the central heating systems in public buildings and bathhouses. This was not readily available to everybody, especially to those who did not have enough money. Only the rich and wealthy were privileged enough to own one of these. However, maintaining this type of heating system required a lot of manual labour and twenty-four hour attention. Therefore, it was a costly process.

In ancient Korea, the warmest part of the house was the kitchen. Seeing that most of the heating would come from the kitchen, a facility was built to help heat travel through flues and then be distributed and different rooms. This type of underfloor heating system was known as the Ondol, which literally translated meant 'warm stone'. With just one heating, the floors of each room would remain warm and heated for a longer period.

The system inspired American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in the 1900s to build an underfloor heating system in his building having experienced its benefits in Korea and Japan. He invented the radiant underfloor heaters, which had hot water running through water pipes as opposed to hot air. This was then began a new trend in central heating and has since been useful in households as well as public buildings.

Modern Day

The modern underfloor heating can also be used as a cooling system during the hot summer months, which is much more beneficial to your health and energy efficient than using air conditioning devices. Electric floor heating systems have very low installation costs compared to normal radiator heating. All that is required for them is a thermostat, and can cost up to a couple of hundred pounds or less. These are normally installed in the kitchen or bedroom.

Radiator heating generally circulate heat by pushing the hot air up towards the ceiling, which leave people feeling warm in their upper body but not on the lower part of their body. Furthermore extra heat is wasted as the hot air gets trapped up at the top, which is why there is always a cool bottom and warm top half.

With underfloor heating the heated air circulates more in the bottom half and around the room without any hot air being wasted. Unlike radiators they are relatively maintenance free, so once they have been installed you will not have to worry about bleeding air and a good quality system could last up to twenty-five years. Not only that, it will cut the cost of your heating bill by half as the effects of underfloor heating is that the warmth can last for an extended period.
About the Author
Anna Stenning is an expert on underfloor heating systems, having installed one in her house very recently.
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