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An Overview of Electric Underfloor Heating Systems

Jun 11, 2008
Underfloor heating is considered a modernised heating concept and is used throughout the world. However underfloor heating is not a new phenomenon as the heating system has been around since the days of the Romans. It is believed that in those days Romans constructed their buildings with voids, which enabled circulation of warm air to flow under the floor and through the walls. The air was heated by an outside open fire and required several people to look after the system. Since then times have changed, however one aspect has remained constant and that is the desire to be comfortable in all circumstances.

The Case of Underfloor Heating

Today's underfloor heating is a sophisticated version of the Roman principle, and the system is not restricted to just domestic dwellings, as many businesses have implemented the heating system into their commercial properties. One of the main reasons home and business owners have opted for underfloor heating is because of the environmental benefits - underfloor heating is an efficient way to heat a building. The heating system operates at lower temperatures and consumes less energy, which means less CO2 emissions. The lower operating temperatures maximises the efficiency of the heating pump, and therefore the pump will last longer. Research has shown that energy saving is from 15% to 40% with underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating can either be warm water based or electricity driven, depending upon the precise requirements.

Warm Water Based

Warm water underfloor heating, also referred to as a wet system, uses a series of continuous pipes or tubes that are laid into the floor through which warm water circulates at about 50C. The entire setup can incur high installation charges, however due to the energy saving features, cost reductions on heating are made in the long run. Warm water underfloor heating offers complete flexibility in terms of pipe types, installation specifics and control options.

Electrical Systems

Electric underfloor heating, also referred to as a dry system, uses electric cables or heating mats to generate the same results as a warm water system. The system is cheaper in terms of installation charges, and it also takes less time to install than the wet system. Electric underfloor heating is ideal for installing into buildings that are already constructed.

Advantages of Underfloor Heating

The foremost benefit is the comfort level extended. Unlike traditional heating system which works on heating a room from the top down, underfloor heating emits heat from the floor upwards, nor are there any cold spots in the room.

Another key advantage of the system is the setup aesthetics. The heating structure is in the floor and therefore maximises space in the room as furniture does not need to take into account the location of any radiators.

The heat control of the system is straight forward. Some underfloor heating systems are sensitive to the room and floor temperature and adjust automatically to any external changes. Or manual control is an option and individual rooms can be set at a temperature which is agreeable to all occupants.

Underfloor heating does not create any extra dust and helps to reduce dust mites, which is a benefit to people with lung problems, such as asthma.

Another joy of underfloor heating is the silence. Unlike conventional heating systems there isn't any annoying noises coming from the motor, or the radiators as they heat up.


Underfloor heating has been around since the Roman's time. The heating system fell out of vogue over the ages, but since the 1960's in the UK underfloor heating has seen a revival as people began to understand the system and realised the benefits the system would offer them.
About the Author
Justin Clover wrote the Article 'An Overview of Electric Underfloor Heating Systems' and recommends you visit http://www.floorheating.ltd.uk for more information on DIY underfloor heating.
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