Under the Skin of Underfloor Heating

Underfloor Heating (UFH) is now a major selling point for homes. Nigel Sanger,
Divisional Director Technical Support at JG Speedfit, discusses the ‘hidden
benefits’ of UFH that can be offered to homeowners, and what to look out for
when commissioning and installing these systems in new houses.

Without doubt, the phrase on prospective homebuyers’ lips is Underfloor Heating (UFH). These systems have been slowly growing in popularity and are now seen more like a feature of the home, as opposed to just a means of heating your property.
Crunching the numbers shows that this isn’t just a fad either. According to AMA Research, the UFH market grew by 6 per cent in 2017 and is forecast to grow by a further 7 per cent in 2018.
Rather than being confined to luxury homes of the wealthy, it is now a much
more affordable mainstream option.Concerns over rising fuel bills is also driving UFH specification. However, UFH is still relatively new compared to the age-old technology of radiators. As such, confusion still exists around this system. A survey by Which? showed that 39% of underfloor heating owners believe it cost them more on energy, but 40% say their energy bills stayed the same. Consumers may also
be wary on costs of installation, which can rack up to thousands of pounds,
adding to already inflated house purchase prices.
For property developers, what this means is they cannot afford to hesitate and miss the boat, but they must also be clear on the value that UFH offers.
While UFH’s main selling point is that it can rightly lower fuel bills, developers
can also capitalise on other more intangible benefits that UFH offers, which
contributes to a healthier home overall.
One of the big reasons to install UFH into new homes and developments is the
thermal comfort it can bring. Like the sun, UFH uses radiant heat to distribute warmth. UFH works by distributing a lower temperature of warm water
through a circuit of pipes beneath the finished floor. This heat then rises through
the floor and produces a more even temperature for your body and the room.
Radiators on the other hand transfer energy using convection, heating the air above and around the radiator at a much higher temperature. This results in the warm air rising, making the floor the coolest place in the room, while the mass of warm air is at ceiling level.
A conventional radiator can be as hot as 75°C, whilst an UFH system has a much lower and safer surface temperature of between 25-27°C.UFH is also significantly quieter too. There is less creaking of pipes or water flow noise, and is virtually silent to run.

A Room With A View

In a nation where housing shortages and decreasing house sizes are dominating headlines, consumers are always on the lookout for more ways to increase their square meterage and space in their properties.This is where one of the biggest benefits of UFH really shows. By removing bulky and unsightly radiators, it will free up wall space and gives more bang for your buck on real estate space, making
homes more aesthetically pleasing on the eye too.

The Healthy Choice

One of the less documented benefits of UFH is the way it promotes healthier and safer living. By using radiant heat to heat a room, it means there is less moisture
and lower air movement, which may help remove dust allergens that causes
irritation in lungs and in the throat. UFH is also much safer, particularly for children. Removing hot radiators means there are no sharp edges to bump into,nor are there any hot pipes or radiators to accidentally touch, a constant danger and worry for parents.

All Under Control

With traditional radiators and single thermostats, it is inevitable that there will be wasted heat. Quite often, not every room needs to be heated in a home,
and some rooms may benefit from more or less heat than others.
This is not the case when using UFH. UFH can be combined with smart controls to
create zonal heating, with individual or multi-room temperature control. Using
the JG Aura Smart thermostats multizone heating can be achieved simply and easily.
With lower water operating temperatures and more efficient heating control, significant savings can be achieved on fuel bills.

A Flexible, Dependable Solution

As the UFH market heats up, property developers must be wise to the options available to work from. Using ill-fitting or inadequate solutions will not only cost
more in the long term in terms of capital,labour, materials and maintenance, but
it can also be disastrous for reputation When specifying UFH systems, always
confirm drawings are made using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, a service which JG Speedfit offers free of charge. This allows any changes in specification to be easily accommodated and made quickly,resulting in less delays to projects. If UFH
systems are optional extras that are discussed on a case-by-case basis, CAD Drawings will also convey confidence and professionalism in the service.

Also, look for cost savings through materials. Pipes like JG Layflat®, used for installing UFH come in a variety of sizes and coil lengths. Any leftover pipe can
be carried over to the next property or development. With efficient push-fit manifolds, you can also ensure that installation is fast and hassle-free, saving on labour time.

Finally, pipes and fittings must be compliant with building and regulatory requirements, while UFH systems must be commissioned and tested accordingly once installed. Work with manufacturers like JG Speedfit who can offer advice and guidance on best practices, all under one roof.

For more about JG Speedfit its UFH services, please visit https://www.
johnguest.com/speedfit/underfloorheating/

Modern Builder Magazine

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