Don’t Forget Your Underfloor Heating Insulation

With winter fast approaching, now is the time to review your heating system. Is it efficient? Is it cost effective? Is it environmentally friendly? Is it as effective as underfloor heating? padlófűtés

If you’ve answered ‘no’ to any of the above, you might be in need of a new heating system.

Do you want a heating system that is cost effective? Hardly needs any maintenance? Is environmentally friendly? Reduces house dust? Doesn’t require ugly radiators?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, the heating system for you is underfloor heating. And now that the children are back to school after the long summer holidays, you couldn’t pick a better time to have your home fitted with the latest underfloor heating system.

Underfloor heating heats up not just the floor but the room as well. The underfloor heating system acts like a low level radiator that gently heats the room from the feet up and requires approximately 15% less energy than convection heating. Underfloor heating can be installed into any home: the whole house or a single room, for example the conservatory, giving you the freedom to use it all year round. How quickly the room heats up depends on its U Value. U Value is an industry term for the total measure of resistance of each component that makes up the fabric of the building. If you have a modern building, they retain heat better than an older building because they are constructed using the latest materials. However, for both types of building, it is advisable to have underfloor insulation fitted to optimise the heat from the underfloor heating system.

Underfloor heating can be installed without using insulation, but remember, heat will always be attracted towards the cold, thus the heat will be dispersed into the sub-floor, before it can heat up the room, which means more energy is used. Whereas a high quality thermal barrier will slow the process of heat lost into the sub-floor, improve the overall performance of the underfloor heating, increase the speed of the initial warm up time, and consequently reduce electricity costs. A good choice of underfloor heating is extruded polystyrene foam. Polystyrene has high thermal insulation properties, a high compressive strength that is capable of supporting normal foot traffic, it is waterproof, rot resistant, light-weight, easy-to-handle, can be cut and shaped easily with a sharp knife, and is available in various depths from 10 mm to 60 mm.

How much underfloor heating insulation to be used depends on what type of building is being fitted. The thicker the insulation that can be fitted – the better, and for a new build this is easily incorporated into the building plans. In a refurbishment project the thickness of the insulation used will be dependent on how high the finished floor level can be.

To fix underfloor heating insulation boards to the sub-floor depends on the type of floor. For cement sub-floors the underfloor heating insulation boards will need a flexible, water based floor tile adhesive. For wooden sub-floors, first ensure the floor-boards are firmly fixed to the joists before applying a flexible floor tile adhesive. Even if you don’t plan to lay heating cables across the whole floor, completely insulating the floor will mean a warmer floor/room overall. Although insulation for your underfloor heating may seem like an additional cost, it will pay you back many times because of the energy usage saved.

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