Borders Underfloor Heating
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How Underfloor Heating Works

21st Century Technology from a 1st Century Innovation

We can all enjoy the benefits of underfloor heating in our new homes, major renovation projects and commercial buildings. Discerning house buyers and builders know that as well as being supremely comfortable, underfloor heating is a more efficient and economical method of heating new homes. It is now widely accepted as the most efficient form of heating across the UK and mainland Europe. Many architects and designers in the UK now specify underfloor heating as their preferred method of heating a new property. Developers too are more open to the idea that underfloor heating actually sells houses. By being able to demonstrate lower running costs, this becomes a very attractive selling point. It makes sense for new build houses to incorporate a number of energy efficient initiatives, such as solar thermal, wind turbines, super insulation, heat pumps, etc. The use of underfloor heating coupled with energy efficient heat sources will decrease the carbon footprint of any building into which it is installed. Renewables

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animation of the way underfloor heating works
Underfloor heating system

animation of the way a radiator system works
Radiator system
Warm water is circulated through a network of reinforced polyethylene pipes laid in the floor at the time of construction. The underfloor heating pipes are embedded within concrete or a sand/cement mixture, which provides continuous thermal contact between the pipes and the underside of the floor surface. The water is distributed to the pipes through solid one-piece manifolds at between 35-55°C and heats the floor surface to a temperature in the range of 22-27°C. Heat is emitted into the room as approximately 60% radiant heat, 20% convection, and 20% conduction. Each room has its own circuit and is individually controlled by a room thermostat. When the room reaches its pre-set temperature the thermostat sends a signal to an electrically operated valve on the manifold, closing that particular circuit. The floor effectively becomes one large heat store giving off a gentle, even, radiant heat to the whole room.

Unlike a radiator system, which you can programme to come on twice a day, underfloor heating is always active, and is normally set to achieve one of two target temperatures. When the building is occupied, a temperature of around 21°C is programmed into the system, while a setback temperature of around 17°C is sufficient for night time or when the building is unoccupied. Controlling in this way maintains comfortable even heat all the time. Once the floor has become warm it takes a very small amount of energy to keep it warm, whereas with a radiator system, the radiators have to be warmed up from cold using very high temperatures each time the system comes on.

A fully automatic option allows you to program each room with its own time and temperature parameters.

photo of intelligent control master console

There are various ways to install underfloor heating, and here at Borders Underfloor Heating we keep it simple. The simplest and most efficient way is to have as much of the surface of our 17mm pipe in contact with the thermal mass (the concrete or infill) as possible.

Some companies use insulation with grooves for the pipe to be fitted into, but this means that only the top curve of the pipe is giving its heat to the floor. This doesn't make sense to us because the entire surface of the pipe is capable of transferring heat to the concrete.

Some companies overcome this by fitting metal plates into the insulation, but these are expensive and some can double the cost of your heating system.

A slab plus screed or beam and block floor gives the best heat output and you can find floor construction diagrams with links to illustrative photos here.


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Underfloor heating supplied and installed throughout the UK by Borders Underfloor Heating.
Our system carries a full ten year all risks guarantee!
Quality comes as standard.

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