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Underfloor heating - is it economical?

(12 Posts)
poppycock6 Fri 21-Feb-14 22:41:35

Just that really. Building plans in the pipeline and wondering whether to try underfloor heating.

Hoopalong Fri 21-Feb-14 22:46:36

Can i ask if it is too? I don't understand how it can be because doesn't it heat bottom of furniture too?

januarysnowdrop Fri 21-Feb-14 22:53:16

We have underfloor heating in our kitchen and it's ludicrously expensive! Installed by the previous owners who left it on when we moved in - I was absolutely shocked by our first electricity bill and quite relieved when I realised what was causing it and that it could easily be turned off. Now we only ever use it if it's absolutely freezing (haven't used it at all this winter) - it is really lovely and I can see why people with more £££ than us would like having it.

MoreBeta Fri 21-Feb-14 22:53:52

I have electric under floor heating in my kitchen under the tiles.

I think wet system under floor heating is a lot cheaper to run than electric (it works off your boiler) but possibly more expensive to install. You need manifold installing -its not like sticking a radiator under your floorboards.

MrsTaraPlumbing Sat 22-Feb-14 11:48:45

Firstly, you need to be clear about whether you mean electric UFH or WET ufh.
Wet is like a big radiator under the floor! the liquid running through the pipes is warmed from your boiler.

SEcondly - there is them the question of how it is installed - different insullation materials make a big difference. What the other posts said about electric being expensive is NOT necessarily true - though it may be in their home.

There are also issues about the type of heat given into the room and where it is. Most of heat from rads is distributed by convection - ie air flowing around the room. So the position of the rad and air flow is crucial. A larger part of the heat from UFH is radiant heat. Also being at the floor and coming up all over the floor means you won't have cold pockets of air in some parts of the room.

Tell us a bit more about what you have in mind.

Belindabelle Sat 22-Feb-14 12:15:30

I love it!

We have it in our extension which comprises kitchen, dining area, sitting area and utility.

Proper wet system with 3 wall thermometers which control different zones.

The floor doesn't seem that warm to the touch but its like magic. The whole area is always lovely and warm. No cold draughty areas like the rest of our victorian house which is heated by cast iron radiators. Mind you we have top notch insulation and windows in the extension.

In the hall, utility, toilet area the pipes are set into a concrete screed. In the other areas they are laid on boards with plywood on top. We have flagstones throughout. The utility area conducts the heat better and feels warmish when it's on. But because the boiler and pipes are situated in that area I never have the underfloor heating on in that zone.

As for the cost well I am not sure. It cost more to install than radiators would have. But radiators take up valuable wall space (we have a lot of glass walls). I haven't had a gas bill yet either. But to be honest I do t really care what it costs. It is just so lovely to have a warm draught free space to live in.

maisie123 Sat 22-Feb-14 12:21:12

I had underfloor heating put in kitchen. Six weeks later the (quarterly) electricity bill came and my electric use was triple that of same period previous year. Haven't had it on since.

toomuchtooyoung Sat 22-Feb-14 13:05:56

we have wet ufh throughout the house, on various surfaces. installed when we gutted the house.

it was quite expensive to install but is much cheaper to run. it takes quite a while to heat up but once it has it is retained longer, feels less stuffy in the rooms, have more wall space, the dcs love rolling about on it. we have electric ufh in the loft and heats up really quick so it doesn't need to be on long.

will be extending current wet ufh into new extension when built

the only problem is when we go to someone else's house, we really feel the cold on our feet!

PigletJohn Sat 22-Feb-14 14:18:51

Energy from electricity costs three times as much as energy from gas, so electric heating will always be expensive to run..
Wet heating (driven by your boiler) is expensive to install EXCEPT that if you are building or converting, and are going to lay a new floor anyway (not just a new floor coverig) then you will not have the extra cost of digging up and relaying, so it becomes a realistic option. It does have to be done by someone who knows how.i

MoreBeta Sat 22-Feb-14 20:36:29

We have a thermostat in the floor, it is only on to heat the floor in our kitchen and not the whole room. In fact, it is definitely not to heat the room as it is long low kitchen that gets hot with cooking. It is only there for comfort when I walk a about in bare feet in the morning. We had really good insulation put under the electric heat mat as well to stop the heat going down into the earth. All the heat goes upwards.

Liara Sat 22-Feb-14 20:59:35

I had electric in our previous house, wet in this one.

Electric was nice on the bathroom floor (didn't have it anywhere else) but very expensive.

Wet in most of the house just doesn't work for me. Too slow to warm up, and then the room can end up too hot when you don't need it. It also seems to dry out the air too much for my taste.

We have it off these days and just use the log burner to warm us up. By far the nicest kind of heat.

PigletJohn Sat 22-Feb-14 21:12:48

wet ufl is most often laid in concrete floors (which are themselves laid on thick insulating slabs). The result is that there is a time-lag in warming up and cooling down as the mass concrete gains and loses its heat. If you are at home all day it might suit you, otherwise you will have to experiment how much earlier to set your timer.

wet can also be laid in trays between the joists of timber floors, you will need engineered wood flooring or ply. Natural wood will shrink and crack. It does not have much of a time lag because there is not much thermal mass.

you always need a lot of insulation underneath or you will be warming the worms.

It is possible that electric ufh might be economically viable if you had a large solar voltaic array which produced more than enough.

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