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Why Choose Underfloor Heating?
What Is Underfloor Heating?
Underfloor heating is the most luxurious form of heating as its radiant heat is evenly distributed throughout the room—wall to wall, floor to ceiling—right where you feel it the most.
Hard floor surfaces are warm to the touch and with no air being blown around it is totally silent. What’s more, the system is totally hidden from view and, unlike radiators or surface mounted heat pumps, takes up no wall space. This makes it ideal for large open plan homes or those with lots of glazing.
The heat from the underfloor system can be produced by air-to-water and geothermal heat pumps or by boilers fuelled by gas, diesel or wood. This flexibility, coupled with economical running costs compared to other electric radiant systems, means that hydronic underfloor heating is becoming highly desired by discerning kiwi homeowners and house builders.
Advantages of In Floor Heating
New Zealanders have been familiar with underfloor heating for some years—in the form of electric cables running underneath tiled areas of the home. Underfloor heating using water (hydronic) is based on the same radiant heating principle, but has a number of key advantages:
- Living over the magnetic field created by electric underfloor heating is considered by some people to be a long term health hazard; water based systems are free from magnetic fields and are clean and healthy.
- As different heat sources can be tied into water based underfloor heating, the system is future proof.
- Warm water underfloor heating, where the heat comes from a boiler or hydronic heat pump, is generally cheaper to run. In most parts of New Zealand, a heat pump will have a coefficient of performance greater than 3.5. This means that for every unit of electricity the heat pump is producing 3.5 units of heat, which in turn is circulated through the water in the pipes.
Underfloor heating is particularly well suited to buildings with high ceilings. The radiant effect of heat from the floor is effective up to a height of about two metres, so the problem of heat gathering at the top of the room is less than with other systems.
Because the heat source is at the feet, the perceived comfort level is greater. As a result, actual room temperatures can possibly be one or two degrees below those required with other systems – resulting in energy cost savings. However, if the system is used for only short periods of time and at infrequent intervals, radiator systems may return a lower running cost.
Underfloor heating is most commonly installed in new buildings but new installation systems are available that also enable it to be retrofitted to existing homes using VarioComp. VarioComp is a thin screed that can be applied over the existing structure of a floor, or even a wall or ceiling, providing an underfloor heating solution for existing homes.
To find out more about our underfloor heating options and how they can work for you and your home, contact us now.