Continental Underfloor Heating

How Underfloor Heating Works

Underfloor heating is the modern choice for heating domestic and commercial properties.

Low temperature water (typically 50°C) circulates through a series of continuous pipe loops laid under the floor, turning it into one large radiant surface. The pipe loops for each room (or zone) all run from and back to the system manifold, which is conveniently located in one easily accessible position.

Under floor heating is commonplace throughout Europe, providing cost effective, comfortable, unobtrusive heating in millions of properties. It is becoming the heating system of choice in the UK, as the benefits are obvious.

Why People Choose Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating provides the warmth to a room from the floor up, rather than heating the ceiling space first. It also uses lower temperature water because the larger heating surface does not need to emit as much heat per square metre as a radiator. This means the boiler consumes less fuel, which in turn means lower running costs and less environmental damage.

Radiators -v- Underfloor heating
Radiator heating (left) heats the ceiling first, but underfloor heating (right) is more efficient and heats the floor first.

The heat produced by under floor heating systems is different from radiators too. Under floor heating emits a far greater proportion of its heat as radiant rather than convected heat.

Heat production comparison of radiators and underfloor heating
Under floor heating (right) emits a far greater proportion of its heat (compared to radiators, left) as radiant rather than convected heat.

For the same comfort level the room air temperature can be 2C lower because radiant heat warms the surfaces rather than the air around the surfaces. This means you feel more comfortable. The lower temperature means less fuel is consumed, and the system is more economical, saving more money every year.

Heat distribution within a room
The heat distribution within a room is also different, with the distribution profile being far closer to the ideal.

Underfloor heating systems are also completely hidden except for the room thermostat. You have no radiators to decorate or arrange your furniture around, so it gives you design freedom. And it is the perfect solution for heating areas with high ceilings such as galleries and atriums.

It's easy to see why 80% of Swiss new builds and 35% of German choose underfloor heating.

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