Work Smarter, Not Harder with Multipipe in 2022

The new year is often when people start to make resolutions to help them shape their year and improve their lives and work. So why not get ahead of the curve and read our top 5 tips on how to work smarter with Multipipe in 2022. If these make it on to your new year resolutions, you’ll find they are easier to stick to than the new diet! 

Tip One: Don’t throw away your offcuts

We’ve said it before, but it’s one of our favourite ways to work smart. So instead of throwing your 16mm MLCP offcuts from your underfloor heating projects, why not use them for your plumbing projects instead. Good for your budget and better for the environment. A win-win! 

Visit https://www.multipipe.co.uk/product-category/mlcp-plumbing/coils-12-32mm/ to see our range of MLCP coils 

Further reading: 
Ten reasons to swap to MLCP 

https://www.multipipe.co.uk/ten-reasons-to-swap-from-copper-or-push-fit-to-mlcp/ 

Want to know when to use coils vs straight lengths? 

https://www.multipipe.co.uk/mlcp-coils-vs-straight-lengths/ 

  

Tip Two: Send us your heat loss data for an optimal system 

We’re now able to personalise your UFH to a far greater extent to ensure the perfect system for your customer. Send us your heat loss data and we will adjust the system to match the demand and optimise performance. We’ll use your heat loss data to adjust the system to meet the actual demand is and ensure it even works with ultra-low temperature systems. Just remember to send this information in with your next quote request. 

  

Tip Three: Include all the relevant detail in your request for a UFH quote 

If you’d like the fastest turnaround on your underfloor heating quote, make sure you send us all the details we need to ensure an accurate price for you and your customer. And a decent set of plans really helps too!

Watch now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZN3nDs9FaA  

 

Tip Four: Shop via our website 

Multipipe.co.uk is available 24/7 to place orders, check pricing and access technical datasheets. If you have a trading account with us you will see your personalised pricing and can charge your credit account. If you’re new to Multipipe apply for a free web trader account and receive a further 10% off the web pricing.  

  

Tip Five: The gift of learning

No matter how experienced you are we believe there is always an opportunity to learn something new. Or maybe just reassure yourself that you’re at the top of your game! We have released a huge range of easy-to-follow playlists covering plumbing techniques and the installation and commissioning of UFH systems. Why not grab a cup of tea and have a watch? They are short, to the point and you never know you might learn something new.  

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxCqnF7oomcHGXFWcbOKgweczey51o9LJ 

 

Heat Pumps – Is the government focusing on the right issue?

The latest government announcement offers homeowners an incentive of up to £5,000 to fit a renewable source heat pump instead of a gas boiler in a bid to help the UK meet its net carbon goals.  

For the end-user, this may seem an excellent benefit when it comes to finally changing their boiler because according to the energy-saving trust, it costs an average of £2,300 to replace a boiler, and a heat pump can be between £6,000-£8,000, of course, this depends on system size and complexity. So, having £5,000 knocked off the bill will be very tempting to the end-user.  

 

However, the issue is not as simple as it may first seem. We’ve listed some potential challenges below, with assumed costs so you can see where the pitfalls may lie.   

  1. The age of properties

What seems to be missing with this grant is the lack of focus on increasing the home’s efficiency first. With over half the UK houses being 1980’s and older, we can expect to heat losses of around 60w/m² + per room. Meaning the demand for the emitter and, more importantly, the heat pump is huge. Therefore, for a heat pump to operate effectively, the home must reduce its heat losses to significantly affect carbon reduction and cost. Below are some indicative prices to insulate a standard size UK home.   

  • Extra cost. Insulate lofts: £1000+  
  • Extra cost. Fitting efficient double glazing windows throughout £3500- £4000 for eight units.  
  • Extra Cost. Retrofit external wall insulation. £15,000 (based on a 3-bed detached house)  

  

2. The heat emitter  

The other most important feature is the emitter. If we are talking about a power flush, fit and leave type install, you will be going behind radiators that are sized based on an 80°C flow. A heat pump will not operate at this flow rate, so you have halved the temperature, which essentially halves the output. The customer is potentially left with a system that runs constantly and never reaches what they consider an acceptably warm temperature (for both heating and hot water). Then they see the eye-watering electric bill.  

So, we should recommend refitting new, larger radiators or UFH to ensure that they meet the heat loss. If the suggested insulation listed above has been installed, the effect of heat loss is lowered. However, suppose the insulation isn’t suitable. In that case, bigger radiators will be needed, and the lower difference required between flow and return may mean that a new piping system will be required at additional cost.  

  

  • Replacement of existing rad’s (10 rad’s + avg. labour cost) £3500  
  • Replace pipe system for 10 rad’s (£2000 excl. redecorating work.  
  • Alternative fitting a UFH system (£7-8,000)  

  

3. Can you straight swap a boiler to a heat pump?   

The short answer (and most of us know) is No, due to these reasons. 

Until the insulation, pipework and radiator sizes are addressed, the potential for heat pumps to work effectively in older properties is low. So, now for the scary bit. Suppose you do the right thing and quote around £25k to upgrade insulation, swap the emitters and install a suitable heat pump. In that case, you will be laughed at because no doubt less professional installers will say they can do the work for just over the cost of the available government grant. However, the homeowner will be left with an unfunctional system and high running bills and wishing they kept their old gas boiler. 

  

Other Issues.  

Running costs.  

Ok, so after all this, because the efficiency of heat pumps is high (and they are!), you can look at around 400% efficiency, so for every kW of electric use, you get 4kW of heat energy. This will decrease the warmer you run a temperature, so keeping the flow temperature low is essential. But currently, electricity is four times the gas price, so there are no current running cost savings! Of course, the gas price will always rise, and we hope electricity will fall, but again this is another issue out of our control.  

Winter problems.  

The other thing to consider is basic physics. Heat pumps work by absorbing low energy outside the property and compressing it, amplifying its energy potential. This is great and super efficient during temperate days. But when the energy outside is low, the amplified energy is also low, so the unit works harder. So, your efficiency is not as good on very cold days (the days you need heating the most).  

  

Conclusion   

Am I against heat pumps? Not at all, but do I think they have to be very carefully considered? Yes! And are they suitable everywhere? No!  

I feel it is the government’s job and authoritative bodies to ensure the advice given on the scheme is the best for our customers.  

What do you feel about this scheme? Comment on our social channels as it would be nice to hear what you think. 

Why it’s essential to select the right thermostat for your UFH system.

When selecting thermostats for a client, do you base it on the ease of use, aesthetics, price or maybe all three? There is a fourth point with UFH systems that is often overlooked and yet is the most important of all.  

  

As explained in a previous #TechTuesday articles, UFH does have a slower reaction time when compared with other heating types. Due to these slower reaction times, it is better to maintain a constant temperature and only make small adjustments.  

  

Luckily room control technology has come a long way since the simple dial thermostat. Even though these are very easy for clients to use and extremely cheap, they are terrible for UFH as they suffer from over and undershoot of a minimum of 1 degree. This level of inaccuracy helps with radiators as it ensures the boiler does not constantly fire. Unfortunately, with UFH, the residual energy left after the boiler fires can overshoot the system by more than 3 degrees.  

Similarly, it then takes an age for it to drop back down, and by that point, all the energy is lost in the screed, causing it to undershoot massively. Thus, using simple dial thermostats with a UFH system can make the building uncomfortable and highly inefficient.   

  

All modern UFH controls should have a version of Load compensation. The load compensation feature forecasts where the system is currently measuring and reacts before it needs to. In this way, the system ensures it keeps close to the setpoint without overheating and underheating, saving huge amounts of money in wasted energy and increasing comfort.   

  

Why not talk to our team about our range of load compensated controls today? And we will ensure your next UFH is not just easy to use, looks good and is cost-competitive but is also efficient. 

11 tips for new UFH installers

Starting out on any new venture can be daunting and these days there is so much information around that it can become overwhelming. To keep things simple when it comes to starting out with underfloor heating installations here’s our top 11 tips!

  1. You’re not on your own.
    Multipipe’s friendly team are always on hand with helpful advice and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the best system for your project. Get in touch on 01245 227 630.
  2. Consider heat output.
    It’s vital to consider the fabric of the building as this will affect the heat output required by your underfloor heating system. The needs for a well-insulated new extension are very different to those of a room with several windows and high ceilings.
  3. Renovating?
    Select a low profile system. Traditionally installing underfloor heating in a renovation project has meant high levels of disruption as the floor needed to be dug out and doors and skirting boards adjusted. However, modern solutions like Multipipe’s Altis range have a build height of just 18mm and can often be fitted with minimal disruption to existing fittings.
  4. Be mindful of the final floor covering and maximum temperatures.
    All flooring laid over the UFH system will have a top temperature restriction, so it’s important to consider what will be used. For example, Vinyl flooring has a maximum temperature limit of 27°C. Most carpet, wood and laminates have similar temperature restrictions too.
  5. Plan & Measure.
    Zoning areas, room stat positions and types of controls are vital for best performance. The heat source can be crucial in achieving desired heat outputs, especially on older, poorly insulated, exposed properties.
    When supplying details to us to create your system drawing, ensure you have accurately accounted for all the fixtures and fittings that will be installed. We always recommend that UFH runs under kitchen units and islands as the system is likely to be in place longer than the original kitchen design – this will ensure the customer is not left with cold spots at a later date. Running UFH under units will not cause any issues with stored items.
  6. Use appropriate insulation to improve efficiency.
    Insulation is key to ensure that the system runs effectively and heat loss is minimised. Therefore, insulation should be laid before installing the manifold or pipework.
    Building Regulations currently state that users must use at least 100mm of insulation and 50mm for retrofit projects for new builds. Properly insulating the system will decrease the amount of time needed to heat the system leading to energy savings and lower running costs.
  7. Ensure the subfloor is clean before installing the pipe.
    Multipipe MLCP is tough and durable, but you must ensure that the subfloor is clean so that nothing remains that could cause damage to the pipework. If it’s a wooden subfloor, check that there are no squeaky floorboards, as fixing this afterwards will not be easy. Remember that the maximum length of pipe that can be used in any one room is about 100m and should be set between 150-200mm apart. Your Multipipe drawing will specify this detail.
  8. Select your manifold location with care.
    Ensure you place the manifold in a central, easy to access location. By choosing a central location, you can limit the chances of running pipe circuits across multiple rooms, reducing the overall length of pipe needed and saving cost and time. Reducing pipework lengths increases energy efficiency, as the water won’t run through multiple zones before reaching its intended destination.
  9. Label your pipework.
    Labelling your flow and return pipework is a helpful tip for future maintenance. If these are not marked and subsequently get mixed up (e.g. the flow is fitted to the return network), the system will not operate efficiently.
  10. Fill the system carefully.
    To maximise the lifespan of the UFH system, it’s best to fill it with demineralised water (we recommend the Elysator Purotap). Once filled, you will need to pressure test the pipework before laying the screed and check there are no air bubbles. The best practice is to fill one circuit at a time to minimise the possibility of air bubbles, which will reduce the system’s performance. Airlocks can stop the system from circulating and ultimately mean less heat is transmitted in the floor space.
  11. Test the complete system.
    Before the screed and final flooring go down, test the system again to ensure it operates as expected. Here are our top tips for a foolproof system test;

    1. Pressure test at 2 bar for ten minutes
    2. If everything appears okay, then continue the test at 10 bar for another ten minutes.
    3. If after this time the system is still okay, reduce the pressure down to between 3-5 bars until the screed is in place
    4. After the screed is laid, you can reduce the pressure to the standard working pressure (usually between 1-2 bars)

Controlling the Feeds in an UFH System

UFH systems tend to rely on central manifold locations to distribute each loop through the floor. When you have a larger dwelling with more than five loops, you will find that near the manifold and even through hallways and rooms, you end up with lots of pipes at closer centres. These tend to overheat the room with uncontrolled heat. Inappropriately controlled heat can be a source of customer dissatisfaction and a perceived downside to UFH.  

As part of your UFH package, you should receive a secondary conduit coil when you have five loops or more (providing the system is suitable for conduit). This secondary sleeve is used to partly insulated the flow pipes to help reduce uncontrolled heat under your floor. We only protect the flow because although we want to reduce the heat in a space, we do not want to eliminate it. By insulating all pipes, the reduction over the area covered by feeds would be too great, and you would have a cooler section of the floor.   

Is conduit the best option for uncontrolled heat?  

In short, no. Conduit should always be the least favoured option, and where possible, we promote passing pipes through walls to reach the rooms quicker with the least number of feeds. The fewer feeds on the job, the more control your client will have over their system. Remember that not all systems (especially retrofit systems) can have conduits due to the height issues, and some are more prone to overheating.   

Manifold Locations 

Manifold location is key (see another Tech Tuesday article on this subject) but having the manifold in a central place is more important than convenience. Running a set of primaries to a central cupboard might be more work, but it will reduce feeds and loops to rooms saving excessive overheating (and cost!).  

Sealed Systems 

If you are using a sealed system, another way around feeds is to remember that you are not limited to just the ground floor for running feeds. If you have access to the room above, you could run feeds in a ceiling void and drop down to each room, eliminating uncontrolled feeds. Just remember that the manifold must always be higher than the system.  

  

Lastly, if the system allows, why not pass feeds below the system itself either by channelling the feeds into the insulation or if you have a plated system, pass the feeds underneath the system in the quilt layer.   

These tips might add cost and time to a job, but we’re sure you’ll agree that a quality install with a properly controlled system will result in a happier client and more repeat work for you.  

If you’d like help or advice on getting the best out of your Multipipe system, please get in touch on 01245 227 630. We’re always happy to help. 

Eight MLCP Pipe Myths Busted

If you’re using copper or pushfit plumbing pipe, there can be doubts which stop you from making the change to Multipipe MLCP. We’re here to help bust some popular myths and maybe give you a reason to make the change to a modern piping solution. 

Myth One – MLCP is expensive 

MLCP pipe is actually cheaper than copper; however, you may find the fittings more expensive than copper, but you’ll use far fewer of them and be able to complete your install much faster couple this is a much faster installation time you can get onto the next job quicker. Therefore, you’ll save money on the job overall. Don’t forget that MLCP isn’t susceptible to theft like copper is as there is no re-sale value in it! 

 

Myth Two – Plastic is bad for the environment 

Undoubtedly, we’re all aware of the damage single-use plastics can do to the environment, but Multipipe MLCP is designed with a lifespan of at least 50 years. Furthermore, MLCP will outlast its copper counterparts if used correctly because it is less susceptible to corrosion and pinhole leaks that can occur with a harsh water system.  

The mining, refinement and transformation required to produce copper into end products (such as pipe) is a high energy process, using a great deal of non-renewable energy. What’s more, the flexibility properties of MLCP means that fewer fittings are required. 

When considering transportation, manufacturing and disposal, MLCP is a lower embedded carbon product than copper pipe, significantly reducing environmental impact. 

 

Myth Three – MLCP can’t be connected to copper 

Another common but unfounded complaint you might hear about plastic pipe is that it can’t be used in conjunction with copper systems. This is not the case. We have a huge range of adaptors that allow you to plumb plastic pipe systems and copper systems together. 

 

Some connectors can be pressed onto copper pipes, allowing you to connect plastic systems to brazed copper piping. Similarly, there are threaded adaptors that will enable plastic pipes to integrate seamlessly with compression fittings. 

 

Myth Four – MLCP doesn’t last as long as copper 

First introduced to the UK market in the 1970’s MLCP has consistently gained traction as a popular solution for flexible plumbing projects. Multipipe has been supplying high-quality MLCP for both domestic and commercial projects for 20 years. However, our MLCP is designed with a lifespan of at least 50 years and is WRAS approved with a 25-year guarantee. 

 

Myth Five – You can’t bury MLCP in walls 

Multipipe MLCP is the perfect solution for modern renovations where homeowners want a sleek finish. Not only does the aluminium layer prevent any oxygen ingress, but it also means that the pipes can be found with a standard pipe detector when buried in walls. In addition, as our MLCP is flexible, it can often be installed without tearing out the entire wall and is ideal for tight spaces and retrofit projects.  

 

Myth Six – Plastic pipe can leach chemicals 

It’s easy to think that because chemical compounds form the basis of many plastics, chemicals automatically transfer to your water. But those chemical compounds are polymers and are not only inert; they don’t leach. So plastic piping is the best choice to avoid corrosion, scale buildup, metallic leaching and damage from hard water. What’s more, MLCP’s durability makes it suitable for various water types, including well water, water with high salt content and highly chlorinated water. The reality is you’re far more likely to see ‘blue’ water with copper piping than you are to experience issues with MLPC. Multipipe MLCP has a low heat expansion and is, therefore, suitable for heating systems too.  

 

Myth Seven – You can’t use MLCP for drinking water 

Media reports regarding the dangers of BPA in water bottles should not be a reason not to use MLCP for water pipes. Plastic pipes don’t contain BPA, are made of different materials, and go through an entirely different process for manufacturing and testing. In addition, Multipipe MLC pipe has WRAS approval which means it must pass a taste and odour test in order to be approved. 

 

Myth Eight – There’s no real difference between PEX and MLCP  

MLCP enjoys all the benefits that a metal pipe system offers, plus all the benefits that modern materials like Polyethylene can offer. Featuring an aluminium core and polyethene exterior, MLCP is extremely strong and 100% oxygen diffusion tight. Whereas PEX-a pipe has a high expansion rate often looking unsightly and causing noises but also the barrier is never 100% proof and can ingress air into the system. What’s more, the form stable design coupled with the solution’s flexibility ensures that a minimal number of joints are required. We recommend using this solution for “behind the wall” applications, ideal for use with ‘manifold’ plumbing schemes. 

 

Finally, don’t forget that, unlike push-fit external sealing joints, MLCP fittings seal inside the pipe where they can’t get damaged and compromise the joint.  

 

So, there you have it, eight popular myths surrounding MLCP debunked. If you’re thinking of making a move to MLCP, our website, www.multipipe.co.uk, has lots of helpful information. Our knowledgeable, friendly team are just a call away. If you have any other questions, get in touch on 01245 227630. 

Installation of UFH into the concrete sub-floor

Since UFH came to the UK over 30 years ago, it has grown in popularity as a great way to heat both domestic and commercial buildings. When it boils down to it, not a lot has changed, and now many companies are offering a UFH design and supply solution. But did you know that with some clever planning during a build stage, you can unlock significant potential in the build that is often overlooked?  

As you may know, UK houses tend to be a solid floor on the ground, often installed on a secondary “screed” surface. But what this means is a lot of planning with the builder to change his standard construction. So first, we move the subfloor to the first layer and move the insulation above, and then we normally provide a 4:1 sand/cement mix.    

But did you know there is no reason you cannot incorporate your UFH into the concrete subfloor?  

  

Why would I do this?  

Time-saving:  

If you can get the UFH pipe in earlier on a project, i.e. right at the start, by the time the build is finished, there are no extended drying times before switching the system on.   

Cost-saving:  

Because you are not changing anything as part of the standard build, there are massive cost savings as you reduce the number of materials.  

System efficiency:  

When it comes to output, sand/cement sits relatively low on the transference of energy. This is because a lot of air gets trapped because of the mix, whereas standard concrete has a much higher conductivity, meaning you get a better transference of heat.  

  

Things to watch:  

Because the foundation slab tends to be thicker, reaction times are slower. However, with a great system design couple with the proper controls and correct running of the system, this installation method is far more beneficial for all new builds.  

  

At Multipipe, we have a design team with lots of experience in unusual installations. Call us on 01245 227630 for more information and advice. 

The Importance of Commissioning Your Underfloor Heating System

This #TechTuesday article will explain why it’s vital to commission, or ‘balance’ as it’s also known, your underfloor heating system.  

Underfloor Heating Flowmeters 

When a traditional radiator system runs (without balancing), you will find that some radiators are warmer than others. This is because water takes the path of least resistance and flows (typically) around the radiator closest to the boiler. We fit lockshield valves to increase the resistance to the closest radiators, ensuring the water is pushed around the entire system. The same applies to your underfloor heating system.   

Unlike a radiator system, you do not have lockshields with underfloor heating. Instead, you have located on your manifold a flowmeter. These serve two purposes; they should flow through the loop but also help adjust the balance. Adjusting the flowmeters depending on the size of the loop in the floor will help ensure optimum efficiency and comfort.  

Balancing Controls 

Many companies sell controls that “balance” the system. These controls work using the actuator pins (on the lower manifold bar) to either hold it half-open or pulse between open and shut. Either way, I’ve found these controls cause excessive wear on the actuator pins, and it seems I’m not alone. Many plumbers I speak to report leaking valve pins issues, which is why Multipipe recommends that you always commission a new underfloor heating system. A little work upfront will save trouble down the line – reinforcing your customers trust in your skills and reducing the likelihood of you having to return to remedy issues.  

I understand the need for auto-balancing controls. These are very good when retrofitted to existing systems where you do not know the coils’ length to balance. In this example, they can save time and money but still provide control of the system.  

Hydraulically Balancing the System 

However, when you’re installing a brand-new system and providing you lay your pipework following the drawings provided by your manufacturer, there is no reason why you cannot hydraulically balance your system.    

Why choose Multipipe as your UFH supplier?  

As part of our commitment to outstanding customer service, we at Multipipe are offering a new service whereby when you place your order, we will also support you with;  

  • A complete set of loop layouts  
  • commissioning sheets and a guide for your end-user.  
  • Technical support – either by email or phone to ensure your install goes smoothly  

 If you wish to find out more contact us on 01245 850 799   

Underfloor Heating Thermostat Positions

If you follow my #TechTuesday posts, you will know I talk a lot about the importance of good underfloor heating system design. Great design ensures you get the most from your UFH system by planning, designing, and carefully picking the right products. However, after all that, you can still let your system down by making a very simple mistake in the placement of your room thermostat. In this article, we look at the perfect placement of the thermostat, and I’ve included a simple list of rules to follow to help. 

Why is the correct placement of the thermostat essential? 

The thermostat is your system’s way of reacting to the room’s temperature. Incorrect placement means the thermostat will respond poorly to drafts and solar gains, especially with modern ITLC stats (Internal Temperature Load Compensation). In this instance, the thermostat can over and under compensate, meaning the system will overheat or underheat. 

Is there any regulation on thermostat placement? 

Yes, UK building regulations state that height should be used to determine the placement of the thermostat. But here is the crazy thing. Listed below are all building reg instances that mention thermostat height. As you can see, it’s not very clear. We like to say 1.5m above the floor for efficiency, but it does depend on the occupancy. Apart from this, there are no other stipulations. 

 

  1. Building Reg B1 – height between 1370mm and 1830mm above the floor (mainly forced air units) 
  2. Building Regs M4(2) – height between 900mm and 1200mm 

 

Other things to consider. 

Solar heat gains  

The main influence of thermostat misinformation is solar heat gains. For example, a room can be 21-22°C, but direct sun will quickly raise the temperature shutting off your system. So, placement out of direct sunlight is extremely important. 

Walls 

If the thermostat is placed on an external wall, you have to watch out for drafts. If you have used a back box, this can also cause issues. So, always make sure the thermostat is away from drafts and back boxes are insulated. 

Convenience 

The best place for thermostats is typically near light switches. They don’t look out of place and are easy to access. 

Airflow

Avoid integrated (plastered in) thermostats (sensors). They tend only to sense the wall temperature and not the airflow in the room, so they often make the room warmer than it needs to be. You need the air to pass the thermostat. On the flip of this, try and avoid large drafts (from open windows and doors). 

 

 

Summary. 

  1. Locate the stat at the height of 1.5m for efficiency, except when disabled access is required, and then it must be under 1.2m 
  2. Locate away from heat sources, i.e. fires, radiators, cookers. 
  3. Locate out of direct sunlight 
  4. Do not block the front of the thermostat as good airflow is needed. 
  5. Keep away from drafts (doors/open windows) 
  6. When a thermostat is mounted on a back box, ensure that the box is insulated as this can affect the sensed temperature. 
  7. Use floor sensors to ensure no overheating of sensitive floors. 

 

The Multipipe team are always on hand to offer advice to ensure you install the thermostat in the best location for your project. Get in touch on 01245 227 630.

Can Underfloor Heating Save On Your Energy Bills?

One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is that an increased number of people have been working from home. This trend is projected to continue for the foreseeable future, with the number of people working from home expected to be higher than pre-pandemic levels even after the threat of the disease has abated. Working from home inevitably uses more energy, particularly in colder weather when the house will require heating for most of the day.

 

Across the duration of the pandemic, there has been a 14% increase in daytime heating, and this is where underfloor heating can help reduce your energy bills. Underfloor heating works by distributing hot water via a network of pipes or by using electrical elements, which gently warm the floor from below. The heat is monitored and controlled by thermostats to maintain consistent temperature throughout the home or individual zones.

 

Advantages of underfloor heating

 

Multi-room control

One advantage of underfloor heating is that you can heat different zones. When working from home, you will likely only want to heat the room you are working in, as this will be the cheaper option. As underfloor heating offers individual thermostats for each room, you can heat the room or rooms of your choice. Underfloor heating also provides greater comfort. With radiators, you may experience uncomfortable levels of heat when the air becomes too dry. Underfloor heating helps to preserve the moisture in the air, providing a more comfortable atmosphere.

 

Space-saving

 

An underfloor heating system also means that you can dispense with ugly radiators, which limit where you can put things in a room, increasing space and allowing additional capacity for shelving or wall decoration. Good insulation, such as wall insulation, loft lagging, and double glazing, will also help to retain any heat generated within the home for much longer. This will further reduce energy costs during the winter when the home requires heating for most of the day.

 

Environmental benefits

 

Multipipe has a range of UFH systems compatible with heat pumps rather than traditional boilers. Heat pumps are more environmentally friendly than gas boilers because they utilise low-temperature renewable heat sources, which are more energy-efficient and cost-effective.

However, you don’t need a heat pump to have a positive impact on your energy consumption, and therefore the environment. As UFH can run at lower water temperatures than traditional radiator systems, better thermal efficiency is provided.

 

More comfortable heat

Radiators heat the room by convection, so the hot air rises to the ceiling, goes across the room and then falls at the opposite wall. This type of air movement can feel uncomfortable to the occupants. On the other hand, underfloor heating heats from the floor upwards, meaning the occupants benefit from warmer feet and cooler heads. Air quality is also improved because there are no fast-moving air currents.

 

Other advantages to underfloor heating include that the heat is distributed evenly around rooms, unlike a radiator where heat radiates from a single wall. As well as saving space, underfloor heating systems are also hidden, creating a nicer aesthetic by avoiding the spectacle of a bulky radiator on the wall.

 

Types of underfloor heating system

There are two ways in which an underfloor heating system can be powered. These are termed wet (or water-based) systems and dry systems. The energy for a dry system is provided by electricity. In contrast, a wet system connects to your central heating system via a network of pipes that provide flowing hot water via the boiler. However, heat pumps are more effective as a heat source and work better with underfloor heating, providing greater energy efficiency and reducing energy bills when compared with using a radiator.

 

In terms of costs, a dry system will usually be cheaper to install. For example, roll-out mats start at approximately £170 for 10 square metres. You will also have to add in other costs for materials such as insulation, screed, and heating controls. The installation cost of a water-based system will vary depending on proximity to the boiler and the floor beneath which the system is being installed. However, a wet system is usually the cheaper option when it comes to running costs, as a dry system can be up to four times more expensive to run, mainly because gas is much cheaper than electricity per unit.

 

Materials

Floor covering such as tiles is the most suitable for underfloor heating as a natural conductor of heat. This means the floor will warm up faster and will hold heat for longer. Regardless, underfloor heating can be installed under almost any type of flooring, including carpet. If used under carpet, the kind of carpet should not be overly thick as this will insulate the room from the heat, taking much longer to heat and affecting energy efficiency. Concrete and engineered floors should also be thin for maximum advantage. Wooden floors will require a bit of research regarding the type of wood you want to use, as heating and cooling causes different types of wood to expand and contract at different rates.

Installation

Both types of the underfloor heating system involve pulling up the old floor to lay pipes or mat, depending on the system. These are then covered in a layer of screed that helps with insulation and causes the heat to be felt more quickly. Once the installation has been completed, the screed is allowed to dry before the system is turned on; otherwise, cracks may occur. Once the top layer of flooring has been put in place, there will be very little aftercare required.

 

When working from home, underfloor heating can help reduce your energy bills by saving energy. Both electric and wet systems are cheaper to run compared with the costs of other heating systems. At a time when an increased number of employees are working from home, more people than ever are attempting to reduce their energy bills. If the trend continues, the growth in popularity for energy-saving heating systems such as underfloor heating will continue to rise, unlike your bills.