Until recently, underfloor heating was generally viewed as a luxury product, designed for those who could afford the time and expense of carrying out a large scale renovation project.
However, the way this method of heating is seen is changing as more people take complete control over the way their energy is produced and used.
Underfloor heating across the world
The way underfloor heating is seen varies from country to country. In some countries it has completely superseded traditional central heating, and is viewed as the standard way to keep buildings warm.
In Scandinavia and much of central Europe, for example, this type of heating system will be found in almost every home and workplace.
That is because it can be fitted easily under timber flooring, which is almost ubiquitous in the Nordic countries.
Electric underfloor heating also uses radiant heat rather than air circulation which is used by traditional central heating systems.
This naturally warms colder surfaces first. People entering from a colder environment will quickly feel warmer, but without the shock of going from a very cold to a very hot place.
What is the main heating system?
In the past, underfloor heating was viewed as an auxiliary heat source. This means people would general still use their radiators to heat the home, while the underfloor system was there to provide an additional feeling of comfort, or for days when it was not cold enough to justify using the ‘main’ heater.
But, once again, views have largely changed over the years.
Often, the traditional central heating system is removed, to be replaced by heating under the floor.
That is because removing the radiators can improve both the aesthetics of the room and the amount of storage space.
Also, underfloor heating offers improved energy efficiency – giving the same level of comfort as a radiator but at a lower required temperature and without variations in temperature at different points in the room.
Installing underfloor heating
Of course, installing heating under the floor does require the flooring to be lifted, so it does tend to be installed in new buildings or as part of extensive renovation.
And while the initial installation costs may be higher than installing a radiator, the improved efficiency and lower energy bills should more than make up for this.
Indeed, there are many reasons why the perception of underfloor heating has changed from a luxury heating method to a more standard replacement for traditional central heating.