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Underfloor heating: a good idea?

Last updated on 24 November 2020

Economical, eco-friendly and comfortable, underfloor heating has long been accused of being bad for the legs, especially for blood circulation.

But thanks to new low-temperature techniques, this disadvantage has been completely eliminated. Today, "underfloor heating" offers a wealth of advantages. Explanations.

What are the benefits of underfloor heating?

Economical and efficient

As modern underfloor heating systems operate at low temperatures, their energy consumption remains low, which also makes them more environmentally friendly. They need to heat up much less than radiators for the same perceived temperature. For example, water at 21 °C is sufficient to obtain 20 °C in the room.

Although it may be quite expensive to install, the investment in underfloor heating will quickly pay for itself: it saves more than 10% on your energy bill.

Invisible

No more arranging your living room according to the location of the radiators! Bulky heating appliances (convectors, stoves, radiators, etc.) are always a major obstacle to home furnishings. Conversely, a heated floor is completely hidden in the floor, which allows you to use all the walls as you wish. It also makes it a lot easier to paint the apartment!

Comfortable

A traditional heating system produces significant temperature differences between different areas of the room. The floor remains cold and much of the heat travels up to the ceiling. Conversely, underfloor heating provides evenly distributed and pleasant heat that spreads from the bottom upwards throughout the room, thanks to its large radiant surface on the floor. Goodbye cold feet in winter!

Underfloor heating is particularly effective for heating large spaces and high ceilings

Safe and easy to maintain

No risk of burns with underfloor heating, which is particularly safe for children. Fully recessed, it is also very easy to clean: no maintenance required! Leaks and breakdowns are extremely rare, but are annoying since the system is recessed and cannot be accessed without damaging the flooring. Tip: Don't skimp on the quality of the installation!

Adjustable, even for room cooling

Many modern underfloor heating systems are equipped with a high-performance control system which allows you to program the desired temperature via a thermostat according to your needs and habits. It is better to choose a system with a thermostat control or mixer tap, which adjusts the heating temperature according to the outside temperature (thanks to a sensor) and guarantees a stable temperature inside regardless of the weather.

Underfloor heating can become a cooling floor in the summer! The temperature can be reduced by 1 to 5 °C.

Combinable with other systems

Underfloor heating can be combined with wall heating, for example, i.e. pipes embedded in the walls using the same technique. This can be useful in small rooms with high ceilings, especially when they need to be well heated, such as a bathroom, for example.

Underfloor heating can also be combined with a space heater like a stove or a radiator. This allows you to get fast heat while waiting for the underfloor heating system to reach the desired temperature in the room. Because the tubes are inserted into the screed, the heating time is very long indeed: expect the room temperature to rise by about one degree per hour.

 In addition, underfloor heating systems can be powered by any energy source: electricity, gas, wood, heating oilsolar panels and even a heat pump.

Is underfloor heating unhealthy?

Quite the contrary! Underfloor heating has come a long way since its introduction in the 1960s!

At the time, it operated with water heated to very high temperatures, between 50 and 70 °C (like radiators). Notably because the pipes were too far apart, and homes were very poorly insulated. The result : the overheating of the floor above 30 °C caused unpleasant sensations of heavy legs. Bad for blood circulation, it was even suspected that the overheating of the ground was promoting venous insufficiency, varicose veins and thrombosis.

Since then, manufacturers have developed high-performance systems that operate at low temperatures and heat better while consuming less energy. In addition, houses are much better insulated. In 1978, a decree was adopted to limit the heat of the floor to 28 °C. Today, thanks to modern techniques, it has been further reduced to between 21 and 25 degrees, a temperature that is perfect for human health.

Other advantages of underfloor heating: 

  • it is more hygienic because, unlike radiators, it does not accumulate dust or mites. 
  • It helps to maintain a sufficient level of humidity in the air. It is therefore ideal for people with respiratory problems.

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