Why Underfloor Heating Is A More Sustainable Option

When it comes to sustainable heating in modern times, there is a good case to be made for opting for underfloor heating. Let’s have a look at why so many people claim that underfloor heating truly is the superior option when considering Eco-friendliness and cost-effectiveness.

Energy Conservation

Provided that your home or office is properly insulated, you will notice that you can make incredible saving on your energy bills. New buildings that are built to code will automatically be insulated to the level where underfloor heating is effective, but it isn’t hard to fit adequate insulation and draft proofing to ensure that underfloor heating is able to completely heat the room.

The Standard Assessment Procedure, used to calculate a new buildings energy performance, records an energy saving of 5% when using an underfloor system with a condensing boiler, as opposed to a radiator system. Pairing the system to a renewable energy source, such as solar heating or a ground source heat pump can see these savings jump to as high as 40% or more, depending on the installation and size of the particular room.

Why such a big gap, you ask? The answer lies in the method of heating. A typical central heating system relies on convection, where heat rises and creates a very warm layer of air at ceiling level, leaving a much cooler temperature at floor level. Therefore, some of the heat is wasted through the roof as the room is heated sufficiently to achieve a comfortable temperature lower down.

On the other hand, underfloor heating radiates heat into the room from the whole surface of the floor, which creates a comfortable temperature from ground up. This radiated heat is absorbed by people and by furniture and objects in the room, which allows underfloor heating to create a comfortable temperature at approximately 2°C lower than what is required by conventional systems.

Cost Effectiveness

Since an underfloor heating system requires less energy to create a comfortable temperature for occupants, it stands to reason that your energy bills will be lower. While we mentioned a 2°C difference previously, underfloor heating actually runs at much lower temperature ranges than conventional central heating. A typical underfloor system runs in the range of around 30-50°C, whereas radiators typically run at 60-80°C. As you can probably tell, that is a lot of saving over the course of a single billing period.

Can Underfloor Heating Run With Renewable Energy Sources?

Without a doubt, underfloor heating can be linked to any type of renewable energy source, which provides even greater potential for conserving energy and saving money. Photovoltaic systems, ground source heat pumps, solar panels and wind turbines could all be used to heat an underfloor heating system, and eventually the systems combined could provide free sustainable energy.

Photovoltaic systems use solar heating to power a buildings electric supply, some buildings with a large roof surface are able to produce enough electricity for their demand and are able to sell electricity back to the grid. While most homes may not have the roof space to power the entire house, an underfloor heating system can be installed with a photovoltaic system to power it, which will result in cheaper running costs.

An underfloor heating system that is powered by water rather than gas is suitable for use with ground source heat pumps and solar water heating systems. Ground source heat pumps involve the laying of pipes in the garden or somewhere suitable on the property, and extracting the heat directly from the ground.

A heat pump could provide the hot water for a wet underfloor system exclusively, helped by the fact that it runs at lower temperatures than radiators, offering completely free heating.

In Summary

Underfloor heating is more energy efficient than most types of heating, given the right circumstances. Well insulated, double glazed and draft proofed houses will conserve energy and save money by using underfloor heating, particularly if it is linked to a renewable energy source such as a ground source heat pump or a photovoltaic system.

In new buildings underfloor heating is becoming the more popular choice as the installation costs are no different to a central heating system, but running costs are much lower in the long term. Add this to the energy saving grants available that offer further savings. Looking for a reliable team to give you more personalized information and provide quick and affordable installation services? Look no further than the folks over at North East Hydronic Radiant!

Environmental and Economical Heating Towards Sustainable Development

Summary

– What is economical and ecological heating in the context of sustainable development?

– Types of environmental and economical heating for sustainable development.

– Tips to take advantage of this opportunity to reduce your heating bill.

Heat your home, not the outside! If you’re tracking heat loss in your home, start by asking yourself about its insulation. Doing renovation work will allow you to save energy while optimizing your comfort.

It is useless to change your old heating system for a more efficient one. Take, for example, economical electric heating, if your house is not well insulated: the heat input will not compensate for the losses, and it will cost you more.

What is economical and ecological heating?

Ecological and economical heating revolves around 3 issues:

– reducing energy consumption;

– using renewable energy;

– limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The heating methods that can qualify for these criteria are continually evolving. The current economic context and societal concerns are favorable to them, which leads them to supplant conventional equipment without difficulty.

Note: Most ecological and economical heating systems are eligible for a tax credit.

Types of environmental and economical heating for sustainable development

For households, heating remains one of the most energy-intensive jobs, hence the growing interest in technologies that allow for savings on heating bills and preserve our environment. Some equipment, such as boilers, stoves, and heat pumps, use renewable energies (wood, earth, air, sun) and are qualified as ecological.

Boiler

The boiler is a keystone of the heating system and can be environmentally friendly by advantageously using wood, which is the cheapest fuel and renewable energy with low CO2 emissions:

– wood granules (or pellets) feeds the heating circuit but can also provide domestic hot water;

– boiler and hot water loop can run on renewable energies such as geothermal, wood, and solar.

Note: The USA’s tax credit is $300 for purchasing a wood-fired boiler or a qualifying biomass-burning stove before December 31, 2020.

Heat pumps

The heat pump has its place in this enumeration, although it needs electrical energy to operate. However, its operation is very economical since it is based on energy extraction from the ground or the air and its return to the home via heat emitters (radiators or underfloor heating).

There are various heat pumps available:

– air-water heat pumps that can be adapted to existing systems, can also produce hot water and are reversible;

– air-to-air heat pumps that can only be used with electric heating systems and are more efficient in the cooling mode than in heating mode;

– ground-source heat pumps (horizontal or vertical capture) are the most expensive but the most efficient.

Stoves

The stoves are very efficient heaters that are still used in most cases as a complement to a central heating system. There are different types of stoves:

– the pellet stove: its autonomy is generally between 7 and 72 hours;

– the wood-burning stove, which is an economical and ecological heating system;

– the masonry heater, which is a high-efficiency wood stove.

Tips to reduce your heating bill

Here are some useful tips for saving heating energy:

– Reducing the temperature by 1°C saves 7% energy.

– Regularly clean the convector grilles to avoid dust accumulation that would reduce airflow.

– A closed chimney or stove flue (when these are not in use) prevents the house from being cooled with cold air.

– Remember to turn down the heating if you are away for more than 2 hours, but do not turn it off. Heating your home would require more energy than if you had left it at the same temperature.

– If you are away for more than 48 hours, you can switch to the « frost-free » position.

There you have it, these few tips for economical and ecological heating towards sustainable development can help you reduce your heating bill. Don’t forget to leave us your comments in the section below.