Underfloor Heating is not new, the principles go back to Roman times. In Europe it is the system of choice and in some countries accounts for 70% of new heating installations.
A radiator system transfers energy into the room largely by convection. This convection results in the floor being the coolest part of the room and leaves a mass of warm air at ceiling level.
It also picks up fine dust from the floor and distributes it into the air and over the furnishings.
This can mean that much of the energy, which had been put into the room, is wasted and not in the area you want it to be.
A UFH system heats mainly by radiation. This is the most natural and comfortable form of heating - just like the sun.
Radiant energy emitted by the floor is partly reflected by each surface and partly absorbed. Where it is absorbed, that surface becomes a secondary emitter.
After a while, all surfaces become secondary emitters. Furnishings themselves radiate energy and the room becomes evenly and uniformly warmed. The energy reaches into every corner of the room - no cold spot, no hot ceilings and no cold feet.
The majority of modern UFH systems are warm water systems, which integrate high tech plastic pipe either within or just below the floor.
Normally, water at a temperature of 47-62°C is circulated through this pipe and this warms the floor to a surface temperature of 25-28°C, about the same temperature as the palm of your hand.
The heat generated by radiators is transferred from a small surface area far hotter than the space it is heating. By comparison, UFH transfers heat from a very large surface area, which is only slightly warmer than the room.
Modern UFH systems are economical to run, virtually maintenance free and utilise effective controls. They provide the most comfortable all round warmth of any heating system.
In concrete floors, it is usual to set out the heating pipe or cable on top of insulation before the screed covers the pipe and completes the floor construction.
Hot water is pumped from the boiler to the control system, where the water is mixed to approximately 50°C via a mixing valve before being pumped to the manifold.