UFH: perfect partner for renewables

Underfloor heating: an eco-friendly heating solution

With a continuing focus on reducing carbon footprint and the UK’s commitment to go net-zero carbon by 2050 it’s time to really think: how can we make homes more environmentally friendly? Looking at how our homes are best heated is one key area of consideration – a badly designed heating system is both inefficient and costly for the homeowner. Warm water underfloor heating (UFH) is a great eco-friendly option that is efficient and well suited to renewable technologies. Nu-Heat tells us more.

Underfloor heating is fast becoming common place in quality new builds and renovation projects. Aside from the way UFH feels underfoot, it also boasts some strong eco credentials that make it the chosen heating system for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint. There are three key features that make UFH an eco-friendly heating solution.

UFH uses far lower flow temperatures than radiators
UFH uses lower flow temperatures than a radiator system, and because it covers a much larger surface area it is still able to heat the room effectively. These lower flow temperatures mean that the boiler can operate in its optimum condensing mode, saving energy and wear-and-tear that makes UFH around 25% more efficient than radiators.

UFH is the best emitter to pair with a heat pump, for an integrated renewable solution
The lower temperatures also mean that UFH is the most suitable emitter for pairing with renewable technologies like air and ground source heat pumps. A heat pump is at its most efficient when producing low temperatures, usually heating water which is stored in a buffer tank to be used when required. Radiators, on the other hand, require high water temperatures frequently throughout the day, causing the heat pump to continually switch on and off. Opting for UFH will reduce the workload on the heat pump, in turn helping to save energy.

Zoned heating control
Unlike any other heating system, the layout of rooms (also known as zoning) is factored into an UFH design. This gives the homeowner a greater degree of controllability, heating areas to different temperatures as and when they tend to use them. For example, a large open-plan room could have more than one thermostat so that areas such as the kitchen can operate at a lower temperature than an adjoining living area. Zoning also allows for flexibility in rooms that are rarely used, for example guest rooms can be set at a background temperature to save energy.

How to get started with UFH

New to UFH? Installing UFH is simple with the help of an experienced design and supply company. Nu-Heat is committed to designing bespoke heating systems that perform, so you and your customer really feel the difference. They even offer free site visits to talk you through the options. You can find out more about UFH and heat pumps by contacting us on 01404 540650 or by emailing info@nu-heat.co.uk.

Case study: Energy-efficient heating completes high-end housing development

The need to be environmentally friendly meant that Magpie Farm, a luxury development of new-build homes in Kent, called for an energy-efficient heating solution that utilised renewable technology.

Working together with the installer, NDC Plumbing & Heating, Nu-Heat designed a system that best suited the modern, high-end, housing development. ClipTrack® screed UFH on the ground floor and LoPro®10 retrofit UFH on the first floor, fuelled by NIBE air source heat pump, was the winning combination.

The installer, Nick, explains why UFH teamed with an air source heat pump is his preferred heating solution: “The benefit to the homeowner of having a high-end heating system like this throughout their property is that the air source heat pump is renewable, reducing energy bills. As there are no radiators on the wall, they also have more options in terms of placing furniture in rooms. With underfloor heating, you heat the floor as a whole and this is a better way for the house to retain heat.”

Case study: UFH in an efficient forever home

Pippinfields is a stylish and efficient timber-frame home. The homeowners knew from the off that they wanted to incorporate both underfloor heating and renewable technology, offering maximum comfort whilst also lowering their carbon footprint.

UFH, an air source heat pump and solar thermal was the chosen eco-friendly combination for the property. The UFH was installed by a first-time installer, Richard, who was impressed with its simplicity: “I found it a lot easier to fit the UFH than radiators. It took just a couple of days to fit the UFH on both floor levels and the end result is so much better – there are no rads to spoil the look of the home or pipework on show.”

The end result? An environmentally friendly heating system that maximises the technologies installed, reduces energy and also provides payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive. “We love the difference that having UFH, an air source heat pump and solar thermal has made to our comfort and our energy bills. We will receive around £1,000 back from the Government’s RHI scheme each year, too.”

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