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How Does Underfloor Heating Work? Underfloor heating is nothing new; its introduction stretches as far back as the Roman ages over 2000 years ago. It has been seen in recent times as a utility of the wealthy but now that has changed and underfloor heating is more popular than ever. There are two types of underfloor heating systems - those that operate using a dry system and those that operate on an electric system. The first of these systems to be introduced was the electric underfloor heating system (also known as a dry system). Introduced in the 1960's it was largely unsuccessful. The system was installed by laying resistance cables into concrete which were subsequently heated overnight. Flaws were exposed when the floor would be too hot in the morning and then too cold in the evening due to poor control. Over time this model has been slightly re-structured and improved somewhat. Electric heating systems for laminate flooring are operating using cables that produce heat which is then absorbed by a foil underlay. Improved thermostats make the heating system more effective, efficient and cheaper. Large electric underfloor heating systems may require trade's people to fit it, though smaller systems can, especially when installing under laminate flooring, be installed without too much trouble as the components are not that huge in number. The power consumption of an electric system is not based on voltage but rather the wattage produced by the heating element. The second type of these systems is the wet system (known so because of its use of water).

In a wet underfloor heating system pipes are buried in screed (a thin top layer of concrete) or laid underneath a floor surface. The system operates with hot water (usually circulated from a boiler) passing through the pipes and transferring the heat directly to the floor surface. When the user switches the thermostat on, water will pass through a valve zone and the n onto a manifold, here the water is run through the underfloor pipes. These pipes are proven to run at a lower water temperature (50C) compared that of water run radiators (70C). Around 50 per cent of warmth generated by underfloor heating is radiant heat; this means that the floor releases the heat more evenly. As a result the heat is absorbed by people and objects in a room allowing very little to escape. Modern underfloor heating systems are said to offer a near perfect temperature profile between the floor and the ceiling heating due to a balance of the amount of radiant and converted heat in the room. Benefits from have an underfloor heating system include it compatibility with renewable sources of energy such as geothermal and solar thermal energy. If used these could reduce or eliminate the combustion of greenhouse gases produced as a result operating a boiler and power generation. Falling prices and desire of many to switch to a heating system that offers a possible cheaper long-term alternative to traditional heating methods mean that underfloor heating systems could be here to stay.

How does underfloor heating work?