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How to decide if underfloor heating is right for you

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Underfloor heating can be a cosy addition to any home, but it’s only fair to say that it’s not for everyone or indeed every home.  When it comes to deciding if underfloor heating is right for your home, there are a few things to consider, especially in the sometimes chilly Scottish climate – that’s why we thought we’d help you out by putting pen to paper. Here are just some of the things that are worth thinking about if you’re considering underfloor heating:

Insulation

One of the first things to ask is – is your home well insulated?  There’s no getting away from the fact that underfloor heating works best in well-insulated homes. If your home is well-insulated, it will retain heat more effectively, ticking one of the initial boxes when considering underfloor heating.

Flooring Type

The next thing to check is your flooring.  What type of flooring do you have?  Again, it’s important to be up front and acknowledge that some flooring materials are better than others when it comes to conducting heat – and this is really important for underfloor heating. Tile and stone, for example, are great conductors and work well with underfloor heating. Carpets and thick rugs can act as insulators and block the heat from getting through into your room.  So, if you desperately want to hold on to your carpeting it mightn’t the best idea for you.

Installation Costs

Cost is important in most domestic decisions.  So, it’s important to establish the size of your budget.  It’s only fair to say that installing underfloor heating can be more expensive upfront compared to traditional heating systems – albeit it’s not always the case.  When you’re planning how to heat your home, it’s essential that you pay attention to your budget and – when it comes to underfloor heating – to be realistic.  Do the potential long-term energy savings justify the possibly higher initial investment for you?

Energy Efficiency

Underfloor heating can be more energy-efficient than traditional radiators, but this also depends on factors like how well insulated your home is and the type of underfloor heating system you choose.  If, like most people these days, energy efficiency is high on your agenda, you’ve probably already made sure that your home is well insulated, but if not, it’s well worth addressing this before investing in underfloor heating.

Climate

In the Scottish climate, where winters can be seriously cold, underfloor heating can provide consistent warmth. That said, it might not suffice as the sole heating source.  You may need a supplementary heating system for extremely cold days.  This is a good way of testing how good a designer and installer is because they should discuss this with you and work this out for you/with you.

System Type

There are two main types of underfloor heating: water-based (hydronic) and electric. Water-based systems are often more expensive to install but can be more cost-effective in the long run. Electric systems are usually easier and cheaper to install but can be more expensive to run.  Deciding which is best for you is a decision best taken in consultation with an expert like Precise.

Maintenance

While underfloor heating is known for its low maintenance costs, it’s still worth considering the maintenance requirements of an underfloor heating system before making your final decision. While they generally require less maintenance than radiators, it’s essential to be aware of any potential issues you could come up against, and how they would need to be addressed.  Forewarned is forearmed as the saying goes.

Personal Preference

And last, but not least – what sort of heating system do you WANT?  Some people simply prefer the feel of underfloor heating or the freedom it gives them to arrange their furniture without the restriction of wall mounted radiators.  Both these things are a huge bonus and shouldn’t be ignored.  At the end of the day, if you simply love the idea of walking on warm floors during cold Scottish winters, it might be the right choice for you – despite some potential, minor negatives.

The best thing to do before making a decision is to reach out and ask for help.  We’ll help you assess your unique and specific situation and provide tailored advice based on your home’s characteristics and your preferences.

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