Why Underfloor Heating Is So Popular With People Converting Barns
the following information was provided courtesy of underfloor-heating.co.uk
Amazingly enough, underfloor heating was first introduced to Britain 2,000 years ago by the Romans who spread the concept of "central heating" throughout their Empire.
Initially the preserve of the rich, underfloor heating became increasingly commonplace in public buildings and villas, particularly in the colder regions of the Roman Empire. The system the Romans employed involved "hypocausts" - ducts under the floor and flues in walls with hot air from fires travelling through them. The hot air would then warm the tiles or bricks and the heat would be passed into rooms.
What the Romans, and indeed earlier civilisations, had discovered was that this form of heating was incredibly efficient. There was no need to continually feed or stoke the fires and a relatively small furnace could heat an entire property.
In the 1960s, underfloor heating made a comeback in the UK, but this time electrical systems were used. Unfortunately, they proved expensive to run, were prone to mechanical failure and they often didn't deliver the required heat. Even today when you mention "under floor heating", many people think back to the old electrical heating systems.
However, in Europe a different form of underfloor heating was developed - warm water underfloor heating. It proved an instant success and has remained popular ever since, particularly in colder Northern Europe, in the likes of Germany and Scandinavia, but even in Mediterannean countries like Spain and Italy.
Today in the UK, warm water underfloor heating is proving increasingly popular in the UK too, particularly among self-builders and those converting old properties who can choose to install an underfloor heating system during the build.
The reasons for its increasing popularity are many:
1. Underfloor heating is invisible and doesn't take up valuable wall space with unsightly radiators that need to be maintained.
2. Underfloor heating heats the lower part of a room and gives a feeling of natural warmth. Your feet will be slightly warmer than your head - perfect for comfort.
3. With underfloor heating, the entire floor becomes a radiator. And because of its area, it does not have to reach the high temperatures of a standard wall radiator.
4. Underfloor heating can be used with concrete floors and all types of wooden floors. It can be used at ground level and upstairs. And it can be used with all types of floor covering - stone, tiles, wood, carpets.
5. Although it can be more expensive to install, underfloor heating often proves more economical in the long run, particularly in well insulated larger properties. What's more, the underfloor heating industry is increasingly competitive and the cost of installation is now comparable to radiators in many cases.
6. Energy savings of up to 40% can be achieved compared to conventional heating systems if a condensing boiler is installed, but even with a standard boiler up to 15% energy savings are normal. Servicing costs are also low and the efficiency of condensing boilers is enhanced thanks to water returning at a lower temperature. For green energy enthusiasts, geothermal energy is the perfect cost effective companion to a warm water underfloor heating system.
7. By employing full lengths of piping without any joints, warm water underfloor heating is practically maintenance free. And the piping used has a lifespan of up to 100 years.
8. Asthma sufferers can benefit from underfloor heating because it reduces the circulation of both dust and dust mites. The moisture content of the warmth produced by underfloor heating is also too low for dust mites.
The gentle heat and lack of moisture is also kind to timbers in your barn and your furniture too.
No wonder then that underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular with those converting barns and other agricultural properties.