Radiator vs underfloor heating

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by spdavies, 31 Jan 2014.

  1. spdavies

    spdavies

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    Hey guys just wondering whether to replace our current kitchen rad with underfloor heating.Basically missus hates current rad and it struggles to heat room anyway so was wondering if to put a funky new rad in ir go underfloor heating.

    Anyone opinions on whether I should in a kitchen circa 16m2?

    Also ideas on ballpark cost to buy and install and then running cost comparison vs standard rad.

    All thoughts welcome pls!!
     
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  3. dishman

    dishman

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    There are losts of posts on here asking the same question. If you look at the bottom of this post the site automatically shows related posts, or just use the search function.

    However, I will get the ball rolling. It depends on what type of system you want to fit. A wet system or a "dry" electric system. Wet systems are more efficient but have a higher installation costs.

    Furthermore, retrofitting underfloor heating (especially wet systems ) can be expensive and a bit of an upheaval so it is usually best to do it when you are renovating.

    With underfloor heating the temperature is much lower than a radiator, max around 27 degrees. It works best with ceramic floors. You can use wood (has to be special engineered wood to prevent warping) and carpet of 1.8tog (it think) or lower otherwise the efficiency is reduced a lot.

    You can not use underfloor heating like a radiator, i.e quick on/off cycles. It is meant to be on for long periods, pretty much all day during cold periods as it takes a few hours to warm such a large surface area.

    A wet system will take up more space (compared to electric) as it requires manifolds to mix the hot and cold to the correct temperatures, but as I said is more efficient and costs less to run. Electric is probably cheaper to install and easier to retro fit.

    Lots of things to consider. Do your research as there is a lot of information out there. But look for independent views, not websites selling products.
     
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  4. Bon

    Bon

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    As Dishman says, retro fitting UFH into a single room can often be more hassle than its worth.

    You ideally want a wet system as they are the most efficient (especially if you have a condensing boiler), however to get the best out of it, you would need to lay the pipes within a new floor screed. Unless you want to step up into your kitchen, that usually means breaking out the existing screed.

    If you struggle heating the room with the existing radiator then are you sure its big enough? Is the system balanced?

    If you iron out any problems with the xistng radiator,then why not consider a larger vertical radiator, or even adding a second radiator in the room (if you have space)
     
  5. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    That might not be the case if only some room(s) are converted. If there are still rooms with rads, then the boiler will be set at a temperature to service those. The UFH will then blend this down.
    At part load*, the system bypass will ensure that the boiler return temp rises - potentially stopping the boiler condensing.
    * Which may include the period when only the UFH is running as it needs to come on before the rads due to the lower warm up rate.
     
  6. Bon

    Bon

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    You're quite right which is why

     
  7. kbdiy

    kbdiy

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    Why not look at a plinth heater. Fits under a kitchen unit, uses the central heating system to generate heat and has a fan to circulate the heat. Perfectly adequate in our 8 sq m kitchen but would easily heat a larger area. Would probably only require minor alteration to your central heating pipework to install.
     
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  9. highleigh

    highleigh

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    I put both in my kitchen, wet underfloor heating all downstairs and a plinth radiator in the kitchen connected the upstairs rad circuit.

    Underfloor heating is great but does take a long time to get the house up to temperature, plinth heater is backup so I can get some heat in the kitchen in the morning quickly. We'll see if I need it.

    I can't see how wet underfloor heating could possibly work unless it had its own programmable thermostat, mixer and presumably would also need another pump. Just checked and it appears can get all this for about £500 as a kit so maybe it is possible.
     
  10. munchingB

    munchingB

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    my partner is a biologist and says that underfloor heating can cause bad circulation(blood-not water!) and contribute to all manner of health issues.
     
  11. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    That's interesting, and counter intuitive - I (and assume some others) would be interested if there are references to articles on it (preferably of the not too technical type :rolleyes:)
    I say non-intuitive as I seem to take after my mother who always has cold feet. I'd have thought that having a warm floor would keep feet warm, thus avoiding the throttling of blood supply the body does to avoid cold extremities dropping the core temperature - or is that only under "extreme" cold ?
     
  12. Whitling2k

    Whitling2k

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    Hi - I have just this weekend fitted a CH fed plinth heater (myson kickspace 600 - got one BNIB off ebay for £140). We decided on one of those over a large vertical rad.

    So far (one evening and one morning) it's taken the edge of the cold and was not too hard to install. I've made sure the system is fully isolatable both at the unit and where it spurs off the heating flow/return pipes should I decide to redo the kitchen and not want to drain the entire heating system again! I also added a rad valve to help balance the system.


    We did it because we are planning on eeking another 5-10 years our of our kitchen and didn't want to loose space with a radiator. I will probably go with UF heating when we gut the entire kitchen though.
     
  13. munchingB

    munchingB

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    i was only saying because it seemed you were looking for a reason not to do one or the other.. the heat source underfoot basically widens your veins and lowers your blood pressure. heat does that anyway regardless of where it is coming from but i think that there was some issue with warm wide vessels down low creating greater difficulties in pumping blood upwards towards all those essential organs...?
     
  14. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    I wasn't, but IIRC the OP was.

    I can see that making sense. I can't help thinking that if someone has "dizzy problems" by having warm feet then they probably have bigger issues than whether to have UFH or not. Just warm socks, or a warm shower, would have the same effect - though I know some people do suffer from very low blood pressure (Mum included).
    I thought there was a suggestion that the circulation problem might be in the legs/feet, but now you've clarified that isn't the case.
     
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