How underfloor heating can help cut costs amid rising heating bills

The wholesale cost of gas and electricity has risen to unprecedented levels over the last year, causing costly heating bills for households across the UK.

As a result of this cost-of-living crisis, consumers are looking to cut down their energy bills by exploring alternate heating options and ways to reduce usage.

As leading suppliers and installers of underfloor heating across the UK and Ireland, we’ve taken a look at how underfloor heating works, the different systems available and how it can help cut the cost of heating bills.

How does underfloor heating work?

Underfloor heating uses a system of heating elements or pipes installed underneath or within flooring to warm a room from the ground up.

Unlike radiators, which heat the air closest to them, underfloor heating systems produce radiant heating for a more evenly distributed warmth – producing fewer cold spots!

With underfloor heating, the floor becomes the warmest part of the room, meaning that the heat produced is more effective and creates a more comfortable living environment.

What are the different types of underfloor heating?

There are two types of underfloor heating:

1 – Wet underfloor heating systems

Wet – or hydronic – underfloor heating uses circulating warm water to heat from the ground up.

Flexible pipes are embedded in the floor and water which has been heated by a boiler flows through them. Wet systems can be connected to an existing boiler or attached to renewable sources, such as an air-source or ground-source heat pump.

Although sometimes more challenging to install than a dry underfloor heating system, running costs can be lower.

Paired with sufficient insulation to reduce heat loss, wet underfloor heating is a highly effective and efficient way to heat a home.

2 – Dry underfloor heating systems

Dry – or electric – underfloor heating uses electric heating elements in either heating mats or cables which are laid beneath or within flooring to warm a room.

There are three electric underfloor heating options – heating mats, foil heating mats and loose heating cables.

The variety of systems available means electric underfloor heating is suitable for a wide range of projects, including large and small areas, regular-shaped rooms and irregular-shaped rooms with obstacles, like toilets or sinks.

Electric underfloor heating is easier to install than a wet system, as each room can be individually connected to the electricity supply.

Running costs can be a little higher than wet underfloor heating systems but, when used efficiently with a suitable control system, it is an extremely easy and effective heating source.

Which system is best?

The best system for your project will depend on a number of factors, including the type of project (e.g. renovation or new-build), size of the room and type of flooring.

Here at Gaia, we specialise in the design, supply and installation of both wet and dry systems and our expert team can advise on the right system for your project.

Whichever system you choose, the cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency of underfloor heating can help reduce heating bills.

How can underfloor heating help cut costs?

While costs will vary depending on the specific installation, there are a number of ways in which underfloor heating can help cut costs and keep energy bills low.

Energy efficiency

Underfloor heating is known for its energy efficiency. In fact, it is considered around 40% more efficient than a traditional radiator and boiler system.

Whilst a radiator runs at around 70°C, underfloor heating only needs to be around 35°C. This lower temperature takes much less time to achieve and therefore consumes significantly less energy for the same – if not better – warmth.

When installed with sufficient insulation to minimise heat loss, underfloor heating can be one of the most energy efficient heating solutions.

Our team of underfloor heating design and installation experts is on hand to ensure your system is as energy efficient as possible.

Smart controls

Choosing the right control system for your underfloor heating is critical to keeping costs low.

Most underfloor heating systems come with smart thermostats which can help monitor energy usage and keep running costs low.

Here at Gaia, we supply customisable thermostats which monitor the energy you use and help you save where possible.

Some of our control systems have specific energy-saving features, including ‘open window detection’ which reduces wastage by switching off the heating when it’s not needed.

These clever features can help reduce your heating costs by up to 12% and ensure you get the most from the energy consumers are paying for.

Minimal maintenance costs

Aside from the initial installation, underfloor heating requires little maintenance.

Both wet and dry systems have few moving parts, so as long as they have been installed correctly by experienced installers – such as our Gaia team – there is minimal upkeep.

Plus, they often come with significant warranties, ensuring dependable warmth and peace of mind. Unlike traditional boilers, which can be prone to breakdowns, underfloor heating presents a much lower risk of unexpected costs.

Although often thought of as a luxury, underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective and energy efficient heating solution for homes across the UK.

With their energy efficiency, controllable comfort and minimal maintenance, both wet and dry underfloor heating systems can help cut the cost of heating bills.

How can we help you?

Here at Gaia, we design, supply and install both wet and dry underfloor heating systems.

With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, we are multi award-winning specialists with the skill, expertise and passion to deliver the very best underfloor heating solutions for our clients.

We work with architects, contractors, M&E consultants, builders and developers on a wide range of projects. Whether you’re working on a new-build or renovation, a self-build or commercial project, our expert team can help.

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Electric Underfloor Heating

We provide a range of electric (dry) underfloor heating systems, including self-adhesive mats, heating cables and decoupling membrane to warm any room.

Wet Underfloor Heating

We supply wet (hydronic) underfloor heating systems from top brands for a wide range of projects.

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