16) Heat Source

Any heating source can be used for underfloor heating. Standard boilers, combination boilers, heat pumps, condensing boilers, stoves, biomass boilers etc., they all work. Care should be taken with some combination boilers on the UK market to ensure that they work with an additional pump on the underfloor heating system. The most efficient boiler with a wet underfloor heating system is a condensing boiler.

A standard boiler produces approximately 80% heat, and 20% residual gas, which when released into the atmosphere is part of the reason for our high carbon emissions. Condensing boilers take the 20% residual gas from the first heating process, and pass it through heat exchangers, to produce a further 15% heat, and the surplus gas residue is reduced to 5%, this residue liquefies, or condenses.

Heat pumps work very efficiently at low temperatures - compared to a standard radiator system where boilers deliver water at 80 deg C, underfloor heating systems work at very low temperatures – as low as 35 deg C. Heat pumps and wet underfloor heating systems are a natural and logical fit.

There are more than two million homes in Britain without a gas supply and many of these would benefit from the use of heat pumps. The Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes. The code became mandatory from the 1st May 2008, from which time all new homes are required to have a code rating.

Biomass boilers are becoming more popular due to the proposed requirements for zero carbon homes and the requirement to reduce carbon emissions by 20% in small businesses. Furthermore, controllable and efficient wood and pellet burning boilers have been developed for the domestic and small commercial market and these work well with underfloor heating systems.

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UHMA - The trade association for surface heating and cooling.

 

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