Yes, retrofit underfloor heating can work depending on the type and size of the space and how you plan to heat the space. Underfloor heating systems use the same principles of heating as any other system – they convert electric or gas energy into heat energy and transfer that energy into room.
But with retrofit underfloor heating, the heat is distributed to the floor rather than the walls, ceilings or air. The principle behind retrofit underfloor heating is simple – hot water or electrical coils are placed between insulation boards or mats that are laid directly onto the floor.
This creates a heating system that not only works efficiently but is completely enclosed within the floor.
Advantages of retrofit underfloor heating over traditional heating systems include cost savings, increased energy efficiency and better air quality. So, it makes sense to consider a retrofit underfloor heating system if you are looking to reduce your energy bills, upgrade the comfort of your home, and improve the air quality of your indoor space.
The biggest challenge with retrofit underfloor heating is getting the system to work properly, which is why it’s important to consult with an experienced professional to ensure you get the best possible results.
Doing your research and taking advantage of the industry’s best practices can ensure that retrofit underfloor heating is the right choice for your home.
Can you add underfloor heating to existing system?
Yes, you can add underfloor heating to an existing system. Adding underfloor heating to an existing system generally involves installing radiant heating coils, a thermostat, flooring, and a boiler. Depending on the type of heating being used, the installation process can range from fairly straightforward to more involved.
When adding underfloor heating to an existing system, it is important to consider all the various options. This includes the type of coils to be used, how the installation will impact the existing system, and any other materials that may need to be purchased to complete the installation.
It is also important to consider energy efficiency, as underfloor heating can increase the energy efficiency of an existing system.
Before beginning the installation process, it is important to consult a professional to ensure that the installation is done correctly. If the existing system is not set up properly, the installation may take much longer and could create future issues.
Overall, adding underfloor heating to an existing system can be a great way to increase comfort and energy efficiency. However, before beginning the installation process, it is important to do the appropriate research and consult a professional.
Can radiant heating be installed in old construction?
Yes, radiant heating can be installed into old construction. This often requires some degree of retrofitting and certain conditions must be met in order for it to be successful. For example, the floor needs to be solid and free of any prior heating elements in order for the radiant heating to be properly installed.
Additionally, the insulation may need to be supplemented in some cases to ensure that the heat retention is maximized. In any case, an expert should always be consulted if you are considering installing radiant heating in your old construction to ensure that all aspects of the project are taken into account.
How do you add radiant heat to an existing hot water boiler system?
Adding radiant heat to an existing hot water boiler system can be done by installing a new system with a heat exchanger, such as a direct-fired water-to-water heat exchanger, into the existing boiler.
The new system should include a circulating pump that is sized to the proper GPM flow rate to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is then plumbed into the existing boiler’s water feed. Once the new heat exchanger is in place and the existing boiler is operating, the heat exchanger will pull heat from the hot water boiler and transfer it to the new radiant heat system.
The heat exchanger should have a thermostat to control the temperature of the water. The temperature of the heat exchanger’s output water will vary depending on the temperature of the boiler’s hot water, so setting the thermostat to the desired temperature of the new radiant system will keep the heat exchanger at the correct temperature.
Once the heat exchanger is in place and the existing boiler is operating at its optimum efficiency, the new radiant system can be installed and is ready for use.
How thick does concrete need to be for underfloor heating?
The thickness of the concrete required for underfloor heating will depend on the type of system you are using and the expected heat output. Generally, concrete should be poured at a thickness of 80-200mm for underfloor heating, although this may vary depending on the system.
If a screed is to be poured on top of the concrete for a finished look, the concrete base can be thinner at around 50- 100mm.
Concrete serves as an excellent thermal mass for heat storage and acts as a heat sink to circulate warmth from the underfloor heating system through the room. In order to achieve the greatest heat production, a high thermal mass system should be chosen and the concrete should be carefully profiled to match the system and the building’s insulation requirements.
When calculating the thickness of the concrete, a few extra considerations should be taken into account. The type of system and the construction of the building play an important role in determining the thickness, as well as the heat loss values of the building’s walls and windows, the heat source (boiler or heat pump) and type of insulation used.
Proper preparation and understanding of the conditions will help ensure the best possible performance.
How do you prepare a concrete floor for electric underfloor heating?
Preparing a concrete floor for electric underfloor heating involves a few steps. First, you should clean the concrete floor by sweeping off any dirt or debris. You should use a strong cleaner to remove any oil or grease residue.
Then, you should repair any cracks or other damage to the concrete to ensure a smooth, even surface that is free of imperfections. Once the floor has been prepped, you can proceed to lay down an insulation material, such as a mineral wool or foam products, to help with heat retention and maintain the heat evenly throughout the space.
Next, the electric underfloor heating system should be laid down correctly. This typically involves meticulously-measuring and cutting the electric underfloor mat to fit the room’s dimensions. Lay this down and make sure it is secure and flat on the floor.
As the final step before installing the thermostat and connecting the system to the power source, all the joints should be sealed with a special tape to ensure no heat is lost through the floor. Once all these steps have been taken, you can then test the system and turn on the thermostat for warmth and comfort.
Do you need an electrician to install underfloor heating?
Yes, you do need an electrician to install underfloor heating. While you can buy DIY kits to help with installation, any electrical work should be done by a trained and certified electrician for safety reasons.
If a circuit or wiring is not connected correctly, it can be dangerous and could potentially cause a fire. Electricians have the necessary skills, tools and safety training to correctly install underfloor heating systems.
Additionally, using a professional electrician helps to ensure that your underfloor heating system meets all safety requirements and codes.
How much does it cost to dig up a concrete floor UK?
The cost to dig up a concrete floor in the UK will depend on a few factors, including the size and depth of the concrete that needs to be removed, the location, and the type of equipment needed to complete the project.
Generally speaking, you can expect to pay from £500 to £3,500 (excluding VAT) for a typical 12-square-metre concrete slab removal, although the final cost can be much higher if the existing concrete needs to be broken up, the depth is greater than 180mm, or an over- excavation is necessary.
Before beginning a job, it’s always recommended to get multiple quotes from professional contractors to ensure you get the best value for your money.
Which is cheaper wood floor or concrete?
Ultimately, the cost of deciding between wood flooring and concrete flooring largely depends on the type of wood and concrete chosen and the size of the area being covered. Generally speaking, wood flooring is usually cheaper than concrete flooring.
If a low-budget option is desired, wood laminate or wood-look vinyl can provide a similar aesthetic to hardwood flooring at a much lower cost. Solid wood flooring will cost more than laminate and vinyl options, however, the quality and aesthetics of solid wood flooring often makes the increased cost worth it.
On the other hand, concrete flooring can be cheaper or more expensive depending on the type of concrete flooring you choose. Basic concrete flooring may be low cost, but requires regular treatments and may not have the desired aesthetic value.
Polished concrete floors can provide a more upscale finished product but can be costly to install. Also, the cost of concrete floor installation also depends on the complexity of the job – if you are covering a large area and need flooring on multiple levels, the cost of labor increases.
Ultimately, there is no clear answer as to whether wood flooring or concrete flooring is cheaper; it depends on the selected materials and labor costs.
Can underfloor heating be retrofitted?
Yes, underfloor heating can be retrofitted. This type of retrofit is more involved than a more traditional heating system, however, as the flooring needs to be partially or completely removed to accommodate the underfloor heating system.
Existing joists may also need to be replaced with ones suitable for allowing embedding of the underfloor heating pipes.
Once these modifications have been made, the new underfloor heating system can be placed. The unit consists of a system of pipes or cables embedded in a sandwich of insulation and underfloor boards (or screed).
Once the pipe or cable network has been installed, it can be connected to a thermostat in the same way as a more conventional heating system.
This can be done professionally by heating engineers, however, it can be a complex procedure, and so it’s best to seek the advice of a suitably qualified person before beginning such a project. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be local building regulations in your area that must be adhered to, so it’s best to check these before beginning a retrofit project.
How do you heat an existing floor?
Heating an existing floor usually involves one of two approaches: radiant floor heating or hot water baseboard heating.
Radiant floor heating involves loops of hot water tubing (known as PEX tubing) that are embedded in your floor or lay beneath it. The hot water is sourced from a boiler and circulated through the loops, radiating heat from the floor to keep the room warm.
Typically you would install a network of sensor and modulating valves to monitor and adjust the temperature of the water in the pipes so you can have precise temperature control.
In terms of hot water baseboard heating, these systems involve a network of supply and return pipes running throughout the existing floor. Hot water is forced through these pipes in a process known as forced convection heating.
The hot water radiates heat off its sides to warm up the air in the room and the room is warmed up by convection currents that flow through the air in the room. Similar to radiant floor heating, you could also opt for a sensor and modulating valve system to control the temperature of the hot water.
Does radiant heat crack concrete?
The answer to whether radiant heat can cause cracking in concrete is a complicated one. It’s possible for concrete to crack when exposed to radiant heat, but this usually only happens in extreme cases where the temperature varies drastically.
While it is true that concrete can retain and store heat energy, it will generally not get hot enough to cause cracking due to radiant heat alone.
In some cases, fluctuating temperatures caused by radiant heat can cause concrete to crack when the temperature quickly rises and then quickly drops. This type of thermal shock is caused when the heat is not held inside the concrete evenly and can make the concrete expand and contract rapidly.
This type of thermal shock may cause cracking if the cycle is repeated over a long period of time.
Concrete can also crack under radiant heat when the concrete is exposed to extreme temperatures. For example, if the temperature were to reach above 250°F, the concrete could crack. However, this is rare and would most likely not be a result of radiant heat alone, as radiant heat does not usually cause temperatures to reach that high in normal circumstances.
In general, it is usually not an issue for radiant heat to cause cracking in concrete. However, it is important to note that concrete may still be susceptible to thermal shocks caused by fluctuations in temperature due to uncontrolled radiant heat sources.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that the temperature inside a building is kept steady and consistent to prevent cracking from occurring.
How do you insulate a concrete slab for radiant heat?
When insulating a concrete slab for radiant heat, it is important to select the right insulation material and a proper installation technique. Generally, closed cell foam is the best choice for radiant heat insulation.
It needs to be laid directly against the concrete slab and sealed with tape around the edges to ensure optimal insulation. The foam should be cut to fit the exact size and shape of the slab using a measuring tape.
It is recommended to use foam that has a minimum R-value of 5 per inch in order to provide adequate insulation. In addition, make sure that the foam is laid flat across the slab with no lumps in order to ensure a uniform insulation.
Once the foam is laid down, cover it with a layer of foil radiant barrier or double-sided reflective insulation, which will help to reflect the heat away from the slab. Finally, seal any gaps or cracks in the slab with caulk or expanding foam to prevent heat loss.