Underfloor Heating & Heat Pump FAQ

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a versatile heating and cooling system that transfers heat from one area to another. It operates based on the principles of thermodynamics, extracting heat from a low-temperature source (like the air, ground, or water) and delivering it to a higher-temperature space. This process can be reversed to provide cooling as well.

What is underfloor heating?

Water underfloor heating is a type of heating system that involves the installation of pipes or tubing beneath the floor surface to distribute warm water and provide radiant heat. The system typically consists of a network of pipes connected to a central manifold and a heat source, such as a boiler or heat pump. The warm water circulates through the pipes, emitting heat that rises and warms the surrounding space from the floor upwards.

What are the benefits of a Heat Pump?
  • Energy Efficiency

    One significant benefit of a heat pump is its high energy efficiency. Heat pumps transfer heat rather than generating it through combustion, resulting in lower energy consumption. They can achieve impressive Coefficient of Performance (COP) values, which indicate the ratio of heat output to electrical input. Heat pumps can produce more energy for heating or cooling than the electricity they consume, leading to reduced energy bills and environmental impact.

  • Heating and Cooling in One System

    Another advantage is that heat pumps provide both heating and cooling capabilities in a single system. By reversing the refrigeration cycle, they can extract heat from indoors and release it outdoors during warm weather, effectively cooling the space. This versatility eliminates the need for separate heating and cooling systems, reducing equipment costs and simplifying maintenance.

  • Environmentally Friendly

    Heat pumps are an environmentally friendly heating and cooling option. Since they transfer heat instead of burning fossil fuels, heat pumps produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. They can also be paired with renewable energy sources, such as geothermal or solar, to further enhance their eco-friendliness. Choosing a heat pump contributes to reducing carbon footprints and supports sustainable energy practices.

What are the negatives of a Heat Pump?
  • Upfront Cost

    One significant drawback of heat pumps is their relatively higher upfront cost compared to traditional heating and cooling systems. The cost of purchasing and installing a heat pump can be greater than that of conventional systems like furnaces or air conditioners. However, it’s important to note that the long-term energy savings and efficiency of heat pumps can often offset the initial investment over time.

  • Climate Dependence

    Heat pumps may be less effective in extremely cold climates. As the outdoor temperature drops, the efficiency of air-source heat pumps decreases, requiring additional energy to extract heat from the cold air. In such cases, supplementary heating may be necessary, which can affect overall efficiency and increase energy consumption. However, advancements in technology and the availability of cold-climate heat pumps have mitigated this issue to some extent.

  • Installation Considerations

    Installing a heat pump system may require modifications to the existing infrastructure of a building. Depending on the type of heat pump and the property’s layout, extensive ductwork or piping may be necessary. Retrofitting an older building for heat pump installation can be more challenging and costly, particularly if there are space constraints or limited access to outdoor areas required for heat pump placement. Proper sizing and installation by qualified professionals are crucial to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

What are the benefits of Underfloor Heating?
  • Enhanced Comfort

    Water underfloor heating provides a superior level of comfort compared to traditional heating systems. The radiant heat emitted from the floor creates a more even and gentle warmth throughout the room. This eliminates the discomfort of cold spots and drafts typically experienced with other heating methods. With water underfloor heating, you can enjoy a cozy and comfortable living space.

  • Energy Efficiency

    Water underfloor heating is known for its energy efficiency. It operates at lower water temperatures compared to radiators, which allows for greater efficiency when coupled with modern condensing boilers or heat pumps. The lower operating temperatures reduce energy consumption, resulting in potential cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint. Additionally, the even heat distribution provided by underfloor heating minimizes heat loss, further enhancing energy efficiency.

  • Design Flexibility

    Water underfloor heating offers excellent design flexibility. Unlike bulky radiators, underfloor heating is hidden beneath the floor surface, freeing up wall space and allowing for more flexibility in room layouts and interior design. With no visible heating elements, you have more freedom to arrange furniture and decorate without restrictions. Underfloor heating is particularly popular in modern, open-plan spaces, where it seamlessly integrates with the overall aesthetic while providing efficient heating.

What are the negatives of Underfloor Heating?
  • Installation Complexity

    Installing water underfloor heating can be more complex and labor-intensive compared to traditional heating systems. It typically requires professional installation and expertise to ensure proper pipe layout, connection to the heat source, and integration with the existing flooring. Retrofitting an existing building with underfloor heating may involve significant disruption and cost, especially if access to the floor structure is limited.

  • Slower Heating Response

    Water underfloor heating systems typically have a slower heating response time compared to other heating methods, such as radiators. The large surface area of the floor and the heat transfer process can take longer to warm up the room compared to more direct heating systems. It may require some planning and anticipation to ensure the desired temperature is achieved at the desired time.

  • Initial Cost

    The initial cost of installing water underfloor heating can be higher compared to traditional heating systems like radiators. The expenses include not only the materials and labor for installation but also the potential need for insulation and adjustments to the existing flooring. While the long-term energy savings and comfort benefits can offset the initial investment, it is important to consider the upfront costs when evaluating the feasibility of water underfloor heating for a particular project.

Heatmiser Neo controlling Underfloor Heating with a Heat Pump
  • Smart Thermostat

    The Neo System allow you to program temperature schedules to make use of the heat pump during the most optimum times, adjust settings remotely, and monitor energy usage. Neo also supports multiple heating zones if you have different areas with separate underfloor heating circuits.

  • Zone Control

    Dividing your space into zones, each with its own Neo thermostat and underfloor heating circuit allows you to control each zone independently, optimising comfort and energy efficiency. For example, you may want different temperature settings for bedrooms, living areas, and bathrooms. Zone control ensures that each area is heated according to its specific requirements.

  • Heat/Cool

    The neoAir system, along with the UH8-RF v2 and HC Switch provides control for both heating and cooling.

    In addition, the dew point sensor ensures that floor surfaces are not at risk of condensation when in cooling mode.