How Long Does Underfloor Heating Take to Warm Up?
Switching from radiators to underfloor heating brings with it numerous advantages, but it also takes some getting used to. Our clients tell us that the biggest adjustment they’ve had to make is understanding how to manage the warm-up times for wet underfloor heating systems. We thought, therefore, that it would be helpful to tackle this in a blog.
How Does Underfloor Heating Work?
If you have a wet underfloor heating system, your room is heated through thermal conductivity. This means that water pipes transfer heat to a screed sub floor which then transfers it to every corner of the room. When the heating is first turned on, your energy is moving in two directions; laterally and vertically. It can, therefore, take 2-3 hours for your system to arrive at the required heat in medium sized room, from stone cold.
Underfloor Heating Management
During the winter months, keeping your heating on at a reduced level all the time, helps with warm-up times. This is because your flooring remains laterally warm all the time. Once the thermostat is turned up heat can rise more quickly to achieve the desired temperature. Smart thermostats allow you to regulate your heating flexibly. So it’s possible to lower your heating at night and up the temperature when rooms are occupied.
We recommend that clients ‘zone’ their heating in order to achieve maximum efficiency. If you use a room regularly, it’s worth making sure that you can heat it quickly. Rarely used rooms – such as bedrooms – can be kept cooler, and warmed up more slowly at times when needed.
Underfloor Heating Requires Efficient Insulation
When installing underfloor heating solutions for our customers, we always emphasise the importance of good insulation. We use liquid screed as a sub floor for this reason. Flow screed has high thermal conductivity, and it’s been designed for use with underfloor heating. The screed envelops the pipes at installation, and ensures that the heat flows laterally across the room.
Underfloor heating rises, so it’s important to make sure that you’re not losing the warmth in your rooms. This could be due to a poorly insulated roof, or poorly sealed windows or doors. Ideally the heat will rise and remain in the room.
Floor Covering Makes a Difference to ‘Warm Up’ Rates
If your flooring finish is a poor conductor of heat, this will impact the time it takes for your room to heat up.
Different materials will increase or reduce your ‘warm up’ time:
- Wood. A dense wood finish, such as oak, will take much longer to warm up. Pine, or lightweight hardwoods will warm up much faster (30-60 minutes after being switched on)
- Stone. This is the very best conductor of heat, and is ideal for underfloor heating. Any stone floor will do a good job, but thicker tiles will take longer. (15-30 minutes)
- Concrete. This is a poor conductor of heat and will take over an hour to heat up. We would always advise clients to use tile-backer insulations when laying a concrete floor for ufh.
What is Tile-Backer Insulation?
These are water resistant, insulated tile-backer boards. They significantly reduce the warm up time to as little as 15-20 minutes. This is because their made of extruded polystyrene, with a fibreglass mesh on each side. This is embedded into a cement mortar to add durability. These are an excellent way to waterproof bathrooms, or wet rooms, as well as enhancing underfloor heating.
RB Liquid Screed Specialists
At RB Liquid Screed we take pride in the expertise we’re able to offer clients as part of our underfloor heating installation services. If you’re looking for any advice, or guidance, on underfloor heating installation, or heating management, call our specialists. They can provide free no obligation quotations, or provide relevant, and accurate, information on ufh.