Autumn is upon us and it’s hard to avoid looking towards the colder months and thinking about staying warm. Is underfloor heating the key to a cosy winter? Is it worth the cost and upheaval?
I’m a bit of a gloomy guts when it gets to this time of the year. Even the occasional sunny day can’t distract me from the fact that it’s getting dark earlier and the countdown to winter has begun. I can’t help my mind from being drawn to thoughts of chilly evenings and the annual realisation that I don’t have enough jumpers.
Yes, I’m already thinking about winter and wondering how cold it will get this year. Last year I managed to avoid switching my heating on until well into November, and I wonder if I can push it to December this year. I’m lucky though, my home is well-insulated and easy to warm up.
The building I live in is only a few years old and seems to have been built with energy efficiency in mind. Underfloor heating is standard in each of the well-insulated, double-glazed flats. I only recently realised that I have an Economy 7 electricity meter too, but I’m not sure how practical that is for me. I usually only have my heating on in the morning and evening. And it’s a small flat, so using my washing machine at night wouldn’t be ideal.
Is underfloor heating for you?
My rented flat is rather poky. If it wasn’t for the underfloor heating, I would have struggled to find a home for my modest amount of furniture. With no radiators to get in my way, I was able to squeeze in my bookshelves and drawers with the minimum of fuss.
My heating system is electric and seems fairly energy efficient. The most efficient underfloor heating systems benefit from heat pumps to draw warmth from the ground or the air. Unfortunately, a heat pump doesn’t appear to have been a practical option for my block of flats.
Are you tempted by the idea of underfloor heating for your home? If so, now is the best time to get it installed.
Water heating systems are complex to install, so you’ll need a professional engineer to fit them. Electric underfloor heating is less expensive to fit and there are some kits that a keen DIY enthusiast could tackle. You’ll still need a qualified electrician to connect your system to the mains, however. I was lucky to move into a home where the hard work had already been done.
I must confess, occasionally there are moments when I miss radiators. When I had the heating on in my previous flat, it was handy to be able to dry clothes on my nice, warm radiators. I also miss being able to stand next to a warm radiator after a walk in the cold. Lying face down on my hardwood floor just isn’t as cosy.
Which heating system warms the cockles of your heart? Do you already have underfloor heating? Do you think it’s better for your energy bills?