Underfloor Heating Tips & Checks
If you have underfloor heating in your home, you’ll know how important it is and you’ll want it to last for years to come.
The same goes if you bought it and want to install electric underfloor heating yourself (water or wet underfloor heating should be installed by a professional). What you need are some essential tips, tricks and checks you can make for your underfloor system.
So, Plumbworld is here to help. We’ve picked out some essential tips and checks you can do if you already have underfloor heating in your home, such as maintenance. We’ll also discuss some common mistakes you can avoid while installing the system yourself.
Read on to find out more about the essential underfloor heating tips and checks…
Does Underfloor Heating Need Servicing?
Underfloor heating is largely maintenance-free and you shouldn’t have any issues occur, but regular servicing is recommended. It’s always best to regularly maintain the system to ensure it’s running smoothly and efficiently.
Servicing allows plumbers and engineers to look for signs of any failure or issues in the heating system. They can also offer tips to owners to maximise the efficiency of underfloor heating.
Read more: Underfloor Heating Complete Guide
Being proactive is much better than waiting for a fault to happen when you want to use your heating, and then having to fix the issue in a busy period for plumbers. Waiting can be more expensive and lead to the heating not working as effectively until it is fixed, which is far from ideal in winter.
Tip: While you should service all underfloor heating systems, you should absolutely get a wet system - i.e. one using water from a boiler - serviced as you would your radiators
Bleeding a wet underfloor heating system is not something that should be done regularly. However, like any heating system that uses water to circulate heat via pipes, like radiators, it is only normal for air to get trapped in the system.
In effect, a small trapped pocket of air does not present a major problem but it can affect the efficiency and even distribution of heat. Bleeding is the process of letting out this trapped air to ensure the free circulation of heated water.
While some people can bleed their own pipes, it is advisable to contact a plumber if you are unsure about the process.
Flushing the System
Like bleeding, this is something you may well come across with radiators and the same applies to wet underfloor heating. Sometimes, you will hear gurgling sounds and the system needs to be unclogged.
A wet underfloor system will benefit from occasional flushing. This isn’t something that you will have to arrange very often as the pipes aren’t as tight as a radiator. The process forces warm water at high pressure and a mixture of anti-corrosive chemicals to dislodge rust and sludge.
It also allows a change of fluid to replace it with a fresh mixture that retains heat easily. Depending on the severity of the problem, the cost of flushing the system will vary. Like central heating, sludge can build up in the pipes as the water circulates in an active system.
Check Your Thermostat
This is one for electric and water underfloor heating systems but especially with dry systems where the heating won’t turn off or warm up.
This could be down to a thermostat or wiring problem. You will need to check your thermostat and whether the floor probe has failed, and is connected to the thermostat correctly. You will need to look it up in your manufacturer’s guide. If the thermostat and temperature probe works just fine, you may need to call an electrician.
You can easily reset a thermostat by following the user guide provided with your heating system. If you have a wireless or battery-powered thermostat, then it’s also a good idea to check the batteries. If neither of these works, it could potentially be an electrical fault, so, again, you’ll need to call a qualified electrician.
Note: A faulty thermostat can also cause your underfloor heating to be permanently switched on.
Underfloor Heating Installation Tips
If you’ve bought your underfloor heating and are looking to install it yourself, you should only do this for electric systems, there are mistakes you should avoid. These are quite common, so don’t worry, you won’t be the first to have done them.
Read The Instructions
It may sound silly and obvious, but failing to read the installation manual for your underfloor system before actually installing it may result in problems later on. The installation steps depend on the make and type of underfloor heating, as well as the brand, so don’t assume anything and make sure to read through the manual before starting the work.
There are a few steps you can take during installation in order to minimise any future problems with your underfloor heating. One of the best is testing. You should test the system before it is laid down, once it’s been laid and before applying the floor on top.
Most problems, if there are any, will be revealed at this stage. If the system is fine before laying the floor cover, there is little chance of it developing a fault once you’ve put the flooring on top. The same can be said for water underfloor heating. Unless the pipe is physically damaged during installation, there is little chance of the pipe failing.
You should test an electric underfloor heating system by using a multimeter to check the resistance. This tests the integrity of the heating to make sure it has not been damaged while it’s been installed.
Note: The system will need to be switched on to see if it heats up properly, but for no longer than 10 minutes.
It may sound a bit strange, but a good way to ensure everything goes well with installation is to rehearse it beforehand. It will tell you if you’re missing any tools you need or have any further questions to ask a manufacturer before you get started on the real thing. Walk yourself through the instruction manual after you’ve read it, it’ll make things easier.
Tips for Using Underfloor Heating
Once everything is fitted and installed, you want to use your underfloor heating properly. These tips will keep it working for years to come and could help save you money on your energy bills.
Use your Thermostats Effectively
While you should leave your underfloor heating on at all times during winter, it doesn’t need to be at a consistently high temperature. So, keep it on at a reduced heat. Then, when you do need to raise the temperature, it will go up to a comfortable level much quicker.
Use a smart thermostat so you can set your underfloor heating system from anywhere using a mobile device. This will give you much more control over the system and helps to keep your energy bills as low as possible. You can also set temperatures for different times of the day which can save you up to 25% on your energy bills.
Leave your Underfloor Heating on
Throughout winter, and some of autumn, your underfloor heating system should be kept on at all times. However, we don’t mean at a high temperature, it should be at different temperatures depending on usage and activity in your home.
This is because underfloor heating can take two to three hours to warm up, so the best thing to do is to not completely turn it off. Keeping it switched on at a consistently low temperature will ensure that your home is heated faster when you need it to be.
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