Why Underfloor Heating Is Older Than You Might Think

The idea of fitting underfloor heating in a north London home might seem rather novel, despite all its many great advantages of energy efficiency and thoroughly effective warming.

In fact, the first London residents to have underfloor heating did so a long time ago – stretching back to when there first was a place called London at all.

What is now a bustling megacity was founded by the Romans, whose empire featured some very advanced engineering. Apart from their water and sewage systems, plus the capacity to build a wall that could stretch from one coast to the other, they created their own underfloor heating systems, called hypocausts.

Among examples of this are the baths at what is now Billingsgate, while another bath house site, also heated by a hypocaust, was discovered in Southwark in 2011.

The hypocaust system worked by using a double floor, with fires lit in the space in between. The heat would rise up and could warm up bath water or, in homes, the air in the living space above.

Other examples of Roman hypocausts can be found around Britain and around the empire. Suffice to say, only the wealthier and higher-ranking Romans had it in their residences.

You don’t have to be very wealthy or the owner of a public bathhouse to have underfloor heating in London today, of course. Although the technology used by the Romans was advanced for its time, it is safe to say the modern systems used are much better. For one thing, you won’t need servants to keep going downstairs to keep the fires stoked.

Instead, with one of our skilled engineers carrying out the installation work, you can enjoy the benefits of a modern energy-efficient system that represents a great investment for a present-day homeowner, enabling you to enjoy comfortable living without high bills.

When Should Most People Turn The Heating Off This Year?

As soon as there is a peak of sunshine breaking through the clouds, Brits are already planning to dust off their barbecues and dig out their sunglasses. So with spring finally appearing to be on the way, most of us are beginning to think about when is the right time to turn off the central heating

Those who are still feeling the chill, despite the longer hours of daylight, will be pleased to know it is not imminent, and can enjoy having the radiators turned up for a few weeks more. 

By the end of the month, however, most households will be starting to switch their thermostat off, as the weather should be warmer and it is a chance to save money on their energy bills. 

Traditionally, lots of bill payers tend to use the clocks going forward as a marker to switch their heating off.

Director of Leading Trades Training Experts at Engineering Real Results Ricky Sharma told the Express: “While the exact date is a decision for each family, it’s usually safe to do so on the day the clocks go forward to mark the arrival of British Summer Time.”

For 2024, that date will be Sunday March 31st, though some people will do it earlier if they feel warm enough in their homes. 

Indeed, lots of Brits might be tempted to turn theirs off as soon as average temperatures rise above 10C, which could be as soon as March 22nd this year.  

Mr Sharma advised not turning off the heating too soon though, as it can result in mould and dampness in the house if it gets too cold. 

What’s more, there are health risks associated with low indoor temperatures, including a higher chance of developing respiratory conditions, inflammation of the lungs, and poor circulation.

Why You Should Keep Underfloor Heating On All The Time

Most homeowners are currently facing a conundrum about how often they should put the heating on and how high they should set their thermostat, thanks to the combination of high energy bills and freezing temperatures. 

Although many want to save money on their heating expenses, the wintry conditions that are likely to remain for the next few months makes it very difficult to stay warm inside if the house is not sufficiently heated up. 

This is what leads many households to regularly turning their thermostat up and down, trying to use as little energy as possible until they can no longer handle the cold and need the house to be warmer. 

However, for those who have underfloor heating, it is better to have them constantly on instead of frequently turning them on and off. 

According to uHeat, having it on all day, even when nobody is in, means it will be quicker to warm up and it will be more efficient. 

“As long as you opt for a well-built, properly installed, high-quality underfloor heating system, you can be confident of leaving the system switched on all day every day without any problems at all,” it stated. 

This ensures the room will receive some heat throughout the day, but homeowners can also increase the temperature if they need extra warming up when they want. 

Without leaving it on all day, it is difficult to feel the true benefits of underfloor heating, as it can take a couple of hours to properly warm up. Therefore, once the room is no longer uncomfortably cold, it might be time to go to bed! 

Only Use Heating ‘When Necessary’ To Avoid High Bills

The majority of homeowners will be looking for ways to cut down on their heating bills this winter, as energy prices have soared over the last year. 

Dispelling the myth that having the heating on low all day is the best way to have low bills, the Money Saving Expert website says the Energy saving Trust recommends only putting the heating on when it is needed.

It stated: “The key thing to understand here is that it’s all about the total amount of energy required to heat your home.”

By having the heating on all day, “you’re losing energy all day”, which is why it is cheaper to only turn it on when residents are cold. 

However, it is not just about keeping people warm. The Energy Saving Trust notes that turning the heating on and off can cause condensation in the house, as the temperature is constantly changing. 

“This condensation can help conduct heat outside the home, they say – meaning you leak heat more quickly and so you will use more energy as a result,” the Money Saving Expert added. 

Those who have homes that are prone to condensation may have to balance the benefits of cheaper energy bills with potential damage to the property due to the extra moisture in the air.  

Other ways to reduce condensation, and therefore, lower the risk of dampness include wiping down windows and sills every morning, using extractor fans when cooking or in the bathroom, opening windows, installing insulation, buying a dehumidifier, and hanging clothes outside to dry, instead of indoors. 

When it comes to reducing energy bills, make sure you use boiler repair in north London to ensure your central heating system is in good condition.

Are You Eligible For The Household Support Fund?

Households have been hit by rising energy bills over the last few months, leaving many families having to choose between putting the heating on or feeding their children. Those who are worried they cannot pay their fees might now be eligible for the Household Support Fund.

From Friday (July 8th), local councils will be distributing some of the government fund, offering £200 to those who need it to pay for energy, water, and food bills, reported iNews.

This comes after the Household Support Fund was introduced in September last year and was due to come to an end by March 31st 2022. However, it was extended as the price of energy has continued to soar.

In May 2022, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new £15 billion support package for low-income households, which includes one-off cost-of-living payments of £650 for eight million households who are already on Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credits and legacy benefits.

Pensioner households will also receive £300, while those being given disability benefits will obtain £150.

Additionally, from October 2022, the energy bills support fund will increase from £200 to £400, and households will not be required to pay it back.

Mr Sunak stated: “We know that people are facing challenges with the cost of living and that is why today I’m stepping in with further support to help with rising energy bills.”

He went on to say everyone has a “collective responsibility” to help those who need it.

Those who want to apply for the fund can do so through their local authority. The eligibility criteria will vary from council to council, and households will need to produce evidence of why they need the financial support.

 

For solar panel installation in London to lower electricity bills, get in touch today.

Underfloor Heating A Feature Of New London Development

With the nights only just starting to get longer, there is plenty of summer still to enjoy in London. However, the inevitable arrival of autumn and winter will leave many fretting, with energy bills set to rise if, as expected, the price cap is raised again in October.

This means energy efficiency will be more important than ever and for some, that will involve discovering the benefits of underfloor heating. Indeed, underfloor heating installers in north London may be very busy over the coming months.

Some people in the capital will be lucky enough to have this facility already in place when they move into their home, with the developers being smart enough to incorporate it into the design.

Property Wire has highlighted one such case, a development of 33 new homes by Guinness Homes at Leaside Lock in east London. Underfloor heating has been installed in all of the properties, which are all two-bedroom apartments available on a shared basis.

Of course, the developers have been swift to highlight the other features of the apartments too, such as the proximity of the river Lea, green spaces and proximity of public transport connections such as the Bromley-by-Bow Zone 2 Underground Station, just three minutes walk away. Even so, it is hard to ignore how the homes will be kept warm.

The value of underfloor heating was recently highlighted by uSwitch. In an article on the topic it noted that while the fitting work, like any major development work in a home, will be “messy” and disruptive for a short time, it is eminently worth it.

It stated: “There’s no doubt that it can be an effective alternative to traditional radiators or hot air heating systems, especially in rooms with traditionally cold floors made of stone or tile.”

All this goes to show that, if you live in London and don’t happen to be moving into a brand new apartment, you can still get underfloor heating and enjoy the benefits of warmth and energy efficiency when the colder weather returns.

Radiator Covers “Drastically Increase Bill”

Rising fuel prices are going to have a big impact on household bills over the next few months, so one thing homeowners will not want to do is force their heating fees up even more. That is why it is advisable to remove any radiator covers, no matter how fashionable they are at the moment.

Commenting on the matter, Daniel Nezhad, director of UK Radiators, told The Express that many people want to hide their heating devices, particularly if they are not designer or particularly stylish.

However, one thing they should not do is use radiator covers to disguise them, as this “could actually cost you more than you think”.

“Covering your radiator will significantly impact its ability to heat your home,” said Mr Nezhad, due to the fact the heat will remain trapped within the cover and will not be able to heat the house as efficiently.

Consequently, homeowners will turn their heating up higher or keep it on for longer to stay warm, which could “drastically increase the cost of your energy bills”.

Instead, Brits who want to hide their unsightly radiators could paint them the same colour as the walls, which is currently a very popular interior design trend.

Something else they could do is remove some of their radiators entirely and install underfloor heating in their North London home instead.

These have many benefits, including creating more wall space by removing radiators, spreading heat evenly throughout the house, being more environmentally-friendly, keeping bathrooms and kitchens free of water on the floor, and saving money on energy bills.

Why Underfloor Heating Should Be Home Improvement Priority

At a time when the cost of living has been soaring, many people will have been thinking carefully about how to manage their household budgets; not just in terms of day to day costs, but also in their larger spending decisions.

Home improvements are a case in point. For much of the last two years the desire for more home working room or extra outdoor leisure space has motivated many to focus on extensions.

Now, however, circumstances have changed. With the pandemic easing and the clarion call to return to the office having gone out, there may be other priorities for home improvement, like more energy efficiency as gas prices have skyrocketed.

Alongside this may be a matter of particular interest to Londoners. As property website Rightmove has noted, the capital is seeing prices rise as the ‘race for space’ that pushed people out of the capital has reversed and living in commuter land is back in a big way.

As the Evening Standard noted, the 7.3 per cent rise in prices over the last 12 months represents the strongest London price growth since the Brexit referendum.

With the average house price in the capital now £661,000, it may seem householders will not have to do too much to boost their property price. But the corollary of that is that for those wanting to sell, and move up the ladder in London will also be costlier than before.

That may be one reason for installing underfloor heating in north London. By boosting the value of a home, householders could gain a real edge in a Metropolitan property market that is now reasserting itself after years in the doldrums.

However, it is not just the shift away from needing home working space that could change priorities for home improvers, nor even the benefits of property value. A more efficient means of heating will be especially valuable if energy price inflation becomes even more pronounced due to the impact of the current Russia-Ukraine conflict on gas prices.

For all these reasons, investing in underfloor heating may be the most efficient, attractive and cost-effective way to improve your home.

5 Tips For Using Underfloor Heating In A Bathroom

Underfloor heating in the bathroom can be wonderful when it comes to taking the chill off cold floor tiles on a chilly winter’s morning, transforming the space into a warm, spa-like heaven.

If you’re in the process of renovating your bathroom, you might be considering whether to use traditional radiators or underfloor heating, which may be dependent on your budget and your property. We have a look at five tips to ensure you get the best out of your underfloor heating (UFH).

 

  1. Pick the best underfloor heating system

It will be largely dependent on your circumstances, for example, electric UFH systems are typically easier to install, but will have higher running costs. Whereas water-based UFH systems need a little more work to install, the monthly tuning costs will be lower. It is vital to choose the right system for you.

 

  1. Get the positioning right

To ensure you get the correct and even heat output, the cables/pipes must be laid at neat, regular intervals. The higher the heat output required, the closer together the pipes/cables should be.

 

  1. Choose the right flooring for underfloor heating

UFH works well with wood, tiles, or stone flooring, but smooth, hard surfaces like porcelain and ceramic tend to have an edge over other solutions when it comes to heat conductivity.

Some laminate and vinyl products are not suitable for use alongside electric underfloor heating. So be sure to check with your supplier that the UFH kit and floor surface are compatible.

 

  1. Leave your underfloor heating on

During the colder times of the year, it can take a while for UFH systems to warm up, and constantly turning your heating on and off for short bursts will waste energy. Keeping the system continuously running will ensure that the system is running efficiently and provides a constant level of warmth.

 

  1. Consider a hybrid setup

Removing redactors will free up space, especially in small bathrooms, but there are some advantages to including a radiator, such as a slim towel rail for a handy spot to warm towels so they’re toasty for when you step out of the shower.

 

If you’re looking for underfloor heating installers in north London, get in touch today.

Why Gas Crisis Is More Reason To Go Solar

Householders all over London will have been dismayed by the recent surge in energy prices, caused by the rising wholesale cost of gas that has pushed some suppliers out of business and forced others to raise prices as far as the energy cap will allow.

All this will leave some upset or angry at the bottom line on their bills, but many will also wonder just what they can do about it.

More solar panel installation in London could be one way forward, enabling people to generate some of their own electricity and not have to rely on suppliers at the mercy of the various factors influencing the energy market. After all, burning gas is one of the ways electricity is generated, so this is not immune to the cost pressures.

A good reason for using more solar power is that the gas crisis may not go away anytime soon. It is certainly true that in the short term the surge in demand for gas has been driven by the opening up of western economies as vaccination programmes ease the pandemic. But this alone is not a full explanation, as gas demand was higher before the crisis.

The main issue is supply. Across Europe, gas supplies are down because half of it comes from Russia and the amount coming through the pipelines continues to decline. This impacts on wholesale prices, although the UK sources some gas from the North Sea and Norway.

Britain was self-sufficient in gas until about 20 years ago, but now relies on the Langeled Pipeline from Norway and the BBL Pipeline from the Netherlands to boost supply.

Another issue is gas storage. Other European countries have up to five times as much capacity as Britain, with UK levels being branded “pathetic” by Sir Jim Radcliffe, the head of chemicals giant Ineos. He has warned of possible factory shutdowns and blackouts over winter.

A few years ago the government planned to increase gas supplies from shale, but the controversy over the fracking methods used to extract it has led to this being abandoned.

With solar being so green and gas supplies being so uncertain, now may be the best time yet to get some rooftop panels installed.