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Why Is Underfloor Heating Healthier For Your Home?
These days, most of us are aware that fresh fruit, vegetables and regular exercise can all help to keep us fit and healthy. What’s not so widely recognised is the impact that our choice of home-heating can have on family health. In this article, we find out why underfloor heating is healthier for your home.
Underfloor Heating – Better for the Indoor and Outdoor Environment!
Here at Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies we mostly deal with the practicalities of supplying underfloor heating equipment and advising on its installation. What our clients rarely ask about are the health benefits of switching to this clean, low maintenance heating system. We’re very happy to report that underfloor heating can not only improve the health of your family indoors but also help to reduce the emission of harmful particles and gasses into the atmosphere.
A Closer Look at Underfloor Heating’s Cleanliness & Operating Efficiency
The two main areas where underfloor heating outshines other types of domestic heating are cleanliness and operating efficiency. With most of the system hidden under the flooring, underfloor heating (UFH) is a dust-free system. This is what makes underfloor heating ideal for households with family members suffering from asthma or other bronchial health problems. With an underfloor heating system installed in a room, the whole floor area is turned into a source of heat. With such a large surface area warming a room, UFH systems can operate at much lower temperatures than radiators. Lower operating temperatures mean less energy consumption. This means that your energy bills are reduced, and less harmful emissions are released into the atmosphere.
Underfloor Heating and Particulates
Particulates are regularly making headline news in the UK. Mainly released by diesel engines, coal fires and wood burning stoves, particulates are tiny grains of soot that are harmful to our lungs. Described by Wikipedia as “the deadliest form of air pollution” the reduction of particulates and other forms of air pollution is now a major concern for the UK Government.
As most underfloor heating systems rely on either ‘dry’ (electric) or ‘wet’ (water boiler) systems as a heat source, they are far less polluting than domestic coal fires and many multi-fuel stoves. Apart from reducing the health risks of particulates released outdoors, underfloor heating systems are expected to be less likely to be rendered obsolete by any new UK legislation targeting polluting stoves, fires and fuels.
Underfloor Heating Versus Coal Fires, Wood-Burning Stoves and Radiators
A coal fire may look inviting on a Christmas card, but it’s not a great choice as either a main or backup source of home heating. Let’s face it, an open fire is a safety risk to the elderly as well as young children. Each time you clean out the ashes, you’re filling the room with clouds of potentially harmful particulates.
Wood and multi-fuel stoves can be more efficient than an open fire, but you’ll probably still find that tell-tale film of dust on your shelving after emptying the ash-pan. Imagine how much sooty pollution goes straight up the chimney to be carried out into your local neighbourhood. Open fires and wood-burning stoves are listed as some of the main indoor triggers of asthma in this excellent article from Asthma UK.
In the UK, water-filled radiators have been the go-to domestic central heating system since the 1960s. Though the energy efficiency of modern radiator designs has improved, many radiators still allow dust to build-up between the panels. Dust can also gather undisturbed on the skirting woodwork below each radiator. In this article, Asthma UK offers advice on dealing with the dust and dust mites that can trigger asthma attacks.
Discreet underfloor heating eliminates all of the health risks related to interior dust and sooty particulates from central heating systems.
Thinking of Opting for a Healthy Underfloor Heating System?
If you’ve never given the health benefits of an underfloor heating system a second thought, you’re not alone! For most buyers, it’s the financial outlay that’s the deciding factor. Depending on your property, a dry (electrically heated) UFH system is usually a lower cost investment. This must be balanced against the running costs. Currently, electricity is more expensive than gas – the most common fuel for a wet underfloor heating system. If you opt for a wet UFH system, it can often be connected to an existing gas-fired boiler. Wet systems are also perfectly compatible with green energy technology like ground and air source heat pumps.