What temperature should underfloor heating be set at?

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Underfloor heating is a pleasant and economical way to heat your home. However, to ensure that your rooms are heated to the desired temperature, it’s important to know the heat output of the UFH. For instance, if you set the temperature too high, the floor will become uncomfortable and the energy bill will increase significantly. On the other hand, if you set the underfloor heating thermostat too low, your home will not be heated adequately.

According to the Energy Savings Trust, reducing the temperatures of your UFH by just 1 deg can reduce your energy bills by up to $80 per year. Therefore, setting your underfloor heating system at the ideal temperature can make a huge difference to both your energy bills and your home’s comfort.

But, what temperature should underfloor heating be set at? Well, continue reading this article to discover the ideal temperature for your UFH systems and various factors that might affect their heat output!

What’s the ideal temperature for in-floor heating? 

75 deg F (24 deg C) is considered the perfect temperature for underfloor heating. Also, a small range of between 74 deg and 77 deg F is within the optimum temperature point for UFH.

One thing that makes 75 deg F ideal for in-floor heating is that it’s slightly below our skin temperature, which is around 91 deg F. Therefore, the floor will feel comfortable to people, instead of hot.

Nonetheless, the ideal temperature for underfloor heating tends to vary from one person to another and from place to place. For instance, areas with harsh climates require a relatively higher average temperature, while every homeowner has their preferences for the ideal UFH temperature.

There are some guidelines you can follow when setting the ideal temperature of your underfloor heating for cost-effective and efficient use. Underfloor heating systems are left on for a long period to offer background warmth. In that case, you can set the temperature of your underfloor heating at around 16 to 27 deg C (60 – 80 deg F), depending on the room. Moreover, you can increase this temperature to a maximum setting of 32 deg C (90 deg F) for fast warming.

In general, 21 deg C is considered the ideal temperature for underfloor heating systems in living areas, while bedrooms can be set at a lower temperature of about 18 deg C. However, if you live in a warmer climate, you can set the heat output of at a lower temperature than this. Other factors that will determine how hot you set your UFH system are; insulation, Flooring material, types of underfloor heating, etc.

How hot can an Underfloor heating system get? 

Although making the floor a little warmer is not harmful, it’s essential to note the maximum temperature you can set for your underfloor heating system. Generally, strictly following the guidelines of operations is usually considered the safest method of using an underfloor heating system. More notably, you should take special care during the installation process since that is where most potential issues can occur. In addition, you should remove air gaps from the system, do proper insulation and place the temperature nodes accurately for proper temperature detection.

By setting an electric UFH system at a maximum temperature of about 40 deg C, chances of catching fire through overheating are relatively low, provided you adhere to safety instructions and proper installation. Similarly, if its wiring is up to date, the system will not cause any problems for you. In most cases, an electric UFH system can take up to an hour to heat the room.

To heat a room up to 40 deg C, the wiring of the electric underfloor heating system can be around 80 deg C. However, such extreme heat is sometimes impractical and unnecessary since most households don’t need such temperatures for daily use. Instead, the average temperatures most homes maintain using an electric UFH system is between 23 deg C and 29 deg C.

In contrast, water-based/ hydronic UFH systems use warm water that is heated to a maximum value of 50 deg C to heat the floor to about 25 deg C. For that reason, there is no risk of damaging or burning the floor in case of breaks since the water isn’t heated at boiling level. Moreover, the pex pipe used to distribute this water is usually leak proof since there are no pressure points within the pipe.

How long does underfloor heating take to heat the room? 

There are 2 types of in-floor radiant heating systems; electric and hydronic. As the name suggests, electric systems are heated by electricity, while hydronic systems mean the floor is heated by water.

Hydronic UFH systems circulate water from a water heater or boiler through the pipes embedded in the floor, making it an efficient way to heat the entire house. On the contrary, electric systems feature resistant wiring that is zigzagged throughout the floor and is usually confined to one room.

As already mentioned, an electric underfloor heating system can take about 30 – 60 minutes to heat a room. That is because the system features electric wires under the floor that operate at a higher temperature and run on electricity.

On the other hand, hydronic heating systems can take about 2 -3 hours to heat a room since the hot water pumping through the pipers isn’t as hot as the wires in the electric UFH system. Nonetheless, this type of underfloor heating is more economical to run than its electric counterparts.

In addition, there are a few factors that influence the exact amount of time, both electric and hydronic underfloor heating takes to heat the room. Some of these factors are;

  • Floor-type 

Dense and solid floor finish materials like stone and tile heat up faster than other types of floor covering since they have high thermal conductivity. As a result, the heat from the underfloor heating will transfer quickly to the floor surface, thus taking less time to heat the room.

In comparison, soft floor materials like laminate and wood have relatively poor thermal conductivity. In addition, carpeted floors can act as insulators, blocking the heating from the UFH system.

  • Room size 

Installing underfloor heating in smaller rooms like bathrooms will take less time to heat the space compared to a decently sized living room. Similarly, a small/medium-sized room can take 20 – 30 minutes to heat up, while a large size room can take 40 – 60 minutes. Although these aren’t the exact time, it’s a clear indication that the size of the in-floor heated room will directly affect how long it takes to heat the room.

  • Insulation 

Insulation refers to how well your home can retain heat. A poorly insulated space takes longer to feel adequately heated compared to a well-insulated house.

Moreover, insulation can significantly increase the heat output of the floor surface. This can be achieved by installing insulation boards below the heating unit’s pipes or below the medium/ screed that the UFH system is embedded within. As a result, the heat generated by the underfloor heating will only move upwards, reducing the amount of energy wasted by the system.

Final Word 

After ensuring that your underfloor heating system is set at the ideal temperature, it’s important to ensure that you don’t block the heat being emitted from the floor surface. For that, you should avoid heat-blocking and insulating materials like furniture and rugs as they can significantly hinder the performance of your UFH system.

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