Turning on underfloor heating for the first time
Adjusting to the falling temperatures in the colder months can be difficult, with cold fingers and toes first thing in the morning being a reminder that winter is on its way. Luckily, your underfloor heating system is the perfect solution to take the chill off those first few steps!
If your underfloor heating system has recently been installed and you are looking to turn it on for the first time, or if it has been laid dormant for an extended period like over the summer, it is best to warm the system up slowly to avoid ‘shocking’ the system.
If your underfloor heating system has just been laid
Once your underfloor heating system is in place you may be eager to fire it up straight away, however, if this is the first time you are using your UFH system it is important to check for a couple of things.
Is the screed fully dry?
One of the most important things to consider when your underfloor heating system has just been laid is whether the screed has fully dried. If the screed is still drying, heating the system up prematurely could cause cracking and damage, which will result in the flooring becoming uneven. It is important to let the screed fully dry naturally to remove the moisture and not to use the UFH system to speed this process up.
Different screeds will require different drying times. It’s always best to check with your installer if you are unsure what screed you are using for your UFH system.
What type of flooring are you using with your UFH system?
The type of flooring you have fitted can affect how you turn on your underfloor heating for the first time.
A timber floor, for example, can be sensitive to changes in temperature and should be gradually warmed to avoid warping.
It’s always best to check the flooring manufacturer’s guidance before turning on your underfloor heating.
If your system has been off for a while
You won’t need to use your UFH system all year round, even with the British weather, so your system may lay dormant during the warmer months. When heating your system back up again after a long period, it is important to follow the same steps as when heating up your system for the first time. This allows your flooring to adjust to the raising temperature again.
How long does underfloor heating take to warm up?
Wet UFH systems use water from your boiler, which has to circulate through the system to deliver warmth. Electrical wire and mat systems heat up a lot faster from the electrical current running through them.
This means that wet UFH systems take a little longer to heat up, but they will reach the desired temperature. If your floor feels like it isn’t heating up at first, wait a while rather than increasing the temperature to try and compensate.
The type of flooring will also have an effect on the time it takes to warm up. Tiles, stone and vinyl flooring will heat up fairly quickly while carpet and timber will take a little longer.