Person with two bowls on radiant floor heating system, representing system balance.

Underfloor heating systems are the ultimate way to experience the highest heat and comfort levels in your home or commercial property. However, you might experience some adverse side effects without balancing the system correctly.

Below is the complete guide to balancing underfloor heating systems to ensure you get the most out of yours.

What is Underfloor Heating?

Collage of thermomatâ„¢ electric and water underfloor heating materials

Underfloor heating is a form of central heating system that provides warmth throughout a room or property from below. You can choose from two main types of underfloor heating systems: water and electric.

Water underfloor heatingElectric underfloor heating

Water underfloor heating involves installing a series of pipes underneath the floor. When the system is turned on, warm water will flow through these pipes and heat the area above. These systems are more expensive to install but more cost-effective in the long term. They are also better for heating up larger spaces.

Electric underfloor heating involves a series of cables or heating mats installed below the floor's surface. These will work to provide warmth to the property above once electricity flows through them. They are cheaper to install but might raise slightly more expensive monthly costs. These are ideal for when you want to heat up an individual room.

Signs of unbalanced underfloor heating

Unbalanced radiant floor heating pipes, with varying heat distribution.

If you're considering having an underfloor heating system installed on your property, you need to ensure you use an expert or have the correct know-how yourself. If the job is incorrect and the system is unbalanced, you might notice the following:

Uneven temperature distribution

The whole point of underfloor heating is that it fixes one of the downfalls of radiators - not effectively heating up an entire room. However, if you notice that you feel different temperature distribution throughout the room, this might be due to unbalanced underfloor heating. This can cause inadequate water or electric flow to specific zones and disrupt your comfort.

Calculate Heat Needs

Determine required heat output per room based on dimensions, insulation, and ceiling height. This guides heating element placement.

Design Layout

Create a detailed plan for cable or mat placement, thermostat locations, and control systems. This blueprint streamlines installation and ensures uniform heating.

Compliance Check

Verify local regulations and obtain permits for safe and compliant installation.

Choose Quality Materials

Source reliable heating elements, controls, and insulation meeting system specifications and industry standards.

Prepare the Floor

Ensure a clean, level surface free of obstructions to facilitate a smooth installation process.

Seek Expert Advice

Consider consulting heating professionals for valuable insights and efficient installation techniques specific to electric underfloor heating systems.

Importance of balancing underfloor heating

Room with two people, underfloor heating system evenly warming the space.

So, you can see what problems unbalanced underfloor heating can bring you, but what benefits do you actually get when it is balanced? Here are just some of them:

Enhanced comfort and even heating

The primary purpose of an underfloor heating system is to provide you with complete warmth across a large area like a room. Unlike radiators, balanced underfloor heating can provide even heating distribution throughout the room, so you don't need to spend more time in one area than another. This leads to enhanced comfort and makes your property worth living in.

Energy efficiency and cost savings

Everyone knows that heating isn't free, and there are often high costs associated with running it for long amounts of time. However, you will likely experience lower energy bills when you have balanced underfloor heating. This doesn't just help you save money, but it contributes positively towards helping the environment.

Prolonged system lifespan

Underfloor heating systems are an investment, so you want one that will stay with you for as long as possible. At Next Level, we offer underfloor heating that will remain with you for over 50 years, and that is because we balance our systems. Balanced systems are known to have a much longer lifespan, and that's because they face fewer problems and require less maintenance.

How to Balance Underfloor Heating

If you wish to install underfloor heating yourself and want to ensure it is efficient and balanced, follow these steps:

1

System Assessment

Inspect the manifold for damage, check for leaks and air pockets, and ensure thermostat functionality.

2

Balancing Actuators

Understand actuators, adjust flow rates for each zone by accessing the manifold, and ensure valve functionality.

3

Temperature Adjustment

Calibrate the thermostat with a calibrated thermometer, set temperature limits for each zone, and fine-tune for comfort.

4

Bleeding the System

Again, for a water underfloor heating system, you should finish with this step. Look out for any air pockets in the pipes in your system. If there are any, use a bleed key or valve to release trapped air. Open the bleed valve on your manifold and then bleed the system until there is no more air and water flows efficiently.

Radiant floor heating collector for even fluid distribution in pipes.