At Sparks we distribute a wide range of underfloor heating cables and heating mats, many of them by DEVI, and it is only natural that we would have a general installation guide for these underfloor heating cables and thermostats.We are not qualified to give any advice on installing these underfloor heating systems, but Danfoss has many guides that are very useful in this respect.Below we are posting the Danfoss guide to the General Installation of the DEVI underfloor heating cables and thermostats, which can be found on their website. General Installation Guide for Underfloor Heating Cables and ThermostatsThe installation of heating cables and thermostats should comply with general and local regulations. The cables and the thermostats should only be connected by an authorized electrician and connected to an RCD.It is important that the floor construction is well insulated according to the building standards so the downward heat loss is kept to a minimum.Rim zone insulation, along the walls, should be efficient in order to prevent heat from being transported to the foundation walls or adjoining rooms, and allow for a thermal expansion of the concrete.The foundation must be clean and free of sharp objects.The cables must never come into contact with the insulation material or become enveloped by it in any way. The cables must be evenly spread on the available floor and led around permanently fixed objects such as bathtubs etc.The cables must be gently attached so they are not damaged.The concrete around the cables must not contain sharp stones and should have a consistency that enables it to surround the cable completely without leaving air pockets. The concrete should be applied very carefully in order not to damage the heating cables!Concrete must be lain out in such a way, that air pockets inside it are avoided.In connection with wet rooms (bathrooms etc.), a damp-proof membrane should always be used to prevent moisture from entering the floor construction.If the floor is built on the ground, a damp-proof membrane is needed to prevent moisture from moving upwards and into the floor construction.The wire of the floor sensor must be protected by a plastic pipe.The sensor must be positioned in the centre at an open end of a cable loop. Where the pipe is bent between the floor and the wall, the minimum bending radius is 6 cm. The pipe must be sealed at the end to prevent concrete from entering.Should the cable become damaged while being laid out or later during the building process, it is a great advantage in the fault-finding process to know the exact positioning of the connection box between the heating cable and the cold cable as well as the end of the cable end, as the cable layout. It is therefore important to make a sketch showing the positioning of these things in the room.Heating cable and floor sensors resistance needs to be measured before, after installation and after installation of concrete, before the thermostat is connected.The heating cable and the connection muff between the heating cable and the cold cable must both be cast in concrete. If the cable is pushed down into the insulation material or covered by it in any other way, the surface temperature can become too high, which might result in cable defects at worst.At low temperatures (below 5 °C) the cable can become difficult to handle due to the plastic sheath.This problem can be overcome by connecting the cables for a short period. For this purpose, THE CABLE MUST BE ROLLED OUT! When the cable has become flexible again, the electrical flow should be disconnected. It is not recommended to lay cables at temperatures below - 5 °C.The floor heating must not be turned on before the concrete has fully set.It takes approximately 30 days for concrete and usually 10-15 days for moulding compound, tile glue etc. (it is important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations).Keep a min. 5 cm air gap beneath permanent objects like desks, beds, and floor surfaces with installed floor heating. In connection with wet rooms (bathrooms etc.), a damp-proof membrane should always be used in order to prevent moisture from entering the floor construction.The thermostat fitted with an air (room) temperature sensor should always be placed on the inner wall, away from the doorway or other large openings, and not in direct sunlight.A thermostat fitted with an air (room) temperature sensor should be placed above the floor at ~1,5 m (0,8 - 1,8 m) height.To ensure an accurate and easy installation of the cables, DEVIfast™ fitting bands can be used.The DEVIfast™ fitting bands are equipped with attachment clips at intervals of 2,5 cm so the distance between the cable loops will be 5, 7,5, 10, 12,5, 15, etc.If you are looking for wooden underfloor heating, laminate underfloor heating mats, or concrete underfloor heating cables, visit the Underfloor Heating section on our website. For larger projects and further advice, do not hesitate to contact us and our specialists will be in touch.
Winter is fast approaching in the UK. Whilst there are genuine concerns about the rising cost of electricity, many people are also worried about the effects that being exposed to colder weather in their homes will have on their health and overall well-being. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to keep the warmth in, and coldness out of your residence. These include installing a door sweep, putting down rugs and sealing up drafts. But with temperatures sometimes dipping into the negatives during December and January, an increasing number of people are now looking to install underfloor heating. In this article, we will answer questions like, what options for underfloor heating systems are there? How much does underfloor heating cost? And what are the pros and cons of installing underfloor heating? So, if this is something you are interested in doing, hopefully, you will find this information helpful. What options are there for underfloor heating systems? For those who want to include an underfloor heating system in their home, there are two options available. Wet underfloor heating systems take the form of a network of polyethene barrier pipes which are laid underneath the flooring and connected to your boiler. Supplying the system with warm water, the temperature is controlled by an underfloor heating thermostat. As the water pipes are distributed evenly across the floorboards, it makes it a much more energy-efficient and economical mechanism than the traditional type of radiators that are attached to walls. However, installation costs tend to be high as these pipes and an underfloor heating manifold need to be installed by an expert, as leaks and other damage could occur if they are not fitted properly. The alternative to this wet system is electric underfloor heating. A more modern solution to staving off the cold, it takes the form of ready-made mats like these with thin heating wires that lay underneath the floor and warm it up when the system is turned on. Overall, it is easier to install these types of mats, so should involve cheaper labour costs, especially as they are a better option for unconventional-shaped rooms. How much does underfloor heating cost? The cost of installing underfloor heating depends on several factors. These include the type of floor cover you have and the general state of your property. It also includes the specific underfloor heating system you are after, the number of rooms you want to have it put in and the labour costs of your installer. According to Checkatrade, you can expect to pay between £60 - £85 per m2 for an electric system during a home renovation. For a new build, the cost should be nearer to £50 - £75. By contrast, a wet system might set you back £135 - £185 per m2 if installed during a renovation, and around £120 - £135 in a new build. As you can see, a wet underfloor heating system is typically more expensive to install. However, they cost less to maintain in comparison to an electric system, as electricity costs more than natural gas. In terms of the costs of running underfloor heating, Checkatrade estimates that this could be between £26.60 - £30 per month to warm up a 10m2 floor area for 4 hours. However, this figure does depend on the size of your home, how big the floor space is that accommodates the underfloor heating, the rates imposed by your energy provider and how well-insulated the floor is, amongst other factors. Pros and Cons Like with any major home renovation project, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons before committing to and funding the work. When it comes to underfloor heating there are several benefits to installing it, as well as a handful of drawbacks that you should be aware of. They include the following: Pros of underfloor heating: Very energy efficient Requires little effort to run Works with all types of floor coverings Provides you with room greater space and design flexibility Easy to install (by a professional) Provides more safety and comfort than radiatorsHas health benefits Cons of underfloor heating: Can be costly to install Can take a bit of time to installation Not everyone will appreciate the increase in floor height and reduction in ceiling height. What you need to know If you are thinking of getting underfloor heating installed within your property you should be mindful that in the UK, underfloor installations are included in Part L of the building regulations. This regulation addresses energy efficiency. In other words, increasing solar energy use in both renovation projects and new builds, and a reduction of the number of fossil fuels used. While you do not require planning permission to put in an underfloor heating system, you are obliged to ensure the system is up to code, as per the U-value requirements outlined in Part L. A U-value is a unit of measurement that details how effective sections of a building are in terms of insulation. According to Part L, all floors should hold a U-value of 0.25w/m2k or less. In terms of floors where underfloor systems are being put in, the U-value needs to be no higher than 0.15w/m2K. To ensure these conditions are met, underfloor insulation boards should be installed below the heating system to minimise heat loss. Allergen Friendly As well as keeping you warm, you may be surprised to learn that underfloor heating has some health benefits too. Most notably that it is allergen friendly. As it sits under the floor surface it has a positive effect on the overall quality of the air in your home. It does this in a couple of ways. Firstly, underfloor heating does not serve to circulate air. Therefore, the air in your room remains oxygen-rich and very fresh. This means that it does not circulate dust either. Secondly, another significant health benefit of underfloor heating is that it maintains a comfortable environment, temperature-wise, that does not support viruses, bacteria, moulds, or dust mites.ConclusionIn conclusion, there definitely appears to be some major benefits in adding underfloor heating to your home.However, you should still be mindful of the costs included in the installation and running of these heating systems.
The method of heating your property is vital, whether that’s your home or commercial property. The best heating solutions will keep you warm, significantly reduce your electricity bills and lower your environmental footprint, so it’s important to choose wisely.There are dozens of types of heating solutions to choose from and sometimes it can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a new heating system or are considering making a switch to a different system entirely, it’s always the best idea to evaluate the various options on the market.Gas heating systems are generally the most common heating method in England, Wales and Scotland. However, over four million homes across the UK are off the main gas grid. Blocks of flats and units make up a great deal of them, and they’re often looking for alternatives to gas central heating.Luckily, there are a variety of heating choices available that both commercial enterprises and residential properties can take advantage of, whether they’re on or off the gas grid. Below, we’ve outlined a beginner’s guide to the different heating solutions on the market.We’ve structured this guide as follows:Central Heating: An IntroductionWhat is Central Heating?Types of Central Heating SystemsGas Central HeatingElectric Central HeatingOil Central HeatingLPG Central Heating5 Main Types of Heating SolutionsElectric BoilersUnderfloor Heating SystemsCeiling HeatersWall HeatersStorage HeatersSo, what is the best heating solution for my property?Central Heating: An IntroductionBefore we get into the nitty-gritty and the different types of heating solutions, the first thing you should determine is whether you require a central heating system or something more localised. It is important to know the difference so that you can select a heating system most appropriate to your property.What is Central Heating?Central heating is a system designed to distribute warmth throughout a building. It typically does this by creating heat at a certain point in the property and spreading it throughout the rest of the building usually through water, steam or air. Many systems also distribute hot water across the property.This means that one central heater is installed at a certain part of the property, such as in a garage or a wardrobe. When it is switched on, it proceeds to distribute heat through ducts.You can usually mix central heating with different systems in order to manage the entire climate of the building. This is done through the operation of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems.Central heating is different from localised heating, which refers to only heating one particular spot in your property (such as a living room or one room in your office).Types of Central Heating SystemsBelow, we’ll outline the types of central heating systems you need to know about.Gas Central HeatingIf your property is connected to the natural gas grid, then a gas central heating system is likely going to be the most viable system to choose.Your central heating would normally be powered by gas ducted heaters or a gas-fired boiler, which provides heat for your entire home. You would have a boiler that would burn methane gas extracted from the gas mains.You will sometimes hear gas heat systems referred to as wet systems, which will typically heat up your water using radiators or underfloor heating.Pros of gas central heating – Gas is incredibly efficient, and you’ll often get a good return on the money you put in of ever energy unit you use. Storage costs are minimal, when compared to LPG and oil (outlined below).Cons of gas central heating – Many properties are not on the grid, meaning gas is often not often a choice. While you can get a good return on your investment, it is still expensive given the UK have a limited amount to go around. It is also a fossil fuel and contributes harmful carbon to the environment.Electric Central HeatingIf you’re not on the gas grid (like a huge number of properties in the UK), you could consider a number of electric heating solutions. Nearly every home has access to an electricity grid, so this is one of the more popular alternatives to gas central heating.There are many different types of electric heaters available on the market, but one of our favourites is storage heaters – this is one of the most cost-effective heating solutions which you can use to distribute warmth at night.While they are a little expensive, they can help you reduce your energy bill, especially during winter. Think of having a boiler that is a kettle, except it heats much more than just a cup of tea.Pros of electric central heating – Electric heating systems are much easier (and, therefore cheaper) to install than regular gas heat systems. It also requires less maintenance, doesn’t need an annual service and is widely available across the UK.Cons of electric central heating – Unfortunately, electricity is about 3 to 4 times more expensive than gas. Electricity is generated in gas-powered stations. Gas prices are going up – which means so is electricity.Oil Central HeatingOil central heating also relies on boiler systems, which is an excellent solution if you are not connected to the main gas grid. Boiler systems you can purchase today are highly efficient devices, but you should know that there are different types of oil you can purchase.Oil type C2 is probably the most affordable kind of oil on the market because it just uses kerosene.Kerosene is the most common kind of fuel used across UK properties. It also doesn’t ‘gel’ as much as other types of oil (in other words, crystals are less likely to form to prevent the oil from flowing – which can happen in the colder months)Oil type D is a more expensive oil, and is more commonly seen in commercial premises or large properties.Pros of oil central heating – oil is incredibly efficient, and a great alternative to both gas and electric heating systems if you don’t have access to those grids. Heating oil will also burn faster and doesn’t generate as much carbon as your traditional gas system.Cons of oil central heating – it’s more expensive than natural gas. There’s also no central infrastructure in place to facilitate an oil system, so you’ll need your own independent storage tank. Oil boilers may also be slower at creating warmth than a gas boiler.LPG Central HeatingLiquid petroleum gas (LPG) works similarly to gas heating but is highly effective if you can’t get a gas heat system. A big difference, however, is that LPG is delivered straight to your door (rather than brought in from pipes under the water).Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) heating is produced by a propane or butane boiler. These boilers will heat your water and spread warmth throughout your property through underfloor heating and radiators.Pros of LPG central heating – it’s highly efficient, and also you’ll get a great return on each unit of energy that your heating system uses.Cons of LPG central heating – LPG is costly, and that cost has escalated recently. Because LPG is delivered to you, the usual risk of something going wrong in transit exists – bad weather, traffic delays and theft. 5 Main Types of Heating SolutionsWhether you have a central heating system or a more localised heater, there is no singular way to have a heating system installed throughout your home.There are different ways to set one up. Below, we’ll outline the 5 heating solutions that we think are some of the most effective.Electric BoilersElectric boilers work with running water being heated by electricity. Once the water is heated, it passes through the remainder of your property’s heating system and can warm your home, office or industrial complex with the temperature you choose.Overall, these boilers are excellent for both central heating and localised heating solutions.Types of electric boilersThere are different types of electric boilers that you’ll come across on the market, such as:Combi boilers – combi (short for ‘combination’) boilers are arguably the most popular boiler in the whole of the UK. This is probably because they are extremely economical, and only heat the water that you actually use (and not just all of your water generally).Regular boilers – also known as a ‘heat-only’ or conventional boiler, the regular boiler will send hot water to your radiators and your hot water cylinder (even if you don’t actually end up using that water).System boilers – these boilers are similar to conventional boilers, but they take up less space.Which one you pick depends on your property, your budget and your heating goals, but no doubt the potential for an excellent electric heating solution lies with one of these boilers.Underfloor Heating SystemsUnderfloor heating systems are (obviously) designed to heat your property from underneath the floors. As hot air rises, warmth is then spread throughout the property evenly.This type of heating system is especially effective in places like:bathrooms;rooms with a lot of foot traffic;rooms with cold floors; androoms with high ceilings.Underfloor heaters can be easily installed underneath most materials, especially laminate, concrete and wooden floors. They can also either come as self-adhesive mesh, heating mats or heating cables.Types of Underfloor HeatersThere are two types of underfloor heating systems you should know about, before making your decision to purchase one.Electric is the most common, and involves heating your floors with a mat, mesh or electric cable.Hydronic involves installing heating pipes in your home and heating the floors with hot water. These tend to be much more expensive than electric underfloor heating systems.What floor coverings are suitable for underfloor heating?Below, we’ll outline the different underfloor heating systems for different floor materials.TimberWooden floors are certainly suitable for a heating system to distribute warmth. However, it’s vital (before you install any wooden underfloor heating system) that the humidity of your timber does not drop to the point where the floor begins to shrink or wrap. You’ll generally want to make sure the temperature does not go any higher than 27°C (unless another temperature is specified by your manufacturer).ConcreteConcrete has a high level of thermal mass (i.e. the ability to store heat). Therefore, a concrete underfloor heating solution is highly effective because the floor itself will capture and retain the heat. This will make sure your flooring and your property stay warm for a long time after your heating is turned off.LaminateLaminate is made up of multiple layers of wood that run in opposite directions. Unlike traditional hardwood timber, it is more stable. This means it can tolerate the various changes in your heating system. However, it is generally recommended not to turn up any laminate heating to over 27°C (unless the manufacturer has stated otherwise).Ceiling HeatersCeiling heaters are, as the name suggests, heaters installed in the ceiling of your property. They are ideal to install in retail outlets, shops, offices, conference rooms and other areas or places where multiple people get together on a regular basis.Unlike underfloor heating, the main benefit of a ceiling heater is that it can distribute warmth without any obstacles in the way. It won’t be blocked by furniture or thick carpets.If your ceiling is between 2.5 and 3.5 metres – you can use low-temperature ceiling heating, generally anywhere between 26°C and 38°C.If your ceiling is higher than 3.5 metres – then you’ll need a higher flow of temperature. We’d recommend both wall heating (discussed below) and ceiling heating.Wall HeatersWall heaters are the ideal solution if you’re looking for a more localised (as opposed to central) heating solution – in other words, they’ll heat up a concentrated area rather than the entire property. The heaters can heat up fairly quickly, providing the immediately desired heat.Wall heaters are quick and simple to install. All you’ll need to do is plug them into a powerpoint, angle it correctly and away you go. There’s generally no need for any expert consultation, although a professional can help you find the best spot to ensure the unit operates at its optimum capacity.Wall heaters have much cheaper costs upfront, as opposed to an underflooring system.At Sparks Direct, we have an impressive range of wall heaters and patio heaters, if you’re looking to heat up an outdoor seating area.Storage HeatersStorage heaters are designed to store heat during the day so that they can warm your property during the night. The main benefit is that it can reduce your electricity costs significantly, especially in winter.They are a little more expensive compared to other hearing solutions, but they’re a great investment if you need to use electricity in off-peak times.So, what is the best heating solution for my property?At the end of the day, this is the question you’re looking to answer.Ideally, you’re going to want the most energy-efficient system for your property, helping you reduce your energy bills as much as you can while also keeping you and any occupants of your property warm and cosy.If you need any advice on what heating solutions are best for your property, please don’t hesitate to give the experts at Sparks Direct a call. We’re open Monday to Friday, available at 020 7263 8007. We look forward to helping you find your perfect heating solution!
The other day we were reading an article where the writer was was answering a reader's question concerning underfloor heating. Though we are in April, winter is still here, and the cold weather outside persists. We all know that no matter how warm is it at home - with the central heating, the wall heater, etc - as soon as someone opens the door or the window, the whole heat goes away! As long as you have cold floors, it's not so easy to have a lasting warm atmosphere at home. Why You Don't Need Underfloor Heating You don't need underfloor heating if you love the cold weather both outside and inside the house. If you prefer to spend a lot of money on heating - either convector or storage heaters - then underfloor heating is not for you. Why disturb the cold atmosphere at home so that you may create warm air all-year-round no matter what weather you have outside? Why You Need Underfloor Heating If you want to feel comfortable at home, if you prefer not to wear thick socks and thick trousers inside your own home, then underfloor heating is for you. If you are OK with investing a little in the beginning and then benefiting from warm floors during the cold months of autumn, winter, and spring, then underfloor heating is what you need. If you are into DIY and you would like to improve your lifestyle, having no more worries about your electricity bill which can be affected by your heating elements in the house, then the underfloor heating solutions from Sparks Direct are what you need.What's so Special about the Underfloor Heating? Let's take the DEVI underfloor heating, for instance. They supply heating mats which can be installed under wooden floors, under concrete floors, and under laminate floors. They come complete with the instructions to do-it-yourself, and Sparks Electrical can advise you on the project for heating the floors in your whole house. And if you love gadgets, you can install their latest DEVIreg Touch Thermostat which can be set up and re-set as needed. Oh, did we mention you can change the settings via the internet or the smartphone? The DEVI underfloor heating solutions are really something good for the future, and the initial investment will definitely be covered and even forgotten as you enjoy lower electricity bills with all the warmth you ever dreamed of... Pictures credit: the first inspired from the Telegraph's, Should I Get Underfloor Heating? and the second from the DEVI amazing pictures. You can read more about underfloor heating solutions here and here.
Last year we were introducing the DEVIreg Touch screen intelligent thermostat, of which we once said that it is "possibly the best underfloor heating system if matched together with DEVImat". Some of our readers and customers took our advice and gave the gift of toasty feet this past Christmas with the DEVI underfloor heating system. For a further education on what the DEVIreg Touch thermostat can do, the people at Danfoss have put together a video with several cool features. DEVIreg Touch Thermostat Video Intro You can check out how this thermostat works - very similar to how all the touchscreen smartphones operate.. Here are some of the most appraised features of the Danfoss DEVIreg Touch screen thermostat, an innovation in the home automation and remote control for heating at home. DEVI Intelligent Solutions with Lasting Effect. Digital touch screen thermostat with all the setup functions available at the touch of the screen! Touchdown on the easiest to use floor heating controller! There are no call backs with DEVIreg Touch thermostat! You can correctly and properly set up the thermostat in 30 seconds. The timer can be customized according to the need in 30 seconds. Fit the DEVIreg Touch into any frame system! Troubleshooting: from 1000km away, over the internet, you can troubleshoot the thermostat. Change the set up and timer in the thermostat by code. The DEVIreg Touch thermostat will help you stop wasting energy when you are away - you can set up the away time, and it will make sure no energy is wasted! You can install the DEVIreg Touch Android app to remotely control your underfloor heating system! Smart. Easy. Reliable. Stay in touch with your thermostat via the iPhone and mobile app or via internet. You can purchase this innovative and intelligent touch screen thermostat via Sparks Electrical - either come in our showroom in Archway or visit the Underfloor Heating section on our website.