To help installers capitalise on extra business throughout 2021, David van Duijvenvoorde, Cat INTEGRATION OF UFH WITH

GREEN HEATING SYSTEMS As the market continues its transition to greener heating systems in alignment with the 2025 Future Homes Standard, the UFH market is expected to continue growing.

This is primarily due to the way some renewable heating systems work, which favours the performance of a gradual radiant heating system to a more traditional point heating system. For instance, the leading green heating solution – the air source heat pump (ASHP) – works far more efficiently than a gas boiler by heating water at far lower temperatures.

Similarly, UFH is better at distributing heat at lower temperatures over longer periods, meaning installers should be considering the installation of UFH alongside ASHPs as they become more popular within the market. In fact, according to research conducted by the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association, wet UFH installations are 40% more cost-effective when paired with an ASHP.

To take advantage of the changes in regulations and the shift to solutions such as ASHPs, installers should take the time now to learn the new technology and gain an upper hand over the local competition by expanding their service offering.

SINGLE ROOM INSTALLATIONS As the domestic market continues to grow, installers must be ready to accommodate pre- existing heating systems as well as new build installations. With this, comes the integration of UFH alongside conventional radiators.

Over the past year, UFH for dedicated rooms has significantly increased, allowing homes to keep their existing systems while benefitting from the space and efficiency of UFH in extensions, annexes or even efficiently insulted conservatories.

To achieve this, there is a quick and easier method than connecting it up to the central heating system - through a dedicated circuit. Not only will this act independently of the central heating system and increase the energy efficiency of the room, but this will also reduce the reliance on installing a full manifold for the house or having to convert the entire build to a UFH system.

UFH AND SMART CONTROLS As with most heating products, the integration of smart technology is now becoming a given. Central


heating systems can now be linked to voice- controlled virtual assistants such as Alexa or the Google Assistant.

With this in mind, there is beneficial business to be found with the integration of smart controls alongside a robust UFH system. UFH is naturally energy-efficient and therefore by pairing this with smart controls, users can benefit from further cost-savings from the data gained via smart technology which analyses user behaviour to deliver optimum heat, at the right times and with as little power as possible – a win-win.

For installers, this is a quick and easy offering to learn that can greatly appeal to the end-user. Smart controls can often be as easy to install as a new thermostat. However, to maximise the effectiveness of the system, installers should consider multi-zone controls to give the customer better control over their UFH system. To achieve this, installers will need to install multiple heating zones when the UFH is initially laid, which once complete can all be controlled via a mobile app.


SUPPLEMENT UFH GROWTH With the market demanding further cost reduction and faster build times, the prefabrication market has seen significant growth in the last couple of years, offering building projects a quick and simple alternative construction method when time is of the essence.

This goes hand-in-hand with UFH, which when properly planned, can provide a speedy solution to heating in a building’s construction. In some cases, UFH can be integrated into the prefabricated units to allow for even faster, more efficient installations. As a consequence, installers only have to connect up the heating zones once the prefabricated units have been installed.

Going even further than that, an innovative solution funded by the EU project, HEATILE, allows retrofitted UFH systems to be installed without heavy demolition work needed on the building’s existing flooring. By creating the world’s thinnest UFH system, the panels merely sit over the building’s existing flooring, providing a quick and cheaper alternative to current UFH systems.

While the heating market is notoriously slow to adopt new methods of installation, installers and contractors can heavily benefit from early adoption and help advise customers of cheaper alternatives when their budget is of paramount concern.

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