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DIY Under Floor Heating

DIY Under Floor Heating

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Everyone knows it. The worst, I mean the worst, feeling is waking up on a frigid December morning, the air biting savagely at your poor unsuspecting skin, and putting your pitiable feet onto that glacial floor surface. Losing whatever remnants of warmth and the pleasant night's sleep you had gotten is hardly the ideal way to start a day. Unfortunately, this nightmare is a common paranoia, especially among New Englanders. Well, you'll be happy to hear that there is a solution to this recurring crisis. Under floor heating is a novel concept that is saving poor feet all over the world. DIY under floor heating gives you the desired results without the astronomical fees that contractors will try to extort from you. And what's more, DIY under floor heating is also one of the simplest jobs for a do-it-yourselfer. Let's take a look at some of the finer details.

DIY under floor heating has been used for thousands of years world round. The ancient Romans, in fact, used this concept to heat their magnificent palaces. The same pursuit of warmth attracts do-it-yourselfers to this project today. There are a few different options for under floor heating systems, as can be seen below:

1. Electric heating floor mats- This is a simple DIY project that will keep your feet smiling (well, in theory, anyway). Basically, you measure the area, cut, and lay down the matting. Simple, I know.

2. Radiant floor heating systems- These are much more complicated and require far more skill and patience. Only endeavor this project if you are willing to take it slow and ask for help if necessary (Remember, it takes a bigger man to admit he needs help than it does to blow thousands of dollars on a silly goof up). A mistake in this system is costly, and, what's worse, could be extremely dangerous.

Radiant heat works under the principle of thermal radiation. When something is heated, it gives off heat (that's why you can feel the heat from your engine just by touching the hood). These systems heat cables or tubes installed under your flooring, and the heat rises from floor to ceiling warming your entire home.

There are a number of advantages to under floor heating. These systems don't take up room in the home, are usually more economical (running at tens of degrees lower than regular heating systems while producing the same comfort level), offer more complete heat distribution, and require no maintenance. A few things to look into, though, before rolling up your sleeves are:

1. The energy rates in your area- extremely high rates may render this system not cost-efficient.

2. The floor covering- while the system will work with any floor covering, certain materials work better than others. Tiles, wood panels, stone, and ceramic are all ideal. Carpeting acts as an insulator between the sub floor and the floor, and is, therefore, not the ideal covering for under floor systems.

3. The general house insulation- make sure your house is properly insulated to keep as much of the heat from escaping. As my mother always said, you're not heating the neighborhood.

Once you've decided on this system, here are the basic steps you'll need to go through (Note: Systems may vary in small but important details. Each system should come with its own set of instructions, and should be followed exactly.)

Fix the manifold system11 to your wall.

Secure the fixing rails onto the flooring.

Lie out the floor piping and connect to the manifold.

Connect a hosepipe to the taps on the manifold and fill with water.

Here's the most difficult part. Carefully follow the instructions and diagrams of your specific system for heating connection. Be sure to pay attention to the electrical requirements (how many watts does it generate, does it require its own circuit).

Enjoy the warmth and comfort you so richly deserve.

Close your eyes and imagine the sheer and absolute delight experienced by having serene waves of warmth running through your toes as you walk across your bedroom floor, not giving the slightest thought as to what is on your feet. With DIY under floor heating, this is no longer just a fantasy world, but a dream come true.

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