Underfloor heating – is it a sustainable choice?

Underfloor heating is a sustainable choice for both new builds and retrofits that can have a significant impact on the overall carbon emissions of a building throughout its lifetime.

Underfloor heating is a sustainable choice for both new builds and retrofits. It can have a significant impact on the overall carbon emissions of a building throughout its lifetime.

Underfloor heating has been shown to be 15-20% more efficient than traditional heating systems over the life of the building. This rises to 30-50% for high ceiling spaces. The coils of pipe embedded in various types of flooring offers an efficient transfer system. This can be used for both heating and cooling and utilises the entire floor.

The rising warm air means that only a low temperature heat input is needed to achieve a comfortable ambient temperature. Underfloor heating concentrates the heat at living level, irrespective of the ceiling height. This avoids the need to use large amounts of energy to heat unoccupied space at a high level.


The energy efficiency of underfloor heating can be complimented by the choice of appliance. There are growing options for more energy efficient appliances. Heat pumps, condensing boilers and solar panels are all natural partners for underfloor heating. Traditional wall mounted radiators that require a higher heat input making them less efficient. Sustainable heat sources such as bore holes can be used to both heat and cool a building with underfloor heating.

The efficiency of the different elements will impact the sustainability of the overall system. Calefa, Warmafloor’s market leading, BESA approved heat interface unit offers unrivalled efficiency with a 4 option bypass control is the perfect partner for district heating, the future of heat distribution . The smart auto mode in its electronic control unit automatically recognises the current usage pattern in the home. Within just 2 weeks it will have learnt the consumption pattern. This allows it to provide market leading VWART calculations and saves a minimum of 200-400kWh per year.

Pipe Choice

Whilst plastic is not an obvious choice for sustainability, overall it does offer a long-lasting sustainable solution for underfloor heating pipework. In fact, the minimum life expectancy of the Hep2O polybutylene plastic piping used for underfloor heating by Warmafloor is 100 years and all pipe carry a market leading 100 year guarantee. Life cycle analysis by TEPPFA, the European plastic industry body has found that the environmental footprint for plastic pipe systems is significantly lower than that of traditional pipe systems including copper, the analysis included depletion of non-renewable abiotic natural resources, acidification, Eutrophication, carbon footprint, ozone depletion and potential for eutrophication and photochemical oxidation. Providing they’re installed correctly, underfloor heating systems need very little maintenance and since they’re installed beneath the floor, they’re also less likely to be damaged, helping to ensure their longevity.

Smart controls

Sentio Demo

The ability for users to control their heating effectively is a key part of ensuring that a household is energy efficient. A smart control system such as Wavin’s Sentio has the ability to monitor, adjust and maintain optimal temperatures in rooms and therefore helps to minimise energy consumption whilst still maintaining comfortable living temperature.

Overall underfloor heating offers a sustainable and cost efficient choice for new builds and retrofits. Careful design and management of the system can further enhance its sustainable credentials.

Get in touch to find out how Warmafloor can help to enhance the sustainability of your next project.