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Dreading next winter? With cost-effective underfloor heating, you don't have to

The great thing about one season arriving is you can look ahead to plan for the season that follows. Here Warmup New Zealand Founder and CEO Paul Fielding responds to commonly asked questions about the increasingly popular option of underfloor heating for both carpeted and tiled areas of your home

Undercarpet heating – a very affordable luxury

I’ve heard that underfloor heating is increasingly becoming the standard in new homes, but what about for a renovation? I’m replacing the carpet in my bedroom and would love to have the luxury of a heated carpet to greet my feet in the morning. But my reno schedule is quite tight. Can I add undercarpet heating to the mix without holding things up?

“Definitely. You will need an electrician to prewire for you so that the heat pads have a power source. However, from there, it’s as fast as laying the actual carpet.

“You install the pads first, lay the carpet smoothly overtop and then the thermostat is connected.”

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I’m pretty keen on undercarpet heating but my husband has reservations regarding water and electricity. We have young children, is there any danger re water spillage or even deep cleaning the carpet for that matter? 

“Warmup’s underfloor heating is 100% waterproof so is completely safe no matter what your family or carpet cleaner throws at it. In addition, for total piece of mind, the heating pads run on a completely RCD-protected circuit.”

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Am thinking of adding undercarpet heating to my kids' bedrooms. But my oldest changes her furniture around as often as she changes her mind – how durable is undercarpet heating? Will it stand up to a dresser being moved across it, for example?

“Your daughter can rearrange her bedroom to her heart’s content.  The system is pretty heavy duty – all wires are flexible and durable, and conform to all New Zealand and international standards.

“The only things to consider are any large elements such as a heavy rug or a bean bag that always sit in a favourite place. 

“Heat build up can occur without air circulating underneath these elements. So, it makes sense to consider where you will mostly place these items before installation.

“The pads come in various sizes and shapes and can be easily designed to fit around these heat-trapping items. However, they will still absorb the wider atmospheric warmth, meaning that you won’t have any cold spots.”

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My neighbour installed undercarpet heating in her lounge and media room. She said that as well as a transformation to a warm, snug home, the heating brings health benefits too, but she didn’t elaborate. Is undercarpet heating actually a healthy option?

“Yes, absolutely – undercarpet heating is very healthy and an effective choice for anyone with respiratory conditions.

“More traditional heating options tend to dry out the air and can also cause unhealthy condensation. Plus, many also blow air and dust (and so dust mites) around your house.

“In terms of the heath of your family, and for that matter the health of your home, undercarpet heating is a game changer. 

“Along with the even and gentle heat distribution associated with undercarpet heating, you get a warm environment that isn’t dry, but importantly isn’t damp either thus avoiding any mould issues.”

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I understand that with undercarpet heating, thermostats take the hassle out of maintaining even warmth. But is there much flexibility?

"The short answer is yes. A thermostat gives you complete control. You choose when to heat, which rooms to heat, and how much heat your environment needs."

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We are considering undercarpet heating but while control, sheer comfort and healthy living are all important to us, so is budget. So while I realise every project is different, can you give me an indication of price and running costs?

“Of course. For an average room of around 10m², Warmup undercarpet heating costs about $900. This initial outlay covers the heating pads, installation, and a 5-year warranty. 

"In terms of energy use, the average running cost for that area is only about $2 a day, based on 6 hours’ use per day. This cost is indicative and is calculated at 26c/kwatt/hr.

"After installation, people find the running costs of using Warmup undercarpet heating are lower than with traditional heating – such as gas heaters. That’s because undercarpet heating uses electricity efficiently and heats your home from the floor up, meaning no energy is wasted and there’s no cranking up the heat to deal with draughts or cold spots.

"Undercarpet heating is very much a case of invest a little extra in the beginning to reap the rewards later. The health benefits, ease of use, and of course the inherent sheer creature comfort will fundamentally enhance the character of your home."

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We've weighed up all the plusses of undercarpet heating – we had initially been unsure about cost – and are pretty keen. But are there any unseen negatives? 

"In truth, no. Your own word 'unseen' is a big part of the answer. With no visible wires and no bumpy elements, undercarpet heating is pretty much out of sight and out of mind.  This type of home heating solution is safe, quiet, easy to use and comfortable.

"If you find you're spending more time at home or you're acutely attuned to your children's heath, then undercarpet heating is an ideal economical home heating solution. But perhaps over and above everything else, undercarpet heating is an eminently affordable luxury."

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Tiled areas – bathrooms in particular

I am thinking of introducing underfloor heating as part of my bathroom renovation – is under tile heating suitable for a makeover or is it just best for a new build?

“Undertile heating is a great option for new bathrooms but is also easily incorporated into a renovation.”

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Is a tiled floor best for this type of bathroom heating? I am contemplating a stone floor in my master ensuite but love the creature comfort feel of underfloor heating – will it work with stone floors as well as tile?

“The good news is, yes! Underfloor heating works equally well under stone as under tiles.

“Undertile heating is the best type of heating for tile and stone as they both have high thermal conductivity.

“This means heat from an underfloor heating wire transfers to the floor surface quickly, warming the floor surface where you require it.”

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My friend has a heated floor in her bathroom and I always kick my shoes off when I’m in there – that feeling! But while the system seems so simple to use (and enjoy), I can’t help wondering if it’s fiddly to install? My build programme is quite tight already.

“With our professional install team, laying an undertile system is pretty hassle-free. Installation is usually done just before tiling, causing minimum disruption to your building or renovating schedule."

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Undertile heating feels so luxurious – and so it also feels like it must be expensive! But is it an effective and economical option?

“This is the first question we are always asked and I am pleased to say the answer is a resounding 'yes!'.

"You might well think this kind of luxury is expensive, but in reality the costs for undertile heating are very reasonable.

“On average, a standard bathroom would cost about $750, and this includes full installation with a lifetime warranty, and the added convenience of a seven-day fully programmable digital thermostat also included.”

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And is that also in terms of efficiency?

“Yes, it is as efficient as it is cost-effective. For one thing, underfloor heating naturally heats from the floor up and because heat rises, this means covering your whole room – no cold areas or uncomfortable draughts.

“Combining the correct control with our experienced installation results in a cost-effective heating system that creates the ambience of a warm summer’s day – regardless of the actual season.”

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We’ve visited a few friends’ homes just recently with undertile heating. In fact, all three said that since they had had their floors installed – by you guys actually, haha – that it was surprisingly economical in terms of installation and running cost. But I am wondering, is that simply the economy of size, given their large residences and generous bathroom square meterage?

I’m pretty keen, but it’s just me and my husband in our modest two bedroom home – is undertile heating as economical when the spaces to be heated are smallish?

“Fair question. However, the costs are relatively the same – this is important because besides seeing a trend towards large, pampering ensuites there is another trend towards smaller homes and smaller bathroom spaces."

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I live in a small South Island town – are there any issues with supply and installations outside our main cities?

“Not at all. Warmup New Zealand has a network of national distributors who provide quality underfloor heating solutions to homes and businesses across the country.”

To find out more about what is becoming the preferred heating source for New Zealand homes, head online: www.warmup.co.nz

Story by: Trendsideas

18 Oct, 2020

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