How Long Does it Take to Warm up Underfloor Heating?

A number of factors will affect how long it takes to warm up underfloor heating, such as: insulation, floor covering, heat loss and the resting temperature.

Underfloor heating warm up time

Underfloor heating provides a cost-effective, energy efficient and comfortable method of heating your home.  However, it can take a longer to warm up underfloor heating than other home heating systems.

How long it takes to warm up underfloor heating will depend on a series of factors.  These are particular to each system:

  • Insulation
  • Floor covering
  • Heat loss
  • Resting temperature

Insulation:

Using a good insulator beneath the sub-floor reduces the amount of heat lost through the floor. This in turn increases the amount of heat transferring upwards to the floor covering and the room above, reducing the time it takes to warm up underfloor heating.

 

Floor Covering:

The type of insulation and floor covering with underfloor heating can both affect the time the system takes to warm up.

A wooden floor with good insulation can be expected to heat up within 30 to 60 minutes of being switched on. If your solid concrete floor (or high-mass screed flooring) is not insulated the heat up process can take several hours.

A good guide is between 2 – 8 hours for the full desired temperature using a non-insulated concrete floor. Insulated concrete slab flooring takes slightly less time, between 2 – 5 hours, whilst concrete with 10mm tile-backer insulation can take as little as one hour to heat up.

Concrete floors, however, are much better at retaining and so will continue to provide heat for hours after being switched off – much longer than when using a wooden floor.

You can limit the time it takes to warm up underfloor heating by using insulated tile backs, such as those made by Ecomax or Marmox.  These can reduce warm up times to as little as 15-20 minutes (with certain floor coverings).

 

Heat Loss:

Heat loss will affect your underfloor heating system at all points of its operation. The heat up time is increased the greater the heat loss for that particular room is as the system must work longer and harder to achieve the desired temperature whilst counteracting the heat loss.

 

Resting temperature:

The amount of time taken to reach the full temperature will depend upon the temperature the floor has been left at between heating periods.

If re-heating the floor from cold then the process will take far longer to warm up underfloor heating than if the floor retained some of the heat from when it was last used, or if using a set-back temperature.

 

Set-Back Stats – Limit the time it takes to warm up underfloor heating:

Set-back stats are used to set a default temperature to which the heating system recedes between heating periods.

The set-back temperature is commonly around 4˚C below the heated temperature and allows for the floor to remain relatively warm whilst also greatly reducing the amount of energy and time used to heat up the floor from cold each time the heating is required.

Set-back stats can save a lot of energy consumption in situations where the underfloor heating system is regularly used.

 

Image: GreenTherm

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