The answers to the most common questions we get are below, but if your question is not covered below, please drop us an email & we will try to get back you as quickly as we can (95% of enquiries are answered the next business day!)
Who are Handyheat & why should I buy from you? [top]
Handyheat is one of Scandinavia's top brands of electric underfloor heating cables, which are distributed exclusively by Floor Heating Systems Ltd (FHS) in the UK .
Far from being 'just an internet company' FHS are one of the UK's leading electric underfloor heating suppliers working with builders, developers, architects & tile retailers throughout the country. We are a family owned business, currently have 16 employees & we have been trading since 2001. Our offices & (underfloor heated) showrooms are located just north of Nottingham & we welcome anyone to take the time to drop in & view our facilities/products for themselves. We believe that we have some of the best electric underfloor heating products available, which we supply direct to the public at discount prices. We carry extensive amounts of stock to ensure that the product you require is available for immediate delivery. But it doesn't end there! Some of our sales staff are also qualified & certified electrical installers, so unlike some of our competitors we can offer advice & answer any technical questions you may have, before, during or after installation. We believe that the many, many recommendations & referrals we receive are testimony, not only to the quality of our products, but also to our unmatched levels of customer service.
Is electric underfloor heating expensive to run? [top]
This is the most common question we get & the simple answer is, that the running costs are determined by many different factors so it is difficult to generalise.
However in most cases the running costs should not be a negative factor, especially in new homes, apartments & conservatories with insulated floors.
When the systems are used in a well-insulated building (in line with current building regulations) the running costs are usually very low, the thermostatic control in each room/zone means that you only use just enough energy to maintain your desired room temperature. A typical new building would perhaps cost around £3-4 per sqm per annum to run , so 100sqm free floor area home would cost around £300-£400 per year to heat.
In a conservatory with an insulated floor, electric underfloor heating will be more efficient than radiators due to the fact that you are using the whole floor as a low temperature radiant room heater. In an average sized conservatory used at weekends & winter evenings, the cost may be up to £8 per sqm/annum to run - so around £80 - £100 per year to heat an average sized conservatory with an insulated floor. A small price to pay for year-round use, when you consider that the average cost of a conservatory can be over £7000.
Floor Heating Systems have supplied sole source electric floor heating systems to much larger homes including barn conversions of up to 300sqm. Electric floor heating stands out as an excellent choice, especially in areas where there is no mains gas supply & the options are electric, oil, or calor gas. Electric floor heating is usually much cheaper to install that 'wet' systems & in some of the properties we supplied, the cost was less than half that of an equivalent 'wet' system.
Electric underfloor heating is also more efficient than radiators & other convected heat & requires no maintenance or servicing & 100% of the electrical energy is turned into heat energy , rather than being lost as exhaust gases as is the case with many gas central heating systems.
In our experience, the only time electric underfloor heating would be considered 'expensive' to run is when it is installed as a heating system in a poorly insulated home, with little or no floor insulation. Our advice for such situations is always therefore to spend that little bit extra on insulation & you will enjoy the benefits of cheaper heating bills for many years to come!
How simple are your systems to install? [top]
See our installation pages under each system type - our systems are designed to be laid by anyone with basic DIY skills, but all electrical connections must be carried out by a suitably qualified electrician & in accordance with current regulations.
How warm will the floor get? [top]
Our systems are designed so that the floor surface will feel comfortably warm , but will never get too hot to walk on! The thermostat regulates the floor temperature by turning the system off when the floor gets to the required temperature, then back on as the floor begins to cool - thus keeping a constant temperature. It does this up to 3 times per minute for optimum control & maximum energy efficiency.
Can the underfloor heating be used as the only heat source? [top]
In the vast majority of cases the answer will be yes, especially in new, well-insulated properties. The exceptions being old properties with little or no insulation, where you have limited floor space available, such as a small galley kitchen, or small bathroom. In such cases if may be physically impossible to get enough heat output into a small confined space. If you wish to install a primary heating system in an old poorly insulated property, please contact us for advice.
Can the temperature be regulated? [top]
Yes it can - The digital clock thermostat allows the user full control of the heating system, including the 'occupied' temperature, the 'unoccupied' temperature & the times of operation using a 7-day/24 hr clock control
What is the typical warm up time? [top]
How long it takes to heat the floor will vary, depending on your sub-floor & its insulation. Generally the better the insulation the quicker it will heat up, 30 minutes to an hour on a wooden floor, but it will take longer on an un-insulated concrete floor. However, on concrete floors it will also retain the heat in the concrete & therefore take longer to cool down. The carbon film system is supplied with a thin insulation layer so warm up times will be no more than an hour on any sub-floor. However with tiles, if you lay the cables/cable mats onto un-insulated concrete, it can take several hours to heat up. We therefore recommend that you try to use HandyHeat insulated tile-backer boards wherever possible when installing on an un-insulated concrete floor.
Is there a guarantee? [top]
Yes all cables are backed by a manufacturers Lifetime guarantee! The thermostat is guaranteed for five years from date of purchase.
What is the thickness of the under-tile cable/cable mats? [top]
The cables are just 3mm thick & include a built in return so they only need to be connected from one end.
What is the thickness of the carbon system? [top]
The carbon film itself is less than half a millimeter thick & when combined with our 6mm 'Depron' insulating underlay below a wood floor, the total combined thickness of the complete system will raise your floor level by just 6.5mm
(Note in a conservatory or on an un-insulated floor, we recommend a double layer of Depron making the increase in floor height 12.5mm)
Can the carbon system be used below 'real' wood floors or just laminate/engineered wood? [top]
The answer to the question is yes it can & the carbon foil has been fitted below thousands of sqm of real wood floors during the last few years & we have had no reported problems of cracking, warping or damage to the floor.
There are however two things you need to consider if using a real wood floor:
- The installation method, 'floating' is best (where the boards are glued/fixed together using the tongue & groove). It is also possible to install the film onto battens at 400mm centre-centre spaces - please see our web page for details (here)
- The other consideration is the moisture content. Wood is a natural product & as long as you chose timber that is fully dried out has a low moisture content, you will have no problems. A good wood supplier should be able to give you advice on moisture content & suitability for use over underfloor heating.
I have a chipboard floor which I wish to tile & also have underfloor heating, do I need to fix a layer of plywood before the underfloor heating & tiles? [top]
(Given directly by a technical advisor from 'The Tile Association')
There are a lot of chipboard floors around and ideally something else should be done before tiling. Additional plywood is an improvement but current thinking is that 2 layers, with joints lapped, should be used to minimize the possibility of cracking. This would mean putting down say 2 layers of 9 mm each, screw fixed at 300 mm centers. Even use of plywood is not ideal.