New findings reveal underfloor heating is 93% less carbon intensive than radiators


Supporting the industry to reach its sustainability goals, WMS underfloor heating has released new findings which reveal that underfloor heating systems are 93% less carbon intensive than radiators.

This staggering statistic has been calculated by considering a variety of figures, including product lifecycle, material volume and the carbon impact to manufacture each product, which highlight that plastic underfloor heating pipe is significantly better from a carbon point of view to produce when compared with steel.
The foundation of this calculation is Government published statistics relating to the carbon impact of manufacturing building materials. The report[1] states that the manufacture of iron and steel products have a 7.1 MTCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent), compared with plastic products which have a 3 MTCO2e - 58% less than iron and steel.

underfloor heating

When it comes to material volume, in an average house with 10 rooms over two floors, underfloor heating system also requires 42% less material (129.4kg) compared with 222.6kg of material for an equivalent standard radiator system. The kg, and consequently the volume of material would also increase further for larger, low temperature radiators now required to meet the demands of the 55 degrees Celsius flow temperature update to the Building Regulations and Part L revisions, which are now in force.
Further adding to the benefits of underfloor heating, traditional radiators are only expected to last for around 25 years – as well as being less efficient than underfloor heating when in situ – once decommissioned, they become a waste product in a relatively short space of time.
Whereas underfloor heating systems can last three times longer, with most offering at least a 75-year guarantee, providing additional reassurance that it will likely outlive the lifetime of the building. Good quality underfloor heating pipe, which is made from superior quality, sustainable PERT (polyethylene of raised temperature resistance) can also be melted down safely and reused, further enhancing sustainability credentials.
Joanna Crown, Marketing Director at WMS underfloor heating, comments: “The way we heat are homes is changing and there are several reasons in why it is best to switch to underfloor heating – from the efficiency of pairing with renewable heat sources, to wellbeing, health and safety – however these latest findings provide an even more compelling case when it comes to embedded carbon reduction.
“The findings from our research are very significant and for developers set on reducing their carbon footprint in the first instance, as well as over the lifetime of a building, switching to underfloor heating is now proven to be the very best specification choice.”
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