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The answers to our most frequently asked questions are below

Answers.

Answers to our most frequently asked questions are below.

If you have questions that you don’t have answers for feel free to call us directly on 0115 963 2314.

Who are Varme and why should I buy from you?

Varme is one of Scandinavia’s top brands of electric underfloor heating cables. They are distributed exclusively by Floor Heating Systems Ltd (FHS) in the UK. The Varme brand is renowned for its quality and comes with a manufacturers lifetime guarantee.

Instructions

Fortunately our instructions are simple to follow. We also have a freephone technical support line with answers any questions you may have. Our technical support staff are also qualified and certified electrical installers. In conclusion we can offer advice and answer any technical questions you may have. Before, during or after installation.

Is electric underfloor heating expensive to run?

This is the most common question we get. The simple answer is, that the running costs are determined by many different factors.

However in most cases the running costs should not be a negative factor, especially in new homes, apartments and 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. Based on the default thermostat settings, a 1kw system will cost approximately £0.40 a day, based on an average house with an average level of insulation.

Reassurance

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 and the options are electric, oil, or calor gas. Electric floor heating is usually much cheaper to install than ‘wet’ systems and in some of the properties we supplied, the cost was less than half that of an equivalent ‘wet’ system.

Efficient

Electric underfloor heating is also more efficient than radiators and other convected heat and requires no maintenance or servicing and 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 insulted home, with little or no floor insulation. Our advice for such situations is always therefore to spend that little bit extra on insulation and you will enjoy the benefits of cheaper heating bills for many years to come!

How simple are your systems to install?

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 and in accordance with current regulations.

Temperature
How warm will the floor get?

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 and maximum energy efficiency.

Can the underfloor heating be used as a primary heat source?

In the vast majority of cases the answers 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 a 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?

Yes it can – The FH-01 thermostat controller allows the user full control of the heating system. This includes the ‘occupied’ temperature, the ‘unoccupied’ temperature and the times of operation using a 7-day/24 hr clock control.

What is the typical warm up time?

How long it takes to heat the floor will vary, depending on your sub-floor and its insulation.

In Conclusion

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 and therefore take longer to cool down. The carbon film system is supplied with a thin insulation layer. 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 Varme insulated tile-backer boards. Wherever possible when installing on an un-insulated concrete floor.

Is there a guarantee?

Yes all cables are backed by a manufacturers lifetime guarantee. The thermostat is guaranteed for five years from date of purchase.

Thickness
What is the thickness of the under-tile cable/cable mats?

The cables are just 3mm thick. They include a built in return so they only need to be connected from one end.

What is the thickness of the carbon system?

The carbon film itself is less than half a millimetre thick. When it is 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?.

The answers to this question are yes. It can and the carbon foil has been fitted below thousands of sqm of real wood floors. In the last few years and we have had no reported problems of damage to the floors.

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 and groove). It is also possible to install the film onto battens at 400 mm centres.

Please see our Fitting Instructions for details.

The other consideration is the moisture content, wood is a natural product. Choose a wood floor that is fully dried out and has a low moisture content.  A good wood supplier should be able to give you advice on moisture content and suitability for use over underfloor heating.

I have a chipboard floor which I wish to tile and also have underfloor heating. Do I need to fix a layer of plywood before the underfloor heating and tiles?

(answers 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. This 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 centres. Even the use of plywood is not ideal.
Another possibility would be to put a layer of tile-backer board down. Tile onto that.