Underfloor heating (UFH) will continue to grow in popularity over the next 12 months, but the industry still needs to dispel myths surrounding it
New research conducted by Continental Underfloor for the independent campaign, Ask for Underfloor, has revealed 30% of house hunters want UFH in all or some rooms of their new property. A fifth of respondents would like UFH in key rooms such as the bedroom, bathroom or kitchen – a five per cent increase to statistics released by Ask for Underfloor in January 2014.
The new data supports further research carried out by Ask for Underfloor member Uponor, which found 75% of installers believe UFH will be a key heating solution for 2015.
Representatives from the Ask for Underfloor campaign, which is backed by BEAMA, believe the rising popularity is down to consumers becoming more aware of the far-reaching benefits of UFH. Out of 2,000 respondents, 42% of those who had UFH said it helped to provide a better level of comfort than other heating sources, 37% found it had contributed to lower energy bills and 32% felt it provided a touch of affordable luxury in their home. One in ten even said UFH had improved their quality of life.
However, the research revealed there are still some misconceptions around UFH, which the industry needs to tackle. Over half (51%) of respondents who don’t have UFH said they think it would cost too much to buy, over a third (35%) think it would be too disruptive to install and nearly a quarter (23%) don’t think it would be suitable for their type of property.
Colin Timmins, from BEAMA and the Ask for Underfloor campaign, said: “A lot of our members are reporting an increase in UFH enquiries and sales, and it’s great to hear that installers are in agreement that it’s becoming an important heating solution. Statistics from the Construction Products Association show that private housing projects are going to increase by ten per cent in 2015, giving both suppliers and installers of UFH systems a great opportunity.
“In order to maximise business in this area though, there is still some work the industry needs to do in order to dispel any myths surrounding UFH. Specifiers, installers and suppliers alike need to communicate to their customers that thanks to product developments there is now a system suitable for almost any type of property and many – such as systems that lay over the top of the existing floor – are very straightforward and quick to install, with minimal mess or fuss. What’s more, with a system for a three-bedroom property costing from around £2,100 it can be an affordable way to update a home.
“With the construction industry continuing to improve, along with homeowners increasingly asking for UFH, 2015 has the potential to be a fruitful year for suppliers and installers of UFH. The challenge the industry faces is to carry on educating homeowners of the benefits of UFH and ensure it is up to date with all the latest developments so it can provide customers with the very best products and services.”