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Underfloor Heating Downstairs, Nothing Upstairs.. ?

  • 26-10-2020 10:34pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 15 PC00123424


    Hi,

    Part way through new build in coastal area of Galway. It's decided we will have underfloor downstairs using air to water heat pump. House is well insulated and good insulation to go on top of downstairs slab still. All glass is triple glazed and spray foam to go on roof for insulation and to seal gaps, then will probably go with insulated plasterboard on the roof and external walls on the north end of the house. First floor is hollowcore slabs.

    I know someone who has a very similar build and lives a stones throw away (the same spec except normal plasterboard on north end external walls), they have fitted underfloor heating downstairs and up and they have never turned on the heating upstairs (except to test) and they are in the house about 8 years now.

    Project running significantly over projected cost already (of course) so looking to save where we can. Would I be mental to not fit any heating at all upstairs?

    Thanks.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 941 ✭✭✭ Count Mondego


    I think you would. I have an A2 rated house and have UFH upstairs as well and it does get used. You'll probably only save 3-4k by not putting it in and it can't be done again afterwards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PC00123424


    Hi thanks for your reply.

    One issue is that due to some unforeseen outcomes, I am reluctant to raise the level of the floor upstairs more than the minimal necessity.

    Also, could you comment on the fact that neighbour with very similar build hasn't used the heating upstairs in many years? That house is warm upstairs, everyone says the same. I know this is non scientific anecdotal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 941 ✭✭✭ Count Mondego


    I can't comment on your friend's house, only my own. My upstairs has 3 large rooms in it, 2 offices and a playroom. I haven't a high amount of windows, mainly veluxes. The point I'm making is that you won't save a whole pile by removing the UFH as you'll still have to insulate it and finish the floor anyway. You can't put it back in afterwards so what's your plan if it is cold? I'm on the west coast too and have geothermal.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 117 ✭✭ Adalyn Shallow Walnut


    I would pay little heed to what other people say about heating. I have been in houses where the owners say they never need to turn the heat and I’ve been freezing and in houses that I was cooked alive due to heating being on too much.

    It would be insanity to skimp on something as important as heading upstairs in my honest opinion. You would be much better off to stick with the UFH but if you really want to say a few bob you could put in a few aluminium rads instead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,661 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    At the worst pipe the upstairs for radiators , you can always instal them later if the pipe is there , and pipe is cheap ...
    And you could use fan assisted rads for upstairs ...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



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  • Subscribers Posts: 36,251 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    If you have had a passive assessment and your over the line, or very close, then that's a possibility.
    MHRV is an absolute must though....and an air tightness result of less than 1

    Anything wider than those standards and its risky


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    who will sign off on the build?
    whats the projected BER?
    Whats the expected ACH?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,025 ✭✭✭✭ Water John


    Agree with Cheese and Beat. At least put in the feed upstairs and be sure to do the MHRV. So many try and save by not doing the latter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PC00123424


    Thanks all for your posts, very helpful!

    Count Mondego - The money saving would just be a bonus, it's mainly trying to keep the floor level lower. Having heard that people nearby don't even use their upstairs UFH, it made me consider not having it upstairs. About Geothermal, I was told they can be drilling holes at costs of thousands per hole before they find a usable one, and that cost before even fitting anything.. put us off that option.

    MickelsonM30 - There does seem to be a lot of subjectivity when it comes to people's perception of heating / temperature indoors! Personally, I very rarely turn the heating on even in the middle of winter, it doesn't bother me. The thing that puts me off rads is that even aluminium requires too high temp to be fed by the air to water alone, but yes if I want to keep the floor level down I might have to go for rads upstairs.

    Markcheese - Good suggestion, thanks! I'll also have a look at fan assisted rads.

    sydthebeat - MVHR is definitely going in. Will look into the air tightness. No passiv assessment, doubt we will be very close to that standard.

    Calahonda52 - Engineer will sign off. I believe the ACH is meant to be 3 or better. I'd have to speak to the Engineer about BER. If they both achieve a certain rating are you saying that upstairs heating may not be required?

    Water John - Thanks, will be getting MVHR.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,344 ✭✭✭ Phibsboro


    Just another anecdotal report. I renovated a terraced house in Dublin recently. Builder and plumber were both laughing at me as I pushed for individual room zoned controls upstairs. The plumber was adamant that I'd never have the heating on upstairs at all due the heat coming up from the UFH downstairs. That turned out to be absolute nonsense - upstairs is like a morgue if the rads aren't on. Obviously not the same circumstances as not a new build, but I'd be very wary of gambling on not doing the upstairs fitout.

    How well do you know the neighbour? Could you pop down with a thermometer one afternoon and check the temps upstairs?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 607 ✭✭✭ tedimc


    Fully agree that every house is different, but I had a similar decision to make in our house - a converted 1960s bungalow. Our house is T shaped and we converted one leg to have an open plan office/future TV room.

    I was going to put in UFH, but floor height was an issue. Budget too. As it was an office, I took a chance and glad I did. It’s never cold up there. In terms of insulation - house is A2 rated. 75mm pumped cavity with 80mm insulated plasterboard. Sprayed pitched roof with 50-80mm insulted plasterboard. 20mm insulated plasterboard on downstairs ceilings and 2 large Veluxs in attic. Our attic also has an open plan balcony so the air flows freely from upstairs to downstairs.

    I would be a lot more careful about the heating though if you are planning to use the upstairs for bedrooms.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    OP: You can always turn it off......

    It looks as if you have a floor levels problem for UFH so i suspect rads are the answer.
    the other point is that if you are ever selling, it would have to be advertised as having no heating upstairs, its another thing I need to add to my house survey checklist :)
    Phibsboro wrote: »
    .... as I pushed for individual room zoned controls upstairs.

    What tech did you use for this, when I did this back in the 80's I brought each room back to a manifold, beauty of qualplex, just wonder what "tech" is out there now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 hackersphorr


    I have an A2 rated house - underfloor heating upstairs and downstairs. I am regularly turning on the heating upstairs, if turned off the rooms do get cold.

    I'd reiterate what the other posters have said - you can't change your mind on this. Aim to save the money somewhere else where it can be changed at a later date - cheaper flooring and doors for example


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭ dubrov


    I'm in a new house since May so haven't really hit the cold weather yet.
    It has UFH downstairs and low heat aluminium rads upstairs. The rads haven't come on yet except to test.
    If anything it is too hot upstairs as a lower temperature is preferable at night when you are under a duvet.

    I'm not sure if I would take the risk of no heating upstairs though given the extra cost to add them in later. I wouldn't be looking at expensive solutions though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,344 ✭✭✭ Phibsboro


    OP: You can always turn it off......

    It looks as if you have a floor levels problem for UFH so i suspect rads are the answer.
    the other point is that if you are ever selling, it would have to be advertised as having no heating upstairs, its another thing I need to add to my house survey checklist :)



    What tech did you use for this, when I did this back in the 80's I brought each room back to a manifold, beauty of qualplex, just wonder what "tech" is out there now.

    The whole plumbing thing was a bit of a trial. The plumber was young enough but couldn't get his head around the Tado system I wanted to put in (even though they are simply replacements for the wired stats he wanted to put in). So I spent most of my effort on that and compromised on a single zone upstairs (which he didn't even want, he was saying just reply on mechanical thermo rad values and have it come on whenever downstairs is on). I am going to install a Tado rad value in the guest bedroom to get the two zones I originally wanted, just waiting for Black Friday.

    Re manifold, yes there are 4 UFH feeds and the upstairs rads feeding into a manifold, the Tado stats control the do-dahs on the top of each manifold.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 117 ✭✭ Adalyn Shallow Walnut


    Phibsboro wrote: »
    The whole plumbing thing was a bit of a trial. The plumber was young enough but couldn't get his head around the Tado system I wanted to put in (even though they are simply replacements for the wired stats he wanted to put in). So I spent most of my effort on that and compromised on a single zone upstairs (which he didn't even want, he was saying just reply on mechanical thermo rad values and have it come on whenever downstairs is on). I am going to install a Tado rad value in the guest bedroom to get the two zones I originally wanted, just waiting for Black Friday.

    Re manifold, yes there are 4 UFH feeds and the upstairs rads feeding into a manifold, the Tado stats control the do-dahs on the top of each manifold.

    That would annoy me no end that a tradesman isn't willing to go with the solution you want. Especially when its nothing too crazy by any means.

    We are going for UFH upstairs and downstairs and my intention is to make each room controllable separately. In my experience there can be a few degrees of difference between rooms at different sides of the house and I would like to be able to balance the temps everywhere rather than just on a upstairs and downstairs zone basis.


  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭ iColdFusion


    Id put some heating up there not just for a potential future resale but also you need to cater for all age groups, you might be fine but what if its cold and you have a new born baby? Even myself I notice the cold more as i get older and im only in my thirties!

    Forget about what other people say, your neighbors could both work outside all week and their bodies are adjusted differently, I even see it since ive been working from home the whole time and not leaving it most of the week compared to being out and about going to office, at lunchtime, external meetings etc

    Don't forget you can get heat pumps that run a cooling cycle too if the upstairs is passively too hot :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    Id put some heating up there not just for a potential future resale but also you need to cater for all age groups, you might be fine but what if its cold and you have a new born baby? Even myself I notice the cold more as i get older and im only in my thirties!

    Forget about what other people say, your neighbors could both work outside all week and their bodies are adjusted differently, I even see it since ive been working from home the whole time and not leaving it most of the week compared to being out and about going to office, at lunchtime, external meetings etc

    Don't forget you can get heat pumps that run a cooling cycle too if the upstairs is passively too hot :pac:

    generally causes condensation issues in Irish Climate


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PC00123424


    Thanks to everyone who commented on this, went with the consensus in the end and have gone for the UFH upstairs, despite the loss in ceiling height.



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