Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the questions below to find out the answers to your questions.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Can I use my existing radiators with a new Air Source Heat Pump?

If the radiator in a room is sized correctly for that room and currently being heated by a gas or oil boiler, then it is not likely to be suitable to be used with an ASHP.  A new radiator sized correctly to work with an air source heat pump will be needed.

Does the government offer incentives to install an ASHP?

The government does currently offer incentives, both the Renewable Heat Incentive and Green Home Grant Scheme are available. Full up to date information on the current schemes and eligibility is available and detailed on our Incentives page.

How do Air Source Heat Pumps work?

An ASHP uses energy from the outdoor air. Air is pulled across a heat exchanger inside the heat pump where the energy is extracted by refrigerant gases. These gasses are compressed via a compressor to give useable heat.  This heat is transferred to your heating system in the same way as a conventional boiler sends heat to your radiators, underfloor heating or hot water cylinder so it is ready whenever it is needed.

How energy efficient is an Air Source Heat Pump?

An Air Source Heat Pump works at a minimum of 300% efficiency, compared to around 90% for oil boilers and 92% for modern condensing gas boilers. Therefore your EPC rating will improve, you will be using less CO2 due to the increased efficiency of your heating system and reducing the use of fossil fuels.

How many years will my ASHP run for?

The external unit is expected to last up to 20 years on a system which has been designed and installed correctly.

 

 

How much will an Air Source Heat Pump installation cost?

An example of a typical 3-bedroom detached bungalow that has an oil boiler and 9 radiators will cost approximately £15,000 to change the heating system to Air Source Heating.

If you are eligible, you could expect to receive government incentives of £9,500 (this would include RHI and Green Home Grant Scheme payment), therefore if you received a voucher for £5,000 through the GHGS, then the remaining £4,500 would be made through the RHI payments.

It is estimated you would benefit from £2,500 fuel savings over the 7 year period.

The costs involved in installing a system include the following:

  • Removal of the existing system.
  • Custom design of a heating system for your property.
  • Installation of the air source heat pump (unit fitted outdoors).
  • Installation of a new cylinder that has an increased size primary coil fitted.
  • Installation of a buffer vessel (another cylinder for the heating system fluid).
  • Replacement of the radiators with new, larger radiators.
  • Replacement of the current heating controls.
  • Electrical wiring of the new system. Often a new supply will need to be run from the consumer unit to the outdoor air source heat pump.
  • Plumbing required to adapt the old heating and hot water systems to the new heat pump and radiators.
  • Registration and certification for Microgeneration Certification Scheme so that you will be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Will an Air Source Heat Pump still work when it is freezing or snowing outside?

Absolutely. We design your heating system to be able to provide 21 degrees to the living areas of your property when it is sub zero temperatures outdoors. The refrigerant in the ASHP is designed to work down to -10 degrees and beyond.

Will I have lower energy bills if I install an ASHP?

If you are changing from LPG, oil or direct electric there are considerable savings to be made in your annual running costs.

An air source heat pump generates 3 times the energy it consumes, this means that for every 1kw of electricity that you pay for, an ASHP can produce 3kw of heat for your home.

Annual Servicing

Do you offer Annual Servicing Plans?

We do not currently offer a servicing plan with monthly premiums. We have considered offering this service but have decided against it at the current time for the following reasons.

We need to link up with a finance company as these types of plans are an insurance policy.

We install premium quality heat pumps, and it is more cost effective for customers to pay for an annual service each year, rather than a monthly payment plan.

If you would like to book an annual service you can call our service team on 01603 567595.

Design Services

Can I control my heating system using a mobile app?

We are able to provide designs with the necessary controls that will allow you to control your system via a mobile app. We are also able to offer a monitoring service to review your system remotely and advise setting adjustments to optimise operation.

Can you offer an M&E package?

We are a heating Company, providing mechanical design and installation. We are able to offer electrical services to complete the electrical supplies and connections to our systems using approved partners, but do not complete general domestic electrical designs.

Do you offer Design Services for Commercial & Residential properties?

Our usual services include designs for domestic, large domestic, barn conversions and small commercial projects. Please see to our projects page for a selection of completed installations.

Is it possible to talk to a Designer during the process to discuss the design and make changes to suit our requirements?

Yes, of course. We are happy to discuss your expectations and provide advice on the most suitable solution. We can also explain how the various systems work and how to operate and change settings for optimum efficiency.

What are the charges/fees for Mechanical Design Services?

Our design costs are included within your installation price. Following a guide estimate, we will then produce a specification estimate where we ask for a small fee to complete the detailed heat loss calculations, but when you proceed to contract this fee is credited off your final price.

What information is required to complete a design?

We will require a floor plan (architects/estate agent/sketch) detailing room sizes, heights, window/door sizes along with general insulation levels and existing heating provisions for completion of a guide estimate. For detailed designs a site survey is required (with one of our staff) to confirm building details, plant locations and installation details.

Energy Performance Certificate

How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An Energy Performance Certificate will need to be completed by a local energy assessor. 

You can find an energy assessor by using the EPC Register Find a local Energy Assessor near you.

Gas Installation

Why do you think Viessmann boilers are the best choice?

Richard Brown selected Viessmann as his manufacturer of choice almost 20 years ago. They offer efficient options including products for customers building suburban eco properties with low heat demand.

Gas Servicing

Do you carry out servicing for Caravan Parks?

For our gas services we usually work within a limited radius of Norwich. This is to ensure cost effectiveness for the customer. If we need to travel to carry out a repair or service the travel time can make us expensive. Realistically there are Gas Safe engineers local to everyone. Our staff will advise you.  Give us a call on 01603 567595 to discuss.

Do you offer Annual Servicing Plans?

We do not currently offer a servicing plan with monthly premiums. We have considered offering this service but have decided against it at the current time for the following reasons.

We need to link up with a finance company as these types of plans are an insurance policy.

We install premium quality heat pumps, and it is more cost effective for customers to pay for an annual service each year, rather than a monthly payment plan.

If you would like to book an annual service you can call our service team on 01603 567595.

Do you offer emergency call out services?

No – We are not able to offer a 24/7 gas callout service. Our team of Gas Engineers is small and we could not cover out of hours, weekends and holidays without expecting our staff to work antisocial hours. Our business model is predominantly that of an installation company. Therefore, our staffing and price structure is not geared to high call-out charges. We always respond to customer breakdowns as quickly as we can, as we do not like our customers to be without heating or hot water. Our phones are ‘manned’ usually from 7.30 until 4.30 Monday-Friday.

How regularly should my gas appliances be serviced?

You should have your gas appliances serviced and checked annually.  Call us on 01603 567595 to book an engineer.

I rent my property, who should arrange for servicing my gas boiler/gas fire/gas cooker?

If you are in a rental property, your landlord has to have all gas appliances checked annually and have a landlords certificate to confirm appliances have passed testing.  Call us on 01603 567595 to book an engineer.

What area do you cover for gas servicing?

For our gas services we usually work within a limited radius of Norwich. This is to ensure cost effectiveness for the customer. If we need to travel to carry out a repair or service the travel time can make us expensive. Realistically there are Gas Safe engineers local to everyone. Our staff will advise you.

This map of Norfolk shows the boundaries of the homes which R A Brown are able to provide annual gas servicing to.

To book a service call our servicing department on 01603 567595

What do you charge for Landlords’ Safety Certification?

In the Norwich area a gas service would cost is £95 + VAT and a landlord certificate is £15 per appliance.

Call our servicing team on 01603 567595 to book in your service.

 

What is included in a gas boiler service?

The engineer will check for corrosion and leaks in the system and check that the gas pressure is correct. In addition, all safety and cleaning maintenance checks will be made within the servicing to ensure your system is safe.

To book a gas boiler service call our service team on 01603 567595.

What makes of gas boiler do you service?

We service many different makes of gas boiler – please provide details of the make and model of your boiler at the time of booking.  Call our service department on 01603 567595 to book your gas boiler service.

Will you send me a reminder about annual servicing?

We do contact all our customers each year to book them in for servicing, however if you would like to receive a reminder from gas safe, you can register your appliances here and they will send you an annual reminder.

https://www.staygassafe.co.uk/

If you would like to contact our servicing team, call us on 01603 567595

 

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Can you retrofit a Ground Source Heat Pump into a property?

Yes, we can fit a ground source heat pump to most properties, so long as there is enough land for the pipework to be laid outside for the collector or enough area of land to drill boreholes. As an example for a 4 bedroom property with 12 radiators, you would likely need 600sq metres of land or 2 x 150 metre boreholes.

Do I need a 3-phase electrical supply to run a Ground Source Heat Pump?

For ground source heat pumps that are 16kw or above, a 3-phase electrical supply will generally be required.

How do Ground Source Heat Pumps work?

A GSHP uses solar energy naturally stored in the ground. With a stable temperature of between 8 – 12 degrees throughout the year it is a perfect environment to extract energy from. The energy collected from either the ground or water source via collector pipes is converted into useable heat via refrigerant gases and a compressor. This useable heat is used to heat your home in the same way as a conventional boiler sends heat to the radiators, underfloor heating or hot water cylinder so it is ready whenever it is needed.

How many years will my GSHP run for?

Ground loops have an exceptionally long lifespan and are built to last 50-100 years.

Indoor components usually last up to 20 years – double that of oil or conventional gas boiler components.

How much do boreholes cost for a Ground Source Heat Pump?

Boreholes are drilled to a depth of 100 – 150 metres. There can be 2 or more boreholes required dependent on the energy required for the property.

The cost of the drilling and the pipework connections with trenching back to the plant area will cost on average between £10,000 – £18,000 depending on the number of holes required.

How much does a Ground Source Heat pump cost to run?

Ground source heat pumps are effectively the cheapest form of heating to run. They can be 400 – 500% efficient or more.

A ground source heat pump generates 4-5 times the energy it consumes. This means that for every 1kw of electricity that you pay for, a GSHP can produce 4-5kw of heat for your home.

How much does a Ground Source Heat Pump installation cost?

An example of a typical 4 bedroom property with 12 radiators, with a ground source heat pump installation will cost in the region of £28 – £30k.

How much space do I need for the Ground Source Heat Pump collector?

For a horizontal collector you will need to install pipes 1m apart and 1.2m deep in the ground. The maximum length for a loop of pipe will be 400m but depending on the size of the heat pump required you may require 2 or more ground loops. The average system will require between 600 and 1200 square metres of land. This land must be clear of trees and buildings.

How much will the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) be for a Ground Source Heat Pump?

The UK Government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is calculated by the space heating requirement of the property (detailed on your Energy Performance Certificate)and the efficiency of the heat pump that we install. You can expect payments between £2,000 – £4,500 per annum. Your specific payment will be calculated based on your individual property.

I have a water borehole, can this be used for a Ground Source Heat Pump?

Water boreholes are generally only about 20 metres – 50 metres deep. A Geothermal borehole will need to be at least 100 metres deep and often more than 1 borehole is required.

Will you carry out a fault-finding service for my ground source heat pump?

Our staff are very experienced with heat pump systems and will attend and identify potential problems – initially there will be a call our charge and then additional work and/or parts can be estimated for.

Guide Estimate

How can I get a guide price for a heat pump for my property

We require some information to be able to custom design a renewable heating system for your property. The more information that you can provide us the more accurate we can be.

  • Your contact details
  • Your property address, including postcode
  • Do you own the property/rent it/is it a holiday let?
  • Plans of the property (one of the following

– Architect plans are ideal of course, including elevations and sections.

– Estate agent floor plans – We can work with these floor plans but please ensure that we have all the room sizes (ideally including                        ceiling heights)

– Basic drawing of the layout of your property accompanied with a list of the room sizes including ceiling heights.

  • Window sizes in each of the rooms – Approximate age and are they Double glazed, single glazed etc.?
  • Details of existing heating system. Is it oil or gas? Combi boiler or cylinder? Approximate age of the system.
  • Radiators or Underfloor heating? Which system do you have, or would you like to have installed?
  • The current number of radiators in each room, if installed.

Using the information that you provide we can produce a guide estimate for the work that you wish to be carried out. This estimate will also detail the expected running costs of the proposed system and the sum that you are likely to receive if you are eligible to claim the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Please email the plans and answers to the questions to admin@rabrown.co.uk

If I am interested after the guide estimate, what is the next stage?

If the information in the guide estimate sounds appealing and you wish to proceed then we can arrange to carry out a site survey so that we can complete a detailed heat loss calculation and then custom design your heating system to perfectly suit your property.

Give us a call on 01603 898904 to arrange a site survey.

Heat Pump General

Do I have to change my hot water cylinder?

The primary coil in the hot water cylinder must have a surface area of at least 3 sqm to work at the lower flow temperatures produced by the heat pump. As most standard hot water cylinders fitted for oil or gas boilers only have a primary coil with a surface area of approximately 0.25 sqm we do need to replace the cylinder.

What does the buffer vessel do?

We incorporate a buffer vessel into the design of our heat pump systems. The buffer vessel serves a few functions to make your system run more efficiently and to provide longevity for the heat pump.

The buffer vessel holds a store of heating fluid for your heating system. It enables the heating to stay on while the air source heat pump heats the domestic hot water.

It also enables the heating to stay on whole the outdoor unit carries out a defrost cycle during cold weather.

A correctly sized buffer vessel is critical in the performance and longevity of your system.

Will a heat pump provide enough hot water for my property?

Both the Air Source and Ground Source heat pumps that we install will be more than capable of providing enough hot water for your home.

The heat pump will heat the hot water in the cylinder to approximately 50 degrees Celsius. We ensure that the hot water cylinder is sized correctly for the building and the hot water demand required.

Heat Pump Servicing

Can you service “split system” air source heat pumps?

We are not able to service heat pumps with external refrigerant circuits as our Engineers do not hold the relevant qualifications to maintain this aspect of the system. You will be asked to provide full details of the make and model of your air source heat pump and if it is a make such as Daikin, we will try to refer you to another relevant company.

Do you offer Annual Servicing Plans?

We do not currently offer a servicing plan with monthly premiums. We have considered offering this service but have decided against it at the current time for the following reasons.

We need to link up with a finance company as these types of plans are an insurance policy.

We install premium quality heat pumps, and it is more cost effective for customers to pay for an annual service each year, rather than a monthly payment plan.

If you would like to book an annual service you can call our service team on 01603 567595.

Does my heat pump need servicing every year?

It is recommended that heat pump systems are serviced every year to ensure they are running as efficiently as possible and to maintain your manufacturer warranty. If you are in receipt of government incentive payments, there is a requirement to ensure the system is suitably maintained in good working order.

To book a service call 01603 567595.

 

What areas do you cover for Heat Pump Servicing?

We carry out servicing work for customers in Norfolk and North Suffolk. Prices vary according to geographical area, please ask for the price at the time of booking.  Contact our service team on 01603 567595.

Will you carry out a fault-finding service for my ground source heat pump?

Our staff are very experienced with heat pump systems and will attend and identify potential problems – initially there will be a call our charge and then additional work and/or parts can be estimated for.

Will you remind me when my heat pump needs servicing?

We do contact all our customers each year to book them in for servicing, if you wish to contact the servicing team you can call us on 01603 567595.

MVHR

Can I retrofit MVHR?

Fitting MVHR systems into existing properties is challenging, for a couple of reasons: –

The fabric of the building needs to be virtually airtight – hence windows often must be replaced/upgraded, trickle vents removed.

You will need to route 75 or 90mm ducting to every room of the property back to the location of the main unit.

Having said that if you’re determined it can be done. It is easier to retrofit MVHR into a bungalow. We can advise you as to whether it is possible to retrofit your property.

How much does MVHR cost to run?

It costs approximately £30 – £55 per year in electricity to run a large MVHR system constantly, but you save a lot more than that on heating bills because it is recovering the heat that would normally be exhausted by traditional extractor fans and draughts from trickle vent windows etc.

Is a MVHR system noisy?

A properly designed MVHR system should be very quiet in its operation with air flows calculated to move the correct volume of air for each room without causing a whistling or noises pertaining to the movement of the air.

What does the heat recovery part of MVHR mean?

The systems that we offer retain between 90 and 95% of the heat in your home while exhausting the stale air from your property to outside.

There is a heat exchanger within the unit that passes the heat to the new fresh air entering the property while exhausting the stale air back to the outside.

What makes of MVHR do you supply and install?

We offer both Zehnder and Vent Axia products. Both manufacturers are leading MVHR suppliers that each have their own qualities and warranties.

Where is the MVHR unit and system installed?

The MVHR unit can be installed in a large cupboard or possibly the loft space. From the unit there will be 75mm and 90mm ductwork travelling to all the rooms in the property.

There are also 2 larger 160-180mm pipes that need to go outside through a wall or roof vent, providing incoming and outgoing air.

Payment

What payment types do you accept?

We can accept payment either by BACS (bank transfer) or over the phone by debit card. The bank details will be on your invoice, alternatively please call 01603 898904 to make your payment over the telephone.

Radiators

Can I install my own radiators?

Yes you can install your own radiators but it is very important that we instruct you as to the correct outputs required from the radiators for each room.

If you are claiming a Government grant or Renewable Heat incentive we will need to prove that we have calculated the radiator sizes correctly to ensure that you are eligible to make your claim.

Not only that but we want to ensure that your system will work properly once installed.

Can I use my existing radiators?

If the radiator in a room is sized correctly for that room and currently being heated by a gas or oil boiler, then to work with a new more efficient low temperature system, such as an air source heat pump, then the surface area of the radiator will need to be at least 2.4 times greater. It may be possible to use some of your existing larger radiators in smaller rooms.

Renewable Heat Incentive

Can I calculate how much I will receive through the Renewable Heat Incentive?

There is a helpful Renewable Heat Incentive calculator provided online by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, follow the link below to access the calculator to find out how much Renewable Heat Incentive you could be entitled to.

Renewable Heat Incentive Calculator

How do I apply for the RHI?

The application for the renewable heat incentive (RHI) is made via OFGEM, it is the homeowners responsibility to make the application, the application cannot be made by the installer on the homeowners behalf.

If you have already installed a renewable heating system, you have up to 12 months to apply to the scheme from the date it is commissioned.  This is the date that the date the installer tests and signs off the system (you will find this date on your Microgeneration Certification Scheme certificate)

Please see the OFGEM essential guide for applications for full details and guidance.

Before you apply, you can use this OFGEM resource which is a helpsheet on how to answer the RHI application form OFGEM application form helpsheet.

When you are ready to apply, you can apply on the OFGEM website here Apply for the RHI here on the OFGEM website.

How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An Energy Performance Certificate will need to be completed by a local energy assessor. 

You can find an energy assessor by using the EPC Register Find a local Energy Assessor near you.

How much will the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) be for a Ground Source Heat Pump?

The UK Government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is calculated by the space heating requirement of the property (detailed on your Energy Performance Certificate)and the efficiency of the heat pump that we install. You can expect payments between £2,000 – £4,500 per annum. Your specific payment will be calculated based on your individual property.

What does MCS approved mean?

MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme MCS is a standards certification which certifies low-carbon products and installations used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources. 

MCS is a mark of quality. Membership of MCS demonstrates adherence to these recognised industry standards; highlighting quality, competency and compliance. 

What information do I need to complete my RHI application?

Before you apply for the RHI, you will need to make sure you have followed any requirements and gathered all the relevant information you need to complete your application.

Applicants will need to make sure they install an eligible system and meet minimum insulation requirements to be eligible for the Domestic RHI and provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which is no more than 24 months old, the application must be made by the homeowner as this is an application based on your property details. 

To make this easier and so you have the most up to date and relevant information needed for your application, please see the link below to OFGEM which provides a factsheet to guide you through the application process.

Factsheet from OFGEM for the information required to make your application.

There is also a step by step application form helpsheet which is useful to demystify the application from

OFGEM helpsheet for application form questions.

 

What is Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF)?

The SPF measures the energy efficiency of the property and is calculated by looking at heat losses, room size and output of the heat emitters.   

The more accurately sized the heat emitters you have, the higher the SPF – as the heating will be as energy efficient as possible. 

The governments default Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) is 2.5. 

Which Accreditation should my Installer have?

If you wish to apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive your installer must be MCS approved.

Why should I switch to a renewable heating system?

If you are interested in sustaining the world we live in, switching to a renewable heating system, such as an air source or ground source heat pump, means you are using a naturally replenished source of energy (i.e. the sun).  

Using renewable energy rather than oil or LPG helps the UK reduce its carbon emissions and meet their carbon reduction targets. 

The government pays an incentive to property owners who install a renewable heating if their system meets certain energy-efficiency requirements, the homeowner can then apply for the incentive via OFGEM. 

Renewable Heating

Why should I switch to a renewable heating system?

If you are interested in sustaining the world we live in, switching to a renewable heating system, such as an air source or ground source heat pump, means you are using a naturally replenished source of energy (i.e. the sun).  

Using renewable energy rather than oil or LPG helps the UK reduce its carbon emissions and meet their carbon reduction targets. 

The government pays an incentive to property owners who install a renewable heating if their system meets certain energy-efficiency requirements, the homeowner can then apply for the incentive via OFGEM. 

Seasonal Performance Factor

What is Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF)?

The SPF measures the energy efficiency of the property and is calculated by looking at heat losses, room size and output of the heat emitters.   

The more accurately sized the heat emitters you have, the higher the SPF – as the heating will be as energy efficient as possible. 

The governments default Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) is 2.5. 

Showroom

Do I need to book an appointment to visit the showroom?

Our Showroom is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, when national restrictions allow.  It will reopen by appointment to ensure we see only one customer at a time and so that our staff can spend time answering your questions and showing how the equipment works.  

What is on display in your Showroom?

We have a range of working products; including an air source heat pump and an MVHR unit.  You will be able to see a set up of the plant room for a ground source heat pump.  There is also a display of examples of radiators, underfloor heating, heating controls and much more. 

The Suppliers products you will see in the showroom are; NIBE, Stiebel Eltron, Zehnder, Vent Axia, The Radiator Company, Stelrad, Jaga & Bisque.

What should I bring to my showroom appointment?

We recommend visiting the Showroom with a set of plans or just bring a note book and phone to take pics of the displays. Your visit will provide invaluable information on what space you need inside and outside for the plant room and equipment.

Suppliers

What is a NIBE Pro Partner?

R A Brown Heating Services have been installing NIBE products for as long as we have been installing heat pumps!  In fact we have beenNIBE Pro Partner R A Brown Heating Services recognised with national awards for our NIBE air source and ground source heat pump installations for many years.

Being a NIBE Pro Partner, means we are trained and accredited by NIBE to install their products.  If you choose us to install your heat pump, as a NIBE Pro Partner,  NIBE will give you a 7 year warranty instead of the 5 year warranty through a NIBE Pro installer.

If you would like to know more about a NIBE installation, call us on 01603 898904.

UFH

Can I have underfloor heating even if I don’t have a renewable heating system?

Yes, UFH can work well with both conventional and renewable heating systems, so you don’t have to change your heating system to have underfloor heating fitted in your home. You can also combine both UFH and radiators within the same system.

Can I install UFH in a single room or extension?

To put UFH into just 1 or 2 rooms, in an extension for example, could cost between £2000 -£3000.

It is important to consider the UFH manifold location and how we can connect the manifold to the existing heating system (usually near the boiler)

Can I install Underfloor Heating directly onto my existing floor?

We do offer an ‘Overlay’ type system that can be laid on your existing floor surface. It is made up from insulation with an aluminium cover and the pipes are installed in to pre cut grooves in the insulation. Our overlay system is 25mm thick. You will then need to install a structural floor covering on top. For example, engineered wood flooring.

Can I install underfloor heating myself?

Some customers do. We do work with builders and self-builders and will provide a design and supply service. One of the comments that we frequently receive about our amazing installation team is how much underfloor heating they can lay in a day. By the time you have surveyed the design plan, scratched your head, had a cup of tea, half of your ground floor could be covered in pipes! You will find working with us that we are flexible and supportive, but we will be realistic with you.

Can I retrofit hot water underfloor heating?

Yes it can be done, you should be aware retrofitting underfloor heating can be more expensive and a lot more work than installing in a new build property. Considerations need to be given to the floor heights and the first question we’ll ask is how invasive a renovation are you undertaking? What are you doing to your floors? What types of floors do you have? Do you want to end up with a mixed system – retaining radiators in some areas of the house and installing underfloor heating in other parts?

Be reassured the team at R A Brown have in depth knowledge of all the products you need. We have access to some of the finest low profile, pre grooved boards available in Europe today.

The other option to laying the heating pipes on top of the existing floor is to dig up the floor to provide new depth – we do have customers that opt for this. It is messy but can be effective and can mean there are less compromises on design.

Finally, there are other variables and floor structures – such as floorboards – just ask us and we’ll be more than happy to advise you.

At the end of the day – if you choose not to retrofit wet underfloor heating don’t despair – we have hundreds of innovative solutions to offer you – radiators are amazing these days.

Can underfloor heating be fitted to both the ground and first floor of my property?

Yes. We have various methods of installing UFH to upper floors.

With new builds we can install the pipework on aluminium diffuser plates, installed before the floors are laid on the upper levels.

In existing properties you will need to consider our overlay ufh system that is installed on the existing floors.

Do I have to have underfloor heating with a heat pump?

These two technologies work together very well. In fact, we decided to start installing heat pumps in 2007 because we already specialised in UFH. They are compatible because they both work best at lower water temperatures. Significantly lower water temperatures than produced by a conventional boiler.

The answer is “No” – heat pumps work perfectly well with radiators – but they must be sized correctly for the lower water temperatures.

Do I need to have my floor screeded?

No, we can install overlay systems that can have boards and final floor finishes laid on top.

Do I need UFH room stats in every room?

Underfloor heating is zoned as there are optimal lengths of ‘pipe run’. You may have more than one
‘loop’ of pipe in a large room. It is not necessary to have a room thermostat in every area or complex
zoning devices in addition to manifolds.

It is possible to turn the heating down in some areas of the house – such as bedrooms for example.
It is not a good idea to shut off rooms and turn the heating on and off on a regular basis in different
sections of the house.

Does it take a long time to heat a room controlled with wet underfloor heating?

UFH warms the room gently and continuously, although it is not as responsive as a high temperature system it is a much more comfortable and even heat in the room.

How much does underfloor heating cost to install?

The cost of an Underfloor Heating installation and the price compared with radiators varies from project to project. It is most cost effective to install in a new build project – it is quick to lay and is usually embedded in a screed floor on the ground floor. There are different price options for the screed, a basic sand and cement or a more sophisticated poured screed which conducts the heat more effectively.

There are different options for joists and floorboards with extra equipment such as grooved diffuser plates being required that adds to the cost.

One of the most expensive options is if a retrofit underfloor system requires pre-grooved boards that are low profile and enable floor finishes to be laid directly on top. To put UFH into just 1 or 2 rooms, in an extension for example, could cost between £2000 –
£3000.

As we provide a full design service in-house, we can provide estimates for the different options that you want to consider depending on your budget and your project.

How much room height will I lose if I install underfloor heating?

Our overlay system is 25mm (1″) thick. Then you will have to install a finished floor covering.

We recommend that if tiling or placing carpets, then a structural board at least 18mm thick, will need to go on top of the overlay system first.

So your finished floor height in this instance will be 25mm + 18mm + the thickness of your carpet or tile.

Is underfloor heating expensive to run?

The cost of hot water underfloor heating is dependent on the heat source – the boiler or the heat pump. One important factor to bear in mind is that hot water underfloor heating costs less to run when the controls are kept simple.

We will design an underfloor heating system which is controlled to work in the most efficient way. Underfloor heating is more expensive to run if it is heating the thermal mass of the floor from cold.

It runs most effectively and is most energy efficient when it is gently topping up the temperature. This is another reason underfloor heating and heat pumps that work using ‘weather compensation’ work so well together.

Electric underfloor heating is expensive to run as it is of course a form of direct electric heating. If you hear someone saying their underfloor heating is expensive to run it is probably electric (what we call ‘under tile’ heating) that they are referring to.

What are UFH zones?

UFH is laid out in zones that can be controlled separately. For example, each bedroom may want to be a different temperature to the others so they are zoned so that they can be controlled individually.

What is a low profile UFH system?

Low profile UFH systems are marketed to fit on top of your existing floors while increasing the floor height by the lowest amount possible.

It is important to design these systems correctly and they may not suit all properties as the pipes are smaller, they generally have no insulation underneath the pipes and they have to be very carefully installed so as to maintain a long working life with no problems.

What is the best flooring for underfloor heating?

It is important to realise that some floor coverings will ‘trap’ more heat under them than others. Thick carpets, deep layers of wood or floorboards, are all good insulators of heat and therefore do not make the best flooring to go on top of your underfloor heating.

Tiles are a good option and will help conduct the heat into the room.

If you tell us the floor covering that you would like to use, at the design stage, then we can take this into account when we calculate the pipe layout.

What is the difference between hot water UFH systems and electric UFH?

Hot water underfloor heating means pipes run across the floor attached to a manifold and a boiler or heat pump, electric underfloor heating relies on cables and electricity as the heat source.

Electric underfloor heating provides space heating and works from a direct electrical input and the running costs are much greater than that of a wet underfloor heating system.

We do not directly install or supply electric underfloor heating. We can provide this service through our electrical subcontractors. We specialise in renewable heating options which work most effectively with wet underfloor heating systems.

What type of thermostat controls do I need for UFH?

We will recommend the most suitable room thermostats for your application.

These could be simple dial stats or weather compensating smart stats.

When should an UFH low profile system be used?

We would only recommend installing low profile systems once accurate heat loss calculations are carried out and the design determines that the energy given by the low profile system will be adequate to heat the room properly.

Why do UFH systems work well with heat pumps?

UFH systems work very well with heat pumps as they are both designed to work efficiently at lower water temperatures.

Will I save money on energy bills with UFH?

If installed with a low temperature system such as a heat pump, or a modern condensing boiler, then underfloor heating is a more efficient system then traditional radiators and will save you money.

Warranty

How long is the warranty on work from R A Brown?

Work carried out by R A Brown Heating Services Ltd has a 12 month warranty. Many manufacturer products that we install have a warranty that far exceeds this and will take precedence over our warranty.

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