Water source heat pump in Perthshire

Water source heat pump in Perthshire

Heat Pumps are becoming increasingly accepted as a means of heating homes without relying on burning fossil fuels. For anyone who hasn’t had first hand experience of a heat pump, the concept is simple. In the case of ground source, collector loops circulate a glycol/water mix (brine). Energy is absorbed by the brine, typically around 5˚C, and delivered to the heat pump inside the building. Once the energy has been extracted by the heat pump the brine is returned at around 0˚C to start the process all over again.

Where sufficient land is available to install ground loops, the ground array will consist of a number of circuits connected to a manifold. A pair of header pipes link the manifold to the heat pump within the building.

The collector pipes are buried at a depth of at least one metre, where the soil temperature remains stable across the seasons. All energy we extract is ultimately derived from the Sun, and this extracted energy is replaced as rainwater percolates through the soil. The design of the ground loop system considers the amount of energy required by the property, and the ground conditions together with local ambient temperatures.

Water source heat pump in Perthshire Scotland

In addition to burying pipework in earth, collector pipes may also be installed into a loch, or lake. The customary method of installation is a closed loop system. As the name suggests, the brine circulates through a sealed system and there is no interchange between the loch water and the brine circuit. Energy extracted by the heat pump is replaced by water flowing into the loch, and solar energy falling on the surface of the loch.

In the winter, temperatures in a lake get close enough to freezing that the colder water is less dense and floats to the top. The water temperature a the bottom of the loch, where he collector pipes are remains pretty much constant at a temperature of approximately 4˚C.

Old England Loch in Perthshire

A recent project took us to a new build house in Perthshire being constructed within a few hundred metres of a small loch. The available land was considered, and the local loch was presented as a possible heat source. Water is an excellent medium for collecting energy from, and this arrangement made it possible to install the complete collector array with minimum disturbance. Ground loops now more accurately described as loch loops are arranged on land where weights are attached. The loops now take on the appearance of a rope ladder, the rungs adding ballast and serving to keep the pipes apart.

Don kept himself warm!

During installation, our team typically takes a rowing boat out to carry a light rope across the loch, where others of the team wait on the opposite side to reel it in and tow the loch loops out into deep water. Before the pipes are filled, there is enough positive buoyancy to cause the loops to float. Having pulled the loop into the loch to its full extent the loop can be maneuvered into position and the ends of the loops are fusion welded to the manifold on the banks of the loch.

Pumping the glycol-water mix into the pipes has the effect of overcoming the natural buoyancy of the pipe, and the loops sink to the bottom of the loch. Once landscaping is completed and land reinstatement has taken place only the lid of the manifold chamber on the bank reveals the existence of the collector system.

The design of a ground heat exchanger is a complex engineering procedure. Typically, a conservative approach is adopted and early dialogue with us is important to confirm the suitability of a particular tract of land or water source as an energy source before work starts.

For those without packages of land attached to their houses, or access to a loch, do not despair. See our pages on air source heat pumps.

Drone images and video: MadeByDrones.

Other images by: STUDIOVHF.

Ground source heat pump, underfloor heating and screed in Bridge of  Allan

Ground source heat pump, underfloor heating and screed in Bridge of Allan

Our team of fitters have recently completed a 350m² underfloor heating and screed project in Bridge of Allan, Stirling. The property is undergoing some extensive alterations and Incognito Heat Co. have been tasked to deliver a brand-new underfloor heating system and a ground source heat pump system to heat the entire property.

Due to the scale of the property, two underfloor heating manifolds are necessary, and these have been installed at opposite ends of the building to manage unwanted heat build-up on the approach to each manifold.

To maintain the highest standards, Incognito Heat Co. manage each step of the project from floor preparation, design and installation of the underfloor heating pipework, right through to the application and levelling of the liquid floor screed.

Underfloor heating with ground source heat pump installation in Bridge of Allan, Stirling

We believe the only way to achieve a quality result is to invest in quality suppliers and installers. Our screed material of choice is Cemfloor, which is a high performing cement based liquid screed. The product is available through a select number of concrete batching plants who must adhere to the most exacting standards and is installed by our installation team who themselves undergo regular product training.

Around twenty-five cubic metres of screed was ordered for this property, to be pumped and levelled in one continuous operation. On a project of this scale, a dependable supplier is called for who can ensure that material is always available, and at the correct consistency. For this we turned to our longstanding supply partners, Grange Quarries who have constantly performed, both in terms of reliability in deliveries and the quality of material.

Upon arrival, all fresh screed is tested for the correct flow rate. This test allows our lead installer Don to judge whether the material is within tolerances, and can be used immediately, or whether further judicious additions of water are required to bring the material to the looked-for workability. Our team is trained by the manufacturers and will if necessary, reject any material that falls outside the high standards we demand. A successful flow rate test result is always a welcomed outcome on what is always a very busy day.

Material is pumped into the building, and being liquid, it encapsulates the heating pipes very well. At this point it is apparent why such care and attention has been expended on the preparation, as a successful pour will often hinge on the standard of workmanship of the team working directly before.

Following placement of the material, the screed is worked with dapple bars to finally displace any entrapped air within it. On the last pass the surface of the screed is sprayed with a curing agent which creates a ‘skin’ to prevent excessive water loss which can lead to issues with cracking.

Time-lapse video:

Before our team leaves site, we will wash down all our equipment, so it is important that space is set aside for this messy but necessary task.  All windows and doors are shut to prevent air movement across the green screed whilst it is in its infancy. Care should be taken to guard against damage from foot traffic and point loading until the screed has gained full strength.

Full instructions on the care and maintenance of the new screed are supplied to the builder, so the minimum possible time is spent getting it to a point where floor finishes can be applied.

Heat pump and underfloor heating Aberdeen - Dundee

Heat pump and underfloor heating Aberdeen - Dundee

Incognito Heat Co were consulted at the initial pre-design stage of this proposed development, a stunning family home, with heat pump and underfloor heating, in an equally stunning location on the north east coast of Scotland, between Aberdeen and Dundee which enjoys panoramic views across the North Sea for this young family.

Working closely with the architects, Cowie Chartered Architects Ltd, and main contractor, Fotheringham Property Developments Limited, Incognito Heat Co were appointed to plan an efficient space heating and a domestic hot water strategy. We were delighted to take up the challenge.

Why Underfloor Heating in Aberdeen and Dundee?

The first thing people think about when they hear about underfloor heating is mess. Everyone thinks installing underfloor heating in Aberdeen or Dundee is going to cause a huge mess in their home or commercial building. And, of course, that it’s going to be an expensive mess.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you work with the right installer, underfloor heating takes very little time, makes very little mess and, more importantly, it costs very little in the long run.

In fact, whether you change your existing flooring is up to you. If you’re in the middle of a refurbishment, then you probably already had it in the books. If you love your current flooring, installing pipes underneath it is perfectly doable – without harming it.

But that’s not all that underfloor heating brings to the table. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages:

  • Improved thermal comfort: underfloor heating radiates heat from the floor to the roof. Unlike conventional heaters, it allows for a pleasant environment at a lower temperature.

  • Cost savings: underfloor heating is more efficient than conventional methods. The water in a radiator needs to be heated at 65-67 degrees Celsius. For underfloor heating, 27 to 29 degrees are enough. Plus, it doesn’t depend on oil prices rising due to political or economic instability.

  • Green energy: the water used in the pipes can be heated by heat pumps and pumped round with electricity obtained through solar panels or wind turbines. You can have your entire home running on renewable energy, thus helping the environment and your wallet.

  • Extra space and better design: tired of searching for clever ways to mask ugly radiators? Underfloor heating isn’t too pretty, either, but it’s completely out of sight. You can use the space where radiators used to be for a stylish decoration that gives every room a unique personality.

  • Better air quality: radiators circulate the same stale warm air through the room. Underfloor heating allows for fresh air circulation without harming the energy efficiency of the system.

  • Faster heating: the right underfloor system can heat your room in 20 minutes or less. That significantly faster than conventional radiators that need to heat the air around them first.

  • No energy loss: when you have a radiator in your home, you already know what opening the window above it does to your energy efficiency. You’re basically throwing money off that window. As the name says, underfloor heating heats the floor, which means that, even if you open the window, the energy loss is minimal.

  • Child friendly: Forget about baby-proofing metallic edges. Underfloor heating is safely tucked away. Plus, even the youngest members of your family can walk barefooted on a warm floor.

  • No maintenance: if your system is installed correctly, it will last for a lifetime without any maintenance work. Now this truly is long-term cost saving!

Want to reap some of these amazing benefits for yourself? Take a look at the process we implemented for our clients below:

Ground source heat pump and underfloor heating Aberdeen - Dundee

At the heart of our proposed system was a 3 phase 16kW Thermia Diplomat Duo Optimum ground source heat pump, with a 200 litre buffer vessel to serve the house's space underfloor heating, and 300 litre domestic hot cylinder to provide the house's domestic hot water requirements.

The field on the east coast between Aberdeen and Dundee, where the looped collector pipes for the ground source heat pump were laid.

(Drone image by Michael Fotheringham, other images by Vincent Hartman.)

The renewable energy for this heat pump between Aberdeen and Dundee is drawn from the ground via an array of ground collector pipes. In excess of 1000 metres of this pipe is buried horizontally one metre below the surface of the garden grounds of this property, and is connected to the heat pump which is located in the plant room of the house adjacent to the garage. 

Renewable energy with Underfloor Heating Aberdeen - Dundee

This pipe is then filled with a specialist glycol heat transfer fluid which is circulated constantly through the pipework whist the system operating, drawing low grade heat from the ground, and delivering it to the heat pump. This is where the heat pump works its magic, using its reverse refrigeration technology, turning this low grade heat into high grade heat, sufficient to providing stable warm comfort throughout the entire property during the coldest winter condition’s, and all the properties domestic hot water requirements.  

Inside the house, on the ground floor our Ambiente underfloor heating Aberdeen system, with its pipework buried in the floor screed, ensures that an efficient comfortable controllable atmosphere is constantly maintained. On the first floor, heat pump compatible radiators have been fitted.

Incognito Heat Pumps and Underfloor Heating Aberdeen worked closely with Fotheringham Property Development (from Gourdon, also between Aberdeen and Dundee) and the owners, as the house was being constructed from early springtime 2016, through to its successful completion and hand over just before Christmas 2016.

The results, we are pleased to report that the system came through the harsh #BeastFromTheEast winter of 2017/2018 without missing a beat, keeping the family warm and in hot water (in the nicest way).

Incognito team members turning up for work on the first of March 2018 (but didn’t get anywhere else after that).

Building your own dream home, have a similar requirement for a state of art modern super-efficient heat pump and underfloor heating system in the Aberdeen and Dundee area? 

Please contact us for an initial consultation, we look forward to hearing from you!

Underfloor Heating Perth Scotland

Underfloor Heating Perth Scotland

This underfloor heating project in Perth was a new self-build property located just outside the picturesque village of Dunning in Central Scotland. Incognito Heat Co. were commissioned to provide the complete underfloor heating package. We were approached at initial design stage and were able to offer practical advice on installation methods that are cost and time effective and help to keep the job on target.

We work with clients to deliver cost effective solutions within their budget that achieves the highest possible levels of energy efficiency. This collaboration between client and us worked well as the client now reports that the property is comfortable and has been very efficient over the last four years.

Underfloor Heating Perth

The property comprised of three bedrooms with Ensuites, and a large social hub centering on the kitchen and living area. It has been designed with large areas of floor to ceiling glazing to capture light and take in the beautiful Perth and Kinross countryside. With these spacious open plan areas, underfloor heating was an ideal method of heating the property and preserving design freedom. Temperatures are controlled by programmable thermostats in all rooms. The controls are simple to read and adjust, once the correct temperatures have been set for each room the system takes care of itself. A setback function in the thermostat allows the underfloor heating to cool slightly overnight, but still respond quickly to achieve comfortable conditions for the next day.

The floor construction consisted of concrete slab provided by the client and we supplied and fitted insulation above the slab. The care and attention to detail at this stage is important to ensure that the next stages follow on smoothly. This underfloor heating system in Perth was designed from the outset to be compatible with renewable heat sources such as ground and air source heat pumps. This meant that 17mm Ambiente pipework was installed at closer centres, ensuring that sufficient heat output will be produced from the floor when 45˚C water is circulated through the floor. An anhydrite floor screed was applied over the system. The liquid nature of the screed completely encapsulates the pipework guaranteeing 100% contact and excellent transfer of heat through the screed. Trained operators applied the screed, which was pumped into the property. Material may be pumped many metres both vertically and horizontally, and providing the site is within range of a batching plant there are few situations where we are unable to get screed.

If you click on the image above you can see the detailed technical plan in PDF

If you click on the image above you can see the detailed technical plan in PDF

Underfloor Heating Perth, Kinross & Tayside

This underfloor heating system in beautiful the Perth and Kinross countryside has an Ambiente 12 port stainless steel manifold, connected to an LPG boiler supplied by others. An integral pump and blending valve was supplied to reduce the temperature of the water entering the floor. 17mm 5 layer PE-RT Ambiente pipe was fitted to all rooms with the exception of some cupboard space and below kitchen units. Controls are fully programmable and wired using mains voltage cabling. In new build applications we recommend that controls are hardwired, reserving battery powered controls for renovations or retrofitting when it is not possible to run cabling. The manifold was located in a cupboard off the hallway, which becomes warm as a result. This makes an excellent airing cupboard. The manifold should ideally be central to the property and be readily accessible. Where cupboard space is at a premium Incognito Heat Co. offer manifold cabinets that may be built into walls.

Underfloor heating allows for large areas of floor to ceiling glazing to capture light and take in the beautiful Perth and Kinross countryside

Client supplied and installed laminate type flooring throughout the living areas. When the floor screed was sufficiently dry, the flooring was installed as per manufacturers recommendations. Typically, this involves fitting a soft cushioning layer to absorb impact noise before laying the floating floor. Bathrooms were tiled, the tilers preparing the floor by lightly sanding the surface to remove dust and construction dirt ground into the surface during the build process. Good tiling practices were observed, and a primer was applied to the floor before tiling with an anhydrite compatible flexible adhesive. The underfloor heating was switched off several days before tiling was started, and gradually turned on only after the tile adhesive had fully set.

Incognito Underfloor Heating Perth, Kinross & Tayside are uniquely placed to meet the needs of the quality bespoke house builder in Perthshire and Tayside.

Our experienced and enthusiastic team are dedicated to delivering excellent service, we are easy to speak to and keen to forge new relationships with developers in the area!

NIBE VIP installer

NIBE VIP installer

Incognito is now an accredited NIBE VIP installer. NIBE is a leading Energy Systems manufacturer in the renewable heating sector. Incognito offers renewable heating solutions in the form of ground-, water- and air source heat pumps.

NIBE VIP installers: 

  • Have completed NIBE product training

  • Offer an extended warranty

  • Have experience fitting NIBE technology

  • Are MCS registered (essential requirement for RHI payments)

  • Are signed up to NIBE’s strict code of professional standards

NIBE VIP Installer Code of Professional Standards

  1. The NIBE VIP Installer will be the point of contact with the customer

  2. Perform professionally, competently and responsibly

  3. Comply with all relevant UK regulations, standards and codes of practice

  4. Install and commission all NIBE equipment in accordance with all NIBE’s installation manuals and procedures

  5. Complete Benchmark check list for NIBE heat pumps

  6. The operation of the heat pump and system controls are fully demonstrated to the customer

  7. Register NIBE heat pump installation on NIBE website

  8. Reply to customer enquiries in relation to NIBE products in a quick and proficient manner

  9. Keep up to date with developments in the NIBE product range and UK plumbing and heating industry

  10. Design systems to meet a minimum SPF of 3.1 for GSHP and 2.7 for ASHP

For more information click on the NIBE logo below:

Incognito introduces Prima Rebus™ screed for timber joisted first floors

Incognito introduces Prima Rebus™ screed for timber joisted first floors

The use of engineered joists is increasingly common in house construction. These provide challenges for the Underfloor Heating designer and fitter alike, as traditional installation methods must be adapted, resulting in increased costs and install times. As a result some contractors view radiators as a comfortable trade-off on upper floors. In response Incognito Heat Co. has developed the Prima Rebus™ system that overcomes these issues, and installation is carried out both quickly and safely.

Prima Rebus™ High quality floor screed for timber joisted structures.

Prima Rebus™  is a liquid pumpable self-compacting screed system with additional binders and additives which has been developed for use on timber joisted structures. The binders content means screed can be laid to depths as low as 40mm, critically reducing the weight load on supporting structure.

This means that that screeded underfloor heating systems are now doable on upper floors, where traditionally it has not been considered possible.    

When considering using this system, it is critical to ensure that supporting timber structure has been designed to accommodate the increased weight that is associated with the screed.

Incognito Heat Co work closely with architects and structural engineers prior to plans being submitted for building warrant to ensure this system is seamlessly designed in the fabric of the buildings super structure.

The system offers all the benefits of the cliprail system normally employed on a solid floor, on a timber supported floor. The cliprail system is one of the most common underfloor heating systems providing a quick, flexible and effective form of heating within a screeded floor build up. A 500 gauge polythene slip membrane is installed across the floor prior to fitting cliprails. Once the cliprails are secured in position, the underfloor heating pipework is laid in continuous loops and clipped down in accordance with the underfloor heating design drawings. Once complete, the system is pressure tested and witnessed to finalise the installation. Screeding follows quickly afterwards, which may be as thin as 40mm.

Incognito Heat Co. Prima Rebus™ is suitable for use over the underfloor heating system. PR screed is suited to both residential and commercial properties, and will help to improve the acoustic performance of the floor to meet or exceed Part E of the building regulations. Prima Rebus™ screed also improves the environmental, fire resistance and durability characteristics and gives a concrete feel to a timber supported floor. This system provides increased efficiency and maximises the Temperature Star Rating potential for clients installing ground and air source heat pumps.

Underfloor Heating Cumbria

Underfloor Heating Cumbria

Underfloor Heating Cumbria is on the up, not least because Cumbria Homes decided to add underfloor heating as an option to the homes at Carleton Manor Park in Penrith and as standard to the apartments in the Manor House. Incognito Heat Co are responsible for the design, supply and installation of the underfloor heating and floor screeds throughout the houses on this site. Cumbrian Homes developments can be found throughout Cumbria from the tranquil Eden Valley to historic Carlisle and here in Carleton, Penrith, on the edge of the beautiful Lake District National Park.  

Underfloor Heating Lake District Cumbria

Cumbrian Homes are no ordinary house builders in the Lake district, they believe that their clients should get to choose exactly what they want, and are proud of their “going the extra mile, customer led service".

Incognito Heat Co were delighted to have been chosen as Cumbrian Homes trusted underfloor heating and floor screeding specialist’s to carry out works when clients have selected underfloor heating, which is offered on this site as a luxury upgrade from the more traditional radiator heating systems.

Incognito Heat Co feel the same way about customer service, and are delighted that the majority of clients to purchase houses on this site have chosen our state of art underfloor heating systems for their homes in the Lake District in Cumbria.

Using our state of art rapid curing liquid floor screed over the underfloor heating systems means floors can be ready for their final covering (tiles, engineered timber, amtico or carpet) within 21 days of initial installation date. This is a drastic improvement on the more commonly used Anhydrite alternative which can take as long as 80 days plus (causing major headaches if you have a tight deadline to meet).

Cemfloor is a specially formulated polymer modified binder product that is used to create self-levelling, cementitious floor screeds.

Incognito Heat Co adopted this new screed material as soon as it was commercially available here in the UK in early 2017, and we’ve kept on having delighted customers ever since (including Cumbrian Homes) .

Not only does it give developers the very practical onsite benefits with the speed / quality of installation, and curing times.

It’s also a perfect match for our underfloor heating systems with its superior thermal conductivity, meaning heating systems are more reactive, and less costly to run. So it was an easy and exciting decision for Incognito Heat Co to switch to this new innovative material as soon as the benefits to developers and end users were apparent.

Underfloor Heating Carlisle Penrith Lake District Cumbria

Photography by Vincent Hartman

Carleton Manor Park, Cumbria

The Cumbrian Homes Carleton Manor Park Development is in a highly desirable location in the heart of the Eden Valley and close to Penrith town centre. Building a real Stone build Manor House in the centre of the development is quite something. With prominent position across 'the green' the 'Manor' Apartment building is the visual feature of the development.  The large 'Manor' contains nine individual luxury Apartments and will all come with Underfloor Heating Cumbria, as standard.

To see more about this stunning development and how this Manor House with underfloor heating Cumbria will look like, have a look at this VIRTUAL TOUR.

Energy efficient home in East Lothian

Energy efficient home in East Lothian

When Mr & Mrs Robertson purchased the plot for their energy efficient home home in East Lothian, it wasn’t in their mind to buy the house next door as well! However as it solved many difficulties the neighbouring property was duly acquired and the project got underway. Living next door to the site did at least mean that the build progress could be monitored on a daily basis, as well as overseeing the general security of the site.

The Incognito Heat Co Installation team installing underfloor heating at this energy efficient home home in East Lothian

Energy efficient home in East Lothian

From initial sketches by Edinburgh based Camerons Architects grew the designs for a modern, super insulated, energy efficient home. Incognito Heat Co. was involved in the initial discussions with the architects to provide the heating and hot water solution. With involvement at such an early stage we were able to ensure that build methods favoured the installation of an air source heat pump.

Upper floor underfloor heating

Underfloor heating was the favoured method of heating for this East Lothian energy efficient home, for both the client and the architect. Conventionally underfloor heating is installed on ground floors; whilst wall mounted radiators are used upstairs only due to the perceived difficulties of UFH installation within a timber floor. We were keen to use underfloor heating on both floors as it can improve the efficiency of the heat pump. It was decided that the mid floor construction would be engineered for the weight of a screed allowing us to incorporate pipework easily and safely onto a timber deck.

Manufactured joists were used throughout the mid floor construction. These are lightweight alternatives to traditional solid timber joists. They save weight and natural resources whilst giving great flexibility for other trades to pass services, ducts and cables through their open web structure. The upper and lower flanges must not be cut to preserve the structural integrity of the joist, which prevents the installation of underfloor heating within the profile of the floor- in the event this isn’t such an issue as the floor is normally sheeted immediately. This stiffens the entire structure by tying each joist to another, and provides a safe working platform for all other trades.

There are compelling environmental reasons for using screed on upper floors, as well as improving the fire resistance and durability of the floor. A major component of the screed is an inert by-product of an industrial process, thus increasing the recycled content of the property. Using locally sourced aggregates and UK produced binders, (there is no cement used) there is low embodied energy in the product.

By embedding the UFH pipes in a screed it is possible to operate the heating at a lower temperature. This is most significant for the operating efficiencies of the heat pump, as less energy has to be expended to maintain comfortable temperatures within this energy efficient East Lothian home. Since the introduction of the Energy-related Products Directive, every heat pump manufacturer must provide data on the energy performance of their equipment at various temperature outputs. It is now very easy to see the impact that build method, heat emitter selection and floor coverings can have on ongoing efficiencies and therefore running costs.

Technical installation

Moving outside, the chosen air source heat pump was a 12kw unit from NIBE. This is an excellent example of Scandinavian engineering, NIBE are a company with a long proven track record in manufacturing quality renewable products. The installation was carried out under the NIBE VIP Installer scheme, the client benefitting from a seven year warranty.

NIBE heat pump

Inside the quality continues, with a 300 litre domestic hot water cylinder installed to provide plentiful hot water to the property's bathroom and three Ensuites. Early in the design process we discussed the clients’ requirements for hot water to ensure the demands of the household would be met at peak times. For properties where particularly heavy usage is envisaged we will provide larger volumes of hot water storage to suit, together with an indication of the additional energy that will be required to heat this.

A third party MVHR system (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) was installed. This extracts warm, stale air from wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and Ensuites. The air passes through an MVHR unit to extract the energy, the stale air is vented outside whilst the captured energy is transferred to incoming fresh air and ducted to living areas. A big benefit of this is a reduction in energy lost via air changes, further increasing the efficiencies of the heating system. Additionally, a 4Kw solar panel system was installed to further the energy efficiency of this East Lothian Home.

The build project was carried out by Lawrie Construction. Incognito Heat Co. worked closely with Lawrie Construction to coordinate fitting the underfloor heating and screed, the air source heat pump and DHW cylinders were fitted in compliance with current MCS standards.

Branding refresh

Branding refresh

"If it's good don't touch it!" is the general saying, just like something along the lines of: "Never change a winning team!" and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!". All very true, but hanging on to something too long may restrict progress and after all, here at Incognito Underfloor Heating, it is all about progress and change, otherwise we would be a coal-merchant or selling stoves!

The 'old' logo and the 'new' logo

The 'old' logo and the 'new' logo

Renewable energy sources in combination with underfloor heating was the future 10 years ago and still is today. In spite of the growth that Incognito has seen over the years, there is still a long way to go to before we all benefit from green energy and the comfort of underfloor heating. So we are not quite done yet!

It was therefore only appropriate to change our corporate image in accordance with what they call in marketing terms: 'within the just noticeable difference'. Hence the need to write about it in this little news blog, just in case you might have missed it...?

The unseen world of Incognito Underfloor Heating

Comment

The unseen world of Incognito Underfloor Heating

A little introduction to this blog

Last Monday our Sales Director Andrew Skirton won the blog competition for Incognito in the class 'website worthy'. Every now and then we call a staff competition and this time it was blogging. The Marketing Manager thought that this was a great idea to get some, as he calls it, 'unique quality content', for the website. You can decide yourself if he succeeded in that..

Lets introduce the author of the article below to you first:

Portrait of Andrew Skirton drawn by a colleague in an earlier staff competition

Not sure if you have met the fellow yet but he talks just the way he writes, so here it comes:

The unseen world of Incognito Underfloor Heating

So what exactly are you on about? What do you do? How does it work? What’s so good about it? Does anyone even care? Does anyone actually want it?

In my darker moments, (do you ever get those?) the latter question pushes through my mind; it shouldn’t of course, because I absolutely believe it’s the way forward, the future, the way to go, a no brainer if you prefer.

I’m talking about our product, which is of course the best of the best, extraordinary in its simplicity, brilliant in it execution, delivering exactly what it’s designed to do, quietly, efficiently, with no fuss or excitement. In fact, you’d hardly know it was even there.

So it’s out of sight and out of mind, and easy to take for granted. However you’d certainly notice it, if for any reason it wasn’t working:)

In todays increasingly hard to please, crowded and challenging market places, where excitement thresholds are at an all time high, what is this thing? And why is it so good? And if it really is that good, why isn’t everyone using it?

Underfloor Heating Glasgow

Well it’s not particularly new. The Romans actually left us examples of underfloor heating North of Glasgow, when they were over here in Britain some 2000 plus years ago, it obviously worked well for them, and it’s widely accepted that they (the Romans) were smart people, in many ways ahead of their time with their engineering excellence.

Roman regimental bath house with underfloor heating Glasgow

Bearsden's Roman Baths (by the way did you know that Andrew is originally from Bath?!)

Air heated by two furnaces passed beneath raised floors. (Bearsden north of Glasgow)

It’s 30 percent more efficient than its more traditional alternative (come on, that’s good) are you with me?

It’s safer (again that’s good,) please do try and keep up. It works extremely well with green renewable energy (yep, that’s good as well) your catching on now, well done. It does not obstruct your interior design ideals (unlike a certain more traditional method). In short, it’s really good.

So what am I talking about? And can I justify my claims? Let me explain:

I am of course referring to “UNDERFLOOR HEATING”. Actually to be honest, explicitly, INCOGNITO HEAT CO, UNDERFLOOR HEATING.

A few fizzy facts to consider which back up my lofty claims:

Efficiencies

Underfloor heating uses the whole floor as a heat emitter, effectively turning it (the floor) into a giant radiator, typically meaning your boiler only needs to produce a flow temperature of 35 / 45 degrees to create comfort conditions. Traditionally a boiler would need to deliver 70 plus degrees for a conventional radiator system to create similar temperature levels (notice I didn’t mention comfort conditions?) That’s because an underfloor heating system delivers superior comfort conditions at lower temperatures due to its even all room no cold spots coverage.

Product photography by Photographer Stirling

So you don’t need to be Albert Einstein to work out that it will produce the very best comfort conditions, at significantly lower running costs in comparison to a traditional radiator system.

Safety

Let’s face it; radiators are a safety hazard which we accept just because they have always been there. But consider the cold hard facts; a radiator is a protruding oblong metal panel, with harsh edges which is normally attached to at least one of the main walls in every room of your house. When you consider that these radiators will often be too hot to touch, you can appreciate that these traditional (much loved) heat sources are in fact a very real safety hazard to all of us, but especially the very young, disabled and the old and infirm.

Renewable energy

Typically, a renewable energy ground or air source heat pump will work most efficiently when asked to produce a flow temperature of between 35 and 45 degrees, this is absolutely perfect for underfloor heating. Again, no need to consult Mr Einstein about this one, even you and I can work this out.

Interior Design

Rest easy Mr Einstein, we can work this one out for ourselves as well. With no radiators cluttering up our wall space, we can place furniture just wherever we want. Wow, that’s not bad, never realised this was an option.

Okay, I think that enough pontificating from me on the technical benefits.

So why Incognito Heat Co, who are they? How long have they been there? Where do they ply their trade? And are they the right people to consult before embarking on that exciting new house build or refurbishment?

Our head office is in Falkirk central Scotland, and from this base we operate throughout Scotland, and the north of England, with current sites ranging from Aberdeenshire, Central Scotland, the Boarders, the North East, Penrith and the Lake District. We’ve been here since 2005, and are planning to be here for many years to come (so get use to it).

Finally, are we the right people to speak to? The answer is of course a resounding “ABSOLUTLEY” Sustainable Heating is our passion, we love it. The other thing we love is complete customer satisfaction.

We have a great team, we are friendly, committed, knowledgeable, easy to work with, come on, pick up the phone and speak to one of our experts today, let start on this exciting journey!

There is more, much more, I haven’t even mentioned our floor screeds or renewable energy division yet, but and time is running out and this blog to already too long so I will leave on this final note, our people.

By far the most important component of our business, the reason we succeed, our people, we would be nowhere without them.

As the great Scottish American industrialist Andrew Carnegie once quoted “Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on the factory floors......Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory." 

I will close on that inspiring note, on another day, another blog; I will do proper justice to the people who make it all happen for us.

So did he succeed?

And what do you think? We thoroughly enjoyed reading this, but we are biased because we know Andrew. So we are very much looking forward to your comments!

Comment

Quick drying screed

Quick drying screed

It is a boast of ours that we are completely indifferent about the heat source that connects to our underfloor heating...well, when it is not one of our heat-pumps, that is. But apart from that if it produces hot water, you can connect it to one of our systems, however we do like to know what that heat source is before we start designing. If for example the heat source has a low flow temperature, we will design the system differently to a system that has a higher flow temperature. To date we can list conventional gas and oil boilers, electric boilers, ground and air source heat pumps, biomass boilers, hybrids and even AGA and Rayburn style range ovens among the appliances we connect with.

Renewable Energy

For our clients we can offer combined pump/blending valves (the most popular configuration for conventional heat sources), in-line blending valves and bare manifolds if the heat source has sufficient pump capacity. On this renewable energy project our client has fitted a Windhager pellet burning boiler, combined with an evacuated tube solar thermal roof mounted system.

Temperatures from this system therefore will potentially exceed what is regarded as the safe limit for floors, so it was necessary to incorporate a means of tempering the flow from the boiler. As the integral pump within the Windhager pellet boiler was powerful enough for the underfloor heating system, a three port blending valve was supplied. This takes water from the boiler into one port, another port takes water returning from the underfloor heating system (therefore cooler) and the resulting mix is fed to the underfloor circuits.

Quick drying Cemfloor underfloor heating screed

We were contracted to provide the underfloor heating and the screed over the pipes. The depth of screed is typically around 50-60mm. Traditionally a sand/cement screed will be laid to 65-75mm, this operation is quite labour intensive and the results we are sad to say, are only as good as the screeder doing the work. Among the advantages of flowing screed is the speed of application, 300m² to 500m² per day is easily achievable, an area that couldn’t be countenanced by manually applied methods. Access issues are overcome too, as we frequently find when confronted with difficult sites. With hoses extendable up to 100m there aren’t many places we can’t reach.

Fluidity checks

It was just before we started the project that we learned of a potential problem- the client was moving in within a very short timescale, the Cemfloor underfloor heating screed needed to be dried within an impossibly short time! Fortunately for all concerned, a high performance cement based screed has been developed, our project was among the first in Scotland to receive it. Its exact composition remains a trade secret for the moment, but you can expect to see more of this remarkable material in the future. The underfloor heating screed behaves exactly as we would expect a flowing product to do, but most remarkably it will be ready for tiling within half the time of any other comparable material. The product is batched at the concrete plant, ensuring strict quality control is maintained; further checks on the fluidity of the material are carried out on site prior to discharge.

It all comes together

The project was completed without hitch, the underfloor heating installation was carried out in a neat and tidy fashion (some might argue that out of sight is out of mind- but our fitters would disagree) and the underfloor heating screed was timed for the day after the UFH was finished. As the site was in a mid terrace location there was little scope to lose surplus material, a site survey was carried out to confirm the quantities required. The screed team protected the immediate vicinity against concrete splashes, and there was minimal disturbance for the neighbours. We worked closely with the installers of the bio mass system and the electricians and plumber on the project, and the client was kept informed about progress at each stage.