Why is my Underfloor Heating Noisy?


Do you have noisy underfloor heating? When you have just moved into a home or you’ve just installed the underfloor heating system it may be the best silent heating system you have ever experienced. However, many homeowners start to notice that their systems are not always perfectly quiet after a long while. Should your underfloor heating system be perfectly quiet at all times, or should there be sounds emitted from your heating system?

Water underfloor heating systems become noisy when it has a lack of water inside, often caused by leaks or the system venting pressure. Electric underfloor heating systems rarely make any noise at all and will usually only start buzzing when approaching their maximum age.

Usually, noisy underfloor heating is not something to immediately start worrying about unless it is excessively loud or consistent. You should always seek advice if you are worried though.

Understanding why the system would be making any sound at all is important to not be afraid of the sounds. Usually, most systems are perfectly okay to continue working after starting to make noise, however, knowing when to start checking on the system is vital. Most homeowners learn the moods of their systems as they continue to own them.

Does Underfloor heating make a noise?

As the underfloor heating systems start to age they will naturally start producing some sounds, with water-based systems usually making bubbling noises, or producing vibrations from the pump system.

Electric systems have the unfortunate habit of not usually making any sound at all if you are older, however, younger children may be able to pick up on the low-frequency humming sound that these panels make. This is because there is some electricity constantly running through the panels and this will always produce some sound as all electrical systems do.

Most owners will become trained to their system and# be able to tell when a system is making more alarming noises, or simply when a system is working through a regular problem.

Water systems tend to make a few unsuspecting noises as it is heating up, with bubbles causing the most unexpected noises in the system.

What happens to underfloor heating when it is active?

When a water underfloor heating system is activated the pump will be the first to activate, working on creating a pressure of flowing water over the heating elements. As the water moves through the pump there can be vibrations that are sent down the water stream into the pipes of your heating system.

The water moves through the system, pushing out air bubbles. There may therefore be bubble sounds made by the air moving through the system.

Electric underfloor heating systems work a lot faster and will usually make no sounds when insulated properly. This is because the only sound that can escape the system is that of the electric hum of power flowing through the system.

When the system is heating there may be some noticeable sounds, even a slight vibration as the floor is being heated. However, as the system reaches operating temperatures the sound will soften, usually because the sound of the system working is shut off while trying to keep the temperatures constant.

Both types of underfloor heating systems should be making some noise as they are heating up, usually allowing the system to become silent as it continues to heat up.

The warmer the system is the less likely there are to be sounds sent down the pipes or having the electric system buzzing. Having a heated system means that you can comfortably enjoy the sound of silence in your perfectly heated home.

Why is my Underfloor Heating System making a Banging Noise?

Water-based systems are usually prone to building bubbles as they continue to operate, with not every system being a perfectly sealed system at all times.

Sometimes the system may need to expel excess water, or just have a slow leak that is causing no damage but does cause loss of water. Bubbles are usually a sign that some maintenance needs to be done, like refilling the system or having to check where a leak is. You can learn more about this problem here.

This means it is important to attain a regular service of your underfloor heating system by a qualified professional.

What other signs are there that the heating system needs maintenance?

While a noisy underfloor heating system should never be completely ignored, they are rarely signs of something big being wrong with the system as a whole. However, the sound of a leaking pipe that is under pressure easily being recognized as something, you need to check.

Every underfloor heating system has its way of letting the homeowners know when something is seriously wrong. Usually, there are a few basic maintenance steps that need to be taken when using the system for a long time, with most people following a routine before starting the system for the first time in a season.

  • Slow heating: The surest sign that your system is reaching the end of its life, is when it starts to take too long to heat up. A normal system should take a few hours to reach operating temperatures, however, if after a full day the system is still not heating properly there is an issue. Electrical systems may suffer from too many dead cells, while water-based heating systems will have broken pumps, blocked pipes or faulty heaters.
  • Patchy heating: Water-based heating will naturally have patchy heating as slower moving parts of the pipe system has water pockets that are not moving as fast as others. However, electrical systems will only start heating in patches once a significant amount of the cells or parts of the system have died. Usually, this is when you should be thinking about lifting the floors, replaced dead cells, and reinstalling the floors throughout the house.
  • Low heat in spots: Water-based systems may have areas that never seem to heat up, and this is not a cause of age, but rather bad design. While electric systems may have large groups of cells or pads that are dying at the same time. A big sign that you need to replace the pads or fix the system will be constant low heat spots, with water systems usually having a bad flow that can only be fixed by rerouting pipes.

Why is my Underfloor Heating Making a Clicking Sound?

A clicking sound could be coming from fuses and switches trying to reset within the electrical setup of the system. It may also be one of the sounds produced by bubbles or pressure problems in an electric system.

Reduce Noise in Underfloor Heating by Keeping Your System Cared For

Heating systems are heavy wear systems that naturally age by being used, especially if these systems are continually used for long periods at a time. However, when not used these systems are left inactive for almost an entire year, this also causes parts to become worn and broken as the system starts up again without being checked over.

You can easily find that heating systems that are not used a lot will usually become worn or broken more easily than those that are used even superficially. Water-based systems easily being the ones that are damaged the most by not being used, the pumps and elements within the system need to stay oiled.

This is why you need to check over everything before randomly starting the system up again. You must seek a regular service of your underfloor heating to both diagnose a troublesome noise and prevent existing problems from causing noise in the future. An engineer can also advise on whether any future problems may occur causing excess noise down the line.

Electrical pumps, electrical systems, or electrical heating systems can easily survive not being used too regularly. This is because they have fewer parts that are greased or oiled all the time, however, even fully electrical systems can be damaged when the dust is allowed to build up and get into the circuitry. Just a regular running of the system being enough to ensure that everything works perfectly for the long term.

Get a Professional to Diagnose Your Noisy Underfloor Heating

It is perfectly normal for your underfloor heating system to make clicking, creaking, humming ad bubbling sounds as they are starting up and heating the room around you. Some of these sounds are to be expected and some can indicate a problem.

However, if the sounds are too loud, or too inconsistent it may be time to seek a full suite of maintenance on your system that will ensure that everything is working perfectly all the time. I recommend a regular service and don’t be afraid to ask a professional to come and assess your system every once in a while.

A problem you can fix now is better than an unfixable nightmare down the line.

Alex

Alex is fascinated by engineering and how things work. He had to learn all he could about installing Underfloor heating in his new home, gaining so much new information that he decided to make it into a website answering all your questions about heating systems in the home.

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