Floortherm Renewables Ltd is one of the largest distributors of underfloor heating and renewable systems to the trade in Ireland. Established in 2013 by managing director Jim O’Brien, its mission is to deliver fully designed, energy efficient systems to installers, merchants, contractors and self-builders.
The Climate Action Plan recently announced by the Irish Government has been welcomed by the Newry-based company which relocated to a larger premises last July to cater for its growing business and customer-base. The ambitious plan, which aims to reduce emissions and make Ireland carbon neutral by 2050, will affect all sectors, with home heating being no exception. It accounts for about 10% of all carbon emissions and the plan aims to move the 80% of Irish homes that use oil or gas for their heating over to heat pump systems.
A heat pump is a device that transfers heat energy from a heat source such as the ground, where a ground source heat pump is used, or from the air where an air source heat pump is used. The generated heat in turn provides a home heating source for hot water, underfloor heating, radiators etc. Heat pumps are a very convenient and incredibly cost-effective way of heating your home or premises while also being exceptionally environmentally friendly. They are rapidly becoming a primary way to provide comfortable and economic home heat in Ireland, removing the need for oil or gas fossil fuels.
The first step of the action plan will be to phase out the installation of oil and gas boilers in newly-built homes. Most older homes will need upgraded insulation fitted before they are suitable for heat pumps, which only work well in well-insulated homes.
A massive retro-fitting programme is part of the plan to end the use of fossil fuels for home heating and this is expected to keep suppliers like Floortherm busy for many years to come.
“There is a big push towards heat pumps in both Ireland and the UK, and we’re perfectly placed to meet that demand,” says Floortherm’s Jamie Byrne.
“But for the changeover to be successful, there needs to be considerable funding in terms of training and standards. The lack of knowledge and expertise about heat pumps is worrying.”
Floortherm are agents for DOMUSA and Daikin heat pumps. DOMUSA TEKNIK inverter-driven air source heat pumps are available in three sizes: 8kw, 11kw and 16kw with an excellent seasonal efficiency rating from A++ and A+++. The monobloc design offers all components within the outdoor unit that just requires a heating flow and return connection. The integrated circulating pump means that they can be easily connected to the heating system. Options with a pre-plumbed and pre-wired cylinder simplify the whole installation further.
Design packages are suitable for all applications from developments to large detached single dwellings. The heat pump should be located close to the building, ideally on an external wall at least two metres away from a bedroom window.
Daikin have been producing air source heat pumps for over a decade with an extensive selection of products from 4kw to 16kw. The conventional LT split has been the most popular range, allowing for greater flexibility in positioning the outdoor unit without losing efficiency. The three core product ranges available from Daikin are: LT split, monobloc and the Altherma 3.
Floortherm also provides underfloor heating, heat recovery products, heat recovery duckwork systems as well as aluminium radiators. Underfloor heating is widely recognised by architects, consultants and engineers as being the most suitable solution for well-insulated modern homes. It provides higher levels of efficiency and control than conventional radiator systems.
Underfloor heating is a system that uses pipes below the floor to circulate warm water, producing a heat source capable of heating the air above it to any required temperature. The typical temperature through an underfloor system is 35-45c whereas a radiator system is 60-70c.
The family-run business is a stockist of Vent-Axia heat recovery systems. One of the largest MVHR manufacturers in the UK, it’s a trusted brand recognised for quality, excellence and innovation. The sentinel range is extensive with units suitable from small two-bed apartments to large, multiple-room detached houses. The systems all offer high reliability and performance.
In addition, Floortherm stocks a large selection of duckwork systems for all residential applications. No matter the build, structure or design, there is always a solution available.
All systems come with full kit of materials to complete the installation on-site. A full design drawing and calculation ensures that correct flow rates are achieved without undue resistance and noise. Hybrid systems are most popular, for example a round radial system in the first-floor loft and a semi-rigid system on the ground floor. The semi-rigid is becoming increasingly popular due to its flexibility and simple “push and click” connection. It is ideal for the first installation or DIY project.
Aluminium radiators provide rapid heat transmission and are ideal for low temperature heating. The Plano range stocked by Floortherm are a modern design that feature closed columns on the front and rear sides, preventing the build-up of dust. They are an ideal option for modern new build houses or retrofit upgrades with air source heat pumps. Because of the greater output, smaller radiators can be installed compared to the conventional option.
“We’re a one-stop shop for electrical and mechanical contractors, offering design, supply, commission, warranty and service cover. We supply only the very best products to trade and are able to provide a next-day delivery service to any part of Ireland by having four vans and one rigid lorry on the road.
Floortherm designed and supplied heat pumps to numerous sites throughout Ireland over the last year and believe their expertise and continued development enables them to offer the right package to the trade. In January 2020 it hopes to have a new showroom/installer training centre with working models open for the trade.
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, February/March 2020, Vol 6 No 1