Frequently Asked Questions2021-10-05T14:17:12+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Read some of the frequently asked questions we receive here at Pipelife ECO. You can filter them by category, and if you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us to have an expert answer your question.

Are we confined to just underfloor heating?2020-12-14T14:46:25+00:00

Not at all. You can incorporate underfloor heating with a radiator system.

Can I fit a heat pump to my existing heating system?2020-12-14T14:25:19+00:00

Yes, you can.

There are grants available through Sustainable Energy Agency Ireland to supplement the cost of the install. For more information:

Heat pumps and underfloor heating also work perfectly in extensions.

Can I install underfloor heating in my existing house?2020-12-14T14:45:56+00:00

Generally, yes, you can. It would be prudent to get some technical advice before you carry out any work.

Can I install underfloor heating upstairs?2020-12-14T14:46:14+00:00

Yes, underfloor heating can be fitted upstairs.

Can I set the temperature in each room individually?2020-12-14T14:47:19+00:00

Yes. In Pipelife designs, individual room thermostats are supplied for each room, allowing you to have a completely independent time and temperature control system. Pipelife can tailor the level of control to your family’s needs, whether through a simple dial room thermostat or a digital room thermostat that you can also control through your phone and/or tablet. Other companies may choose to reduce the level of control and thus, reduce your comfort.

Can I substitute my existing oil or gas boiler with a heat pump?2020-12-14T14:47:12+00:00

Yes, it would be a good idea to get technical advice on what heat pump best suits your house before you carry out any work.

Can the underfloor heating system be run from my existing radiator system?2020-12-14T14:46:40+00:00

You can add underfloor heating to your existing heating system as many people do when refurbishing and/or adding extensions to their houses. As the underfloor heating system works on lower temperatures, slight alterations to your heating system will have to be carried out by your plumber.

How can I avoid long term problems with my system?2020-12-04T14:15:48+00:00


How do we buy your system?2020-12-14T14:24:02+00:00

A Pipelife heating system can be purchased through your local hardware store giving the peace of mind that you are buying locally. We can also offer a fully designed & installed system either through your local plumber or one of our partners throughout the country. Pipelife have Certified Installers throughout the country and we would be more than happy to put you in contact.  You can also contact Pipelife directly on 021-4884700.


Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) works by recovering heat from extract air that would normally be expelled to the atmosphere and transfers this heat to fresh air being drawn into the property via a heat exchanger. The Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system then distributes this throughout your property via a network of ducting.

The ducting is brought to each habitable room and each wet room within your property. Each wet room is fitted with an extract valve and each habitable room with a supply valve.

The HRV system continually extracts from the wet rooms, boosting if necessary, removing the pollutant air quickly and effectively at its source. This air then passes up through the network of ducting and travels through a heat exchanger where its heat passes to the fresh filtered air which is being brought into the property at the same time.

The HRV system runs on trickle speed continuously and is boosted when an increased rate of ventilation is needed, for example bathing or cooking.

When the weather is warmer a summer by-pass function helps to ensure comfort levels in the home. When this function is activated the property continues to be ventilated with fresh filtered air but the heat recovery process is switched off intermittently and therefore ‘by-passed’.

How does underfloor heating work?2020-12-14T14:25:41+00:00

Underfloor heating consists of a lot of water pipes under your floor. Your heating source (boiler or heat pump) will heat the water in these pipes which in turn will heat your floor to a nice, uniformed and comfortable temperature. The warm floor will heat your room.


Design: it is absolutely vital to have your Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system installed properly. This begins with a good design. Pipelife is very experienced in system design and provides professional guidance on ducting routes across a wide variety of residential properties.

Installation: HRV systems are generally installed in two stages – 1st and 2nd fix. At 1st fix stage the majority of the ducting is installed, as per the system design, and any wiring requirements are provided for, including the tracking of remote sensors such as humidistats. At 2nd fix stage the system is installed, all ducting and wiring is connected, ceiling valves are fixed to the ducting point in each room, and the condensation drain from the system is installed. Finally the system is commissioned as per the appropriate Building Regulations.

Performance: the size and location of the HRV unit is extremely important. The unit must be fit for purpose, taking into consideration the size of the property and associated airflow rates.

Commissioning: We issue commissioning certificates detailing the measured installed airflow performance of each system against design requirements. Finally, each unit’s operational and maintenance requirements are clearly defined and demonstrated to ensure competent user operation and optimum system performance.

How much is a heat pump?2020-12-04T14:16:07+00:00


How much is an underfloor heating system?2020-12-14T14:22:05+00:00

An approximate rule of thumb is €16/per square meter of floor.

Please use above only as a guide. To receive an accurate, detailed quotation, please send us a set of drawings. We will return a full detailed quotation, outlining the best options available to you.

I keep hearing about Part L building regulations, what is that?2020-12-14T14:46:58+00:00

Part L is one of many Building Regulations that your house will have to meet on completion. Part L relates to heating and hot water. This is a very detailed document that your builder, plumber, heating designer will have to follow to meet the minimum requirements and to make sure your heating system is up to building regulations.

The Part L document of current building regulations sets out maximum energy usage and carbon emission levels for the dwellings. It also states that all new buildings must incorporate some form of renewable energy technology to help reduce the use of fossil fuels to heat the dwelling or to reduce the primary electricity usage. The most popular renewable energy sources used are heat pumps for heating and hot water.

If I am digging out my floors, how deep must I go to allow for everything? Retrofit?2020-12-14T14:45:50+00:00

You would require approximately 200mm to allow for your new floor insulation, pipes and new concrete floor.

If I go with underfloor heating downstairs, do I need heating upstairs?2020-12-14T14:46:06+00:00

You are not confined to underfloor heating upstairs. You can have conventional radiators upstairs.

Is Pipelife heating system complicated to install?2020-12-14T14:47:43+00:00

No. All Pipelife underfloor heating systems are relatively easy to install. Simply follow our AutoCAD design drawing for the pipe patterns and loop lengths. A full design specification goes out with each project detailing zone layouts, commissioning details, system setup and operation and of course all mechanical and electrical diagrams and data sheets.

Pipelife provide a detailed design specification with full pipe layout drawings as well as electrical wiring drawings. These drawings & installer instructions are very simple to follow which can be passed onto your local installer to install. If you would prefer, Pipelife can organise and project manage the installation right through to commissioning stage.

Is underfloor heating more expensive than radiators to install?2020-12-14T14:47:51+00:00

The initial investment is normally higher (approx. 10%) than a traditional radiator system but the end result is lower running costs, a better form of comfort, as well as improved control and a hidden heating system.

What are the advantages of underfloor heating?2020-12-04T14:14:24+00:00



Some of the main benefits of a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system are:

Whole house ventilation – continuous balanced ventilation with improved indoor air quality, providing a healthy living environment and preventing condensation by keeping moisture levels low

Energy saving – recovering the heat from your extract air instead of simply sending it to atmosphere can lead to significant energy savings by reducing the cost of your heating bill

No additional kit – with the growing trend towards property air tightness, HRV systems cancel out the need for background ventilators

Gain SAP points – Our aircycle HRV systems are SAP approved and succeed in reducing CO2 Dwelling Emission Rate (DER). Specifiers, Low Carbon Consultants and Architects can gain SAP points for your property by using our product’s specific performance information instead of standard default information provided in the SAP register

What are the best types of floor finishes to suit underfloor heating?2020-12-14T14:46:31+00:00

Tile, carpet and timber are all suitable floor coverings. There are a few design considerations to be adhered to :

    • Tile: use adhesive suitable for underfloor heating
    • Timber: use timber that has been kiln dried to approx 8%.
    • Carpet: always use a good quality thin carpet and a good quality underlay.

Always consult your flooring provider before you lay a finished floor on top. They will provide you with the best advice on choosing a floor covering most suitable for underfloor heating.

WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL RUNNING COSTS?2021-05-18T11:13:00+00:00

All aircycle Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems are SAP approved and use EC fan technology which helps to ensure a low Specific Fan Power (SFP) which means our systems run as efficiently as possible.

Heat Recovery Ventilation systems will generally save significantly more money through heat recovery versus what it costs to run the system, therefore covering its own cost of running and also contributing towards savings on the space heating bill of the property, in some cases up to 20%.


Most Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems including the aircycle range, are air-to-air types. These recover heat from the exhaust air stream and use it to pre-condition the incoming air from outside. The effectiveness of these units is given by its heat recovery efficiency i.e. the proportion of waste heat that is usefully recovered by the process (this figure is typically expressed as a percentage).

A heat recovery unit will reduce the amount of energy needed to heat up the incoming air to room temperature. This benefit must always be balanced against the electrical power requirements needed to drive the process. HRV systems are most efficient in more airtight homes, where almost all ventilation takes place via the heat exchange core. The concept is simple, the less heat that is lost through the leaks in the building envelope then the more heat there is to recover.

The Energy Savings Trust Best Practice recommendation for heat recovery efficiency is 85% or higher. The aircycle 3.1 Heat Recovery Ventilation unit currently achieves up to 93% heat recovery efficiency which makes it one of the market leaders in the industry.


Mechanical systems require electrical power to operate, including power to the fans, any compressor(s) and transformer(s) and control and safety devices. The term ‘specific fan power’ is used to compare the electrical energy use for different ventilation systems as installed (i.e. allowing for system resistance).

Specific Fan Power (SFP) is defined by the Energy Savings Trust as: ‘The power consumption, in Watts, of the fan (plus any other electrical system components) divided by the air flow through the system, in Watts per litre per second (W/l/s)’

Specific Fan Power Calculation: Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)

For a small house with a Kitchen + 1 Wet Room the minimum extraction airflow rate is 21 l/s (Part F: Eng & Wales 2010). If the unit consumes 15 watts to achieve this rate of air flow then: SFP: 15 / 21 = 0.71 W/l/s

The Energy Savings Trust Best Practice recommendation for SFP is 1 W/l/s or lower. The aircycle 3.1 Heat Recovery Ventilation unit currently achieves a SFP down to 0.37 W/l/s, which makes it the market leader in terms of efficiency.

What is a heat pump & why should I use one?2020-12-14T14:24:31+00:00

An Air to Water Heat Pump collects the heat from the outside air and through a refrigeration cycle, generates heat for your homes. There is liquid in the heat pump which will boil at -40 degrees Celsius. This liquid changes into a gas when boiled. This gas is compressed, and as the result, the temperature of the gas increases which is then used to heat your home and hot water for your showers.

Heat Pumps have gained in popularity since the changes to building regulations in 2011. There are many reasons for this.  Heat pumps meet all current and future NZEB (Near Zero Energy Building 2020) regulations, and they are also the most economical way of heating your house, as well as reducing CO2 emissions. By fitting a heat pump you are future proofing your home as fossil fuel options such as oil & gas boilers will be soon banned by the government.

What is a screed?2020-12-14T14:46:01+00:00

A screed is a layer of concrete that covers the underfloor heating pipes and becomes the floor of your house.

What is an outdoor unit?2020-12-14T14:45:35+00:00

An outdoor unit is called a condenser. This primarily collects the heat from the air which boils the gas within the unit. This heated gas, in turn, heats the water that is heating your house as well as the water for your showers.

What is commissioning?2020-12-14T14:47:38+00:00

Commissioning is where a Pipelife engineer will call out to your house after the installation is complete. The engineer will carry out a number of checks to insure that the system is installed correctly. There are parameters set on the heat pump that are tailored the needs of your house. The heating is then turned on for the first time. The engineer will go through the workings of the heating system with you and discuss how to use the system most efficiently.

What is Pipelife’s guarantee on the heating solution?2020-12-04T14:14:55+00:00


What is the difference in heat pumps (Mono vs. Split)?2020-12-14T14:45:42+00:00

A Monobloc heat pump is a single unit heat pump located outside your home. It heats your water outside the dwelling and sends in the warm water to heat your home. These monobloc heat pumps would be slightly cheaper to buy and install. However, the big drawback is that you are heating your water outside the house which, in winter, the heat pump will have to work harder and therefore will be more expensive to run as the water may cool down before it enters your house.

A Split heat pump works differently to a monobloc heat pump mentioned above. A split heat pump, has the condenser (this collects the heat from the air) and sends in the heated gas (not water) into your house to what we call the indoor unit. (This is where the hot gas heats your water). The indoor unit also houses your hot water cylinder (water for your showers and taps). As all the heated water is contained within the building, the split systems would be considered cheaper to run.

What is the maximum area that can be covered?2020-12-14T14:46:51+00:00

There is no maximum area that can be covered. The possibilities are endless.

What is the water flow temperature?2020-12-14T14:46:35+00:00

The ideal temperature setting is 40 degrees and should be set to ensure that the floor surface temperature should never exceed 29ºC.  Going above this temperature could cause cracking in the floor.

Where can I go to see a Pipelife system?2020-12-14T14:23:30+00:00

We have our heating system displayed in our premises in both Cork and Dublin. You are more than welcome to make an appointment to come visit where one of our engineers will go through the system with you, and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to bring a set of drawings for your house and we can go through the system that suits you best.

To make an appointment simply call us on 021-4884700.

Where does the hot water for my showers come from?2020-12-14T14:23:00+00:00

The Pipelife heating system will cater for the entire heating needs of your house. This includes the hot water demand. The Pipelife Heat Pump will supply plenty of hot water to meet the needs of your family members.

Where does the indoor unit go?2020-12-14T14:45:30+00:00

The indoor unit can be located anywhere within your house. This is in place of your conventional copper cylinder in your hot press. It is designed to look like a tall fridge and will blend in nicely with kitchen units or utility units.

Why can quotes from different suppliers vary so much?2020-12-14T14:49:15+00:00

Many suppliers can seem to offer cheaper solutions that ‘look’ similar.  In most cases this can only be achieved by compromising on either quality or quantity:

  1. Reducing the quantity of pipe:  This means you will need to pump higher temperature water to get the required heat, which pushes up your heating bills.
  2. Using cheaper imported pipe: Many pipes imported from the Far East is of questionable quality and will likely deteriorate quickly.
  3. Using undersized heat pump: It must operate at higher loads to provide the required heat, which will burn it out much sooner than its expected lifespan.
  4. Using less thermostats:  This means you lose control of heating each of your rooms individually, thus compromising your comfort.

Purchasing a ‘cheaper’ option can prove very costly in terms of running costs, maintenance costs and replacement costs.

Why would I choose Pipelife over anyone else?2020-12-04T14:15:22+00:00


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