Hydronic Underfloor Heating or Electric Underfloor Heating – Which is best?Tanya Chamberland
Let’s start by mentioning that radiant underfloor heating, provided by both hydronic and electric installations, is a much better solution than forced-air central heating systems.
For one, the underfloor heating systems are nicely hidden away whilst forced-air systems feature a collection of unsightly ductwork, vents, and plenums that are all visible.
Additionally with underfloor heating systems, heat radiates from the floor giving you a comfortable warmth that won’t blow dust around like forced air heaters, a significant benefit for allergy sufferers.
A hydronic heating system is a complex system to install compared to its electric counterpart. The capital investment for the hydronic system is significantly more than an electric system. Up-front costs such as a boiler, pumps and manifolds with valves can have an impact on any home renovation or construction budget. However once installed, a hydronic system can last well over 30 years with costs recuperated due to the lower operating costs.
By comparison, an electric underfloor heating system is relatively easy to install and competent DIYers can attempt to install themselves. Nevertheless, a qualified electrician will need to wire the system.
Operating costs for electric underfloor heating can be unpredictable due to the use of electricity, though with a programmable thermostat you can adjust usage to suit your lifestyle and budget.
Another factor to consider is the size of the room. In essence, hydronic underfloor heating is recommended for rooms that are more than 60 m², due to the initial investment. With smaller rooms such as bathrooms, an electric underfloor heating installation may be a better option.
These are some of the considerations when thinking about installing underfloor heating for your renovation or new construction.
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