If you are thinking about installing a Floor Heating System, this article discusses a few things you should consider. We discussed the following: how much does a Floor Heating System cost; is underfloor heating cheaper than radiators? What types of radiant floor heating systems are available. Read on to find out more!
Which Radiant Floor Heating Systems Are Available?
We’ve listed the three types below.
Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating
These radiant heating systems are the most efficient as they are generally the best performing and most cost-effective. A central boiler warms the water through pipes under the floor, flowing throughout the house. The only downfall is that water leakage can cause home damage if a pipe deteriorates and can be costly to repair.
Electric Radiant Floor Heating
An electric radiant heating system has a series of electrical cables that connect the floor to the subfloor. Creating a thermal mass that stores heat requires a thick concrete floor. With high electricity costs, this is not as cost-effective as hydronic systems and is most suitable for certain rooms rather than to heat an entire home. It is also a relatively maintenance-free system.
Air-based Radiant Floor Heating
These systems use air-heated panels and may work with solar air heating systems. While it is quite versatile and can run on any surface (tiles, carpets, concrete, wood), it is less common than hydronic systems for their reduced performance. Liquids hold heat more effectively than air.
Are There Benefits Of Radiant Floor Heating Installation?
Radiant floor heating offers several advantages over ducted heating and radiators:
- Maintains consistent warmth
Rooms with forced-air heating/radiator systems may feel drafty. Warming the perimeters takes some time, and it takes longer for the whole room to feel comfortable. With radiant heating, warm air rises from floor level to provide a more consistent and even ambient temperature, an appealing feature for homeowners doing battle with severely cold winters.
- Energy efficient
Your radiant heating system should be energy efficient, whether air-, water- or electric-based. There is no energy lost in ducting with radiant floor heating, unlike forced-air heating systems.
- Runs silently
Forced air systems require furnaces to fire up and vents to open and close. As radiators heat up, they also make noise. With radiant heating, that’s not an issue, as it is almost silent.
- No drying out of the air
The greater the temperature rises, the more moisture evaporates from the air. Skin problems can occur due to dry air in the home, which is not considered healthy. A radiant heater maintains a moist environment.
Unlike ducted heating, radiant heating does not transmit dust and other allergens into the air through vents, so it is more allergy-friendly.
You can start by converting one or two rooms (such as the main bedroom and bathroom) before you decide to transform the entire house.
- Flexibility with fuel types
You can heat your home with radiant heat produced by electricity, natural gas, oil, or solar power. It gives you great flexibility for heating your home.
- It’s practically invisible.
The system does not have radiators or return vents on walls, floors, or ceilings – it lies beneath your chosen floor covering and is practically invisible in the home.
- Easy to maintain
With the absence of ductwork or the need for regular cleaning, radiant heating is relatively low-maintenance compared with conventional systems.
Radiant floors use an extremely low amount of energy, which means they can save the average household 15% on heating costs.
- Fewer Limitations on Interior Design
Radiant floor heating eliminates the need for bulky radiators hanging on the wall, allowing you to enjoy your entire space. With radiators out of the way, it is possible to design more freely.
- Compatible with All Types of Flooring
All types of flooring are compatible with radiant heated floors. It doesn’t matter if you prefer wood, laminate, stone, tile, carpet, or anything else – radiant floor heating can accommodate your preferences.
- Ease of Installation
It’s easy to install radiant floor heating systems whenever you install new flooring. You can hire a professional or do it yourself.
- Air Quality
If you are concerned about air quality, radiant heat is the better option. Hot air caused by radiators reduces oxygen levels in the air. Plus, dust goes around in circles because of circulation from the air rising and falling. Radiant floors, however, keep the air fresh and do not allow dirt or debris to circulate.
How Much Is A Boiler For In-Floor Heat?
Hydronic radiant floor heating costs vary according to the type of system you choose and the size of the boiler. If you’re installing an in-floor heat system in a small room, your existing water heater will provide enough hot water. For larger rooms, a separate water heater is likely necessary. Gas boilers are the most common and can run at $1.028 per hour. The typical boiler size is 100,000 BTU. Your choice of boiler depends on how many floors you’ll be heating.
While some manufacturers offer boilers with high operating costs, electric boilers are less costly. Both fuel types are highly effective for radiant heating systems, and most boilers will run at low temperatures if you’re using them. Besides the boiler’s cost, there are other considerations when choosing a radiant floor heating system. If you’re using hydronic heat, you’ll want to make sure you use insulated subfloor wiring to reduce the risk of leaks. Electrical floor heating can cause a fire if the wiring in the subfloor is not properly protected. The electric floor heating system risks fire if mats, contact debris or subfloor wiring is not properly insulated.
What Is The Best Boiler For In-Floor Heat?
There are several types of radiant heat boilers. Some can heat an entire floor system while also providing hot water for all taps. Other offers tankless water heaters, which can be wall-mounted or installed on a floor.
A hydronic floor heating device is ideal for large homes with high ceilings. Its powerful heating element delivers water to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It also delivers six gallons per minute (GPM) to quickly heat your floor. These heating devices also use low-energy components, so they will not drain your energy bills.
Another type of boiler for in-floor heat uses a modulating combustion system and cast aluminum heat exchanger for superior corrosion resistance. The price ranges from $1,650 to $3,050. Boilers are excellent for use in moderate or warm climates and are also a cost-effective option.
How Long Do In Floor Heating Systems Last?
An in-floor heating system will last for at least 30 years, but this timeframe is only applicable if you take proper care of the system. These systems do not require cleaning or outdoor venting, but technicians should check the heating units regularly to prevent any leaks that can cause a lower pressure. The presence of these leaks will prevent the heating system from functioning optimally. You can contact a local heating company for help.
The lifespan of in-floor heating systems depends on several factors. For example, a hydronic system may last for 15 to 20 years, while a standard heater might only last for 20 years. Both types of systems will require maintenance from time to time. For hydronic systems, water pipes will freeze and leak at freezing temperatures. You can prevent this by turning the system down to a low temperature when not in use. Similarly, boilers and tankless heaters have a lifetime of about 20 years.
Another option is an electric mat system. In this case, you will install cables into the concrete slab to power the system. This option is most suitable for home renovations as it can be easily installed and is very convenient. Electric floor heating systems warm up in 30 to 60 minutes. You can switch them off and on as necessary. But they can add to your monthly energy bill. That is why you should consider the pros and cons of both options.
Is Underfloor Heating Cheaper Than Radiators?
You’ve probably wondered whether radiant floor heating would be cheaper in a room with a large, clunky radiator. Radiators aren’t cheap, but they’re also much less disruptive than radiant floor heating, which involves a sealed pipework system. Radiators are also less efficient than radiant heating, as they only use one thermostat to control heat. Moreover, they take up valuable wall space, limiting your room’s style. In smaller rooms, they’re also more likely to be in the way, reducing your freedom to design your room.
The choice between radiators and radiant floor heating primarily depends on your needs and preferences. It’s best to use radiators in the living room or open-plan spaces, while radiant floor heating works best in areas where the homeowner will frequently use the room. The efficiency of a radiant heating system will depend on how well your building is insulated. A properly insulated home will have better insulation and, therefore, a lower utility bill. The cost of installing a water-based system will be a fraction of the price of radiators.
Can You Mix Underfloor Heating With Radiators?
Whether you have radiators or underfloor heating, you might be wondering if they’re compatible with each other. You might be able to, but it depends on how much room you have to heat. Radiators are very convenient and often save wall space, but they can also be dangerous to touch if they’re exposed. However, if you want to save wall space, you might want to combine underfloor heating with radiators.
A typical question posed to a home builder is, “Can I mix underfloor heating with radiators?” The answer is yes! It is very common in properties which often have underfloor heating on the ground floor and radiators on the upper floors. The underfloor heating system works well with timber suspended construction and concrete screed, which is a good choice for both properties. You’ll choose to have both in the same room or install one system in the house.
Underfloor heating works by pumping hot water around the pipes on the floor. It then returns to the boiler via a temperature sensor. A mixing valve will pump in more hot water to keep the floor warm if the temperature changes during its journey. Radiators, on the other hand, run separately. But if you’re considering the installation of both, you should be able to get the most out of your heating budget by choosing underfloor heating.
Which Is the Best Wet Or Dry Underfloor Heating?
There are many benefits to both types of underfloor heating. Electric and water-based systems are the most common options, but there are many alternatives. Both types are highly efficient. Do your research and talk to a professional before choosing one over another. We’ve outlined a few of the pros and cons of each. Compare your options now! And save money at the same time!
You can install an electric radiant system on a solid floor. Thus, it prevents the circulation of dust particles while also improving humidity and creating an environment free of mould and dust mites. You can also combine your system with a parquet floor, but choose a stable wood type that will resist moisture and temperature. Make sure you buy a multilayer parquet with planks that are no narrower than 15 cm to avoid heat loss.
Installation of water-based radiant floor heat will cost more. The pipes need to run under floorboards and tiles, which will take up time and money. However, the efficiency of a wet UFH system will save you money over time. So, if you’re thinking about installing one, consider the pros and cons and enjoy the luxury of radiant floor heating. Once you’ve decided, you’ll feel great in your new home!
Can I Use A Hot Water Tank For In Floor Heating?
To answer the question, “Can I use a domestic hot water tank for in-floor heating?” you’ll need to know how much water you’ll need for each floor. A 10-gallon tank is enough for a single floor, but if you’re installing an entire radiant heating system, a 20-gallon tank will work much better. However, unlike an electric heater, a hot water tank needs less work than a similar-sized gas furnace or heat pump.
One of the biggest benefits of a hot water tank for in-floor heating is saving you money. An electric tank is thousands of dollars cheaper than a traditional boiler and requires very little maintenance. It is, however, important that the tank be dedicated exclusively to heating. To do this, you should use a separate, approved heat exchanger. As a bonus, you’ll be saving a lot of money – and reducing your carbon footprint.
How Do You Maintain Heated Floors?
When installing a radiant heating system, the finished floor surface temperature is crucial to the system’s performance. It is the temperature the building’s occupants feel when walking on the floor, and it can also affect the amount of heat that radiates into the air above the floor. A high temperature may result in an unsafe environment for building occupants, so setting the temperature to 85 degrees or higher is critical.
Hydronic radiant heating generally supplies heat throughout a home. Boilers heat water to about 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and circulate it beneath the floor. Because copper tends to rust over time, PEX tubing is the preferred material for radiant heat systems. There are several ways to install PEX tubing: using grooved panels, snap-in grids, and even embedding it in concrete.
Floor heating has become a popular choice in residential and commercial settings due to the many benefits. If you are considering a boiler system for your in-floor heating, consult with a professional before making any final decisions regarding your domestic or business. Be sure to maintain your boiler system properly to ensure it lasts as long as possible and operates efficiently. Keep in mind that a boiler system for in-floor heating can be a significant investment, so consider your options carefully before deciding.