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Is Underfloor Heating Expensive To Run?- How Much
The underfloor heating system could be expensive to run, depending on the type you have installed.
You can either install an electric underfloor heating system, also known as a dry system, or a water underfloor heating system, which is also referred to as a wet system.
Electric underfloor heating systems are likely more expensive to run than the water system. This is true since the electric power used for the heated is costly than natural gas.
For installation, water underfloor heating is more expensive to install than the electric system.
If you have proper background knowledge on the systems, it is possible sometimes to install the electric system yourself.
This is not possible to be the case with water systems, as you will have to hire a professional to install them.
You should know, however, that both systems’ initial installation is more expensive than their running cost.
Some other factors which will influence your underfloor heating system’s running cost are;
- Design and size of your home; Bigger homes will generally have more prominent floor coverage for the heating system. Therefore, the energy cost will be higher for larger homes than in small homes.
- The temperature you need for home; heating your underfloor heating systems to high temperatures are costly than when they are maintained at low temperature. This is due to the power consumption difference during the heating process.
- Your home’s flooring type; Some flooring’s are more convenient than the others.
- For example, if your flooring is done with stone materials, it will retain much heat for a extended period of time than most other types of materials used.
What Is Underfloor Heating ?
Simply, underfloor heating is a system installed underneath your flooring which warms up your home. They are, however, unalike the radiators most of us are familiar with.
Apart from making your feet feel comfortably warm as you move about the house, the underfloor heating system also distributes heat throughout the house.
It is an energy-efficient way to maintain the warmth of your house and environmentally friendly as well.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Installing An Underfloor Heating System In My House?
If you consider having an underfloor heating system in your house, then be at liberty to do so. This system presents you with a wide range of advantages you will enjoy, such as the following:
- Comfortable, warm feet. You can walk in your house without any extra layer on your feet all year long. Stepping out of a shower or bath and landing your feet on the warm floor gives you a heavenly feeling.
- The underfloor heating system consistently distributes heat evenly in all your rooms. You don’t have to worry about the change in temperature at any time of the year.
- Efficient to run on budget; a suitable size of the system installed can do a lot more heating than a single radiator. Since less heating is also required as it operates at a lower temperature, heating bills are significantly reduced compared with other systems.
- Less waste; if your windows are open or your room feels chilly, your floors will always be consistently warm.
- Hidden; Sometimes, your room décor is so elegant that you would not like to add an extra appliance to the setting to heat your room. The underfloor heating system is well hidden on the floor, and you can barely realize it is there.
- Another benefit of this system is that you can install it under various types of floors such as wood floors, stone floors, carpeted floors as long as you maintain a thickness of 1.5 togs and below for efficiency, and also tile floors.
- Maintains your home’s hygiene. Warm places do not harbor dust mites; therefore, with underfloor heating in place, you are set to enjoy more warm, comfortable feet and few uninvited crawlies.
Nevertheless, every system with advantages is often accompanied by several disadvantages of its own. The underfloor heating system is not exempted either.
Some of the advantages you may expect when installing this house warming system are:
- Costly, the underfloor heating system is difficult and expensive to install. Therefore, even if you will be paying lower bills than other systems, it is unlikely you will recover your previous expense.
- Installing an underfloor heating system in older houses is a difficult task and cause upheaval since sometimes restructuring is required.
- Warming up may take longer. Therefore, you should take note of your timing such that your floors get heated, made comfortably warm, and are ready to use whenever you need them to be warm.
- Another critical fact to note is that you cannot use an underfloor heating system under some fittings or furniture items.
- In fact, you may be forced to relocate some of your heavy home appliances or get rid of them altogether when you decide to install this house warming system in your home.
- You may end up still needing radiators if you install a small underfloor heating system since it will only warm your floor but leave the rest of the room draughty.
What Are Main Types Of Underfloor Heating Systems ?
Generally, underfloor heating can be done in two ways;
- Electric underfloor heating ;
This type of underfloor heating system uses electric power to warm up your floors via heating cables, which are often fitted beneath the floor. It is also known as the dry system.
For this type, you have three options to choose from:
- Loose wire; if your flooring is done with tiles or stones, then this option is an ideal choice for you. Also, consider installing this system if your rooms are awkwardly shaped.
- Matting; This system, too, is an excellent choice for homes or rooms with tile or stone flooring. You can also consider it if your rooms are regularly shaped.
- Foil mat; If you have laid laminate flooring, this one is designed specifically for it, hence perfect for you.
- Water underfloor heating
This type of underfloor heating is also called the wet system. A network of pipes underneath your floor, filled with water, is connected to your central heating system, where the water is then heated, providing your floor with warmth.
Here’s what you may need to know;
- Any boiler with sufficient capacity can be used in this operation.
- There is a sub-floor where the pipes are initially placed as water is pumped through; after that, a new surface is added to the initial one.
- To avoid leaks, only continuous plastic pipes are used in this system.
What Is The Best Temperature To Set For Underfloor Heating ?
There is no one point of reference for underfloor heating temperature. The temperature settings vary in different types of homes.
However, most people prefer setting their living room temperature at 21 degrees Celcius and their bedrooms at 18 degrees Celcius.
Is Underfloor Heating Very Expensive?
Whether you refer to underfloor heating as expensive depends on several facts. The first is installing the system in a new home or retrofitting in an existing one.
It is likely to cost you more if you install this system in a house that was not initially designed to contain one.
The other factor to consider is installing an electric underfloor heating system or water underfloor heating system.
Is It Costly To Run Water Underfloor Heating Systems?
If you ignore the initial high costs of installation, water underfloor heating proves to be relatively cheap to run.
It is considerably less expensive to run than an electric underfloor heating system; this means that you will be paying lesser bills for it than the electric type.
Is It Costly To Run An Electric Underfloor Heating System?
Also known as dry systems, an electric underfloor heating system is likely more expensive to run than a wet system; usually 3 or 4 times more expensive.
The running cost is much more expensive since electric power is also more expensive than natural gas.
Thus, an electric underfloor heating system is usually used for heating smaller rooms such as kitchens or bathrooms.
To minimize your electricity usage, always power on your electric underfloor heater when necessary; that is, turn them on when you need them.
What Type Of Flooring Should I Use When Installing An Underfloor Heating System?
Materials that are naturally heat conductors such as stone when used for flooring are ideal for underfloor heating.
They heat up fast and also retain heat longer. However, you can also use the underfloor heating system with other flooring types such as vinyl, tiles, and laminate flooring.
Your home flooring should support the system such that heat is distributed equally in the entire house.
Some of the things you may also want to consider are;
If your flooring is done with wood, you will have to take a little more extra care when installing this underfloor heating system.
For instance, you should confirm with your wooden flooring manufacturer the temperature limits. Higher temperatures past the limit are likely to make your wooden flooring twist and bend.
However, you can manage this risk by considering laminate or engineered floors, which still provide you with a convincing wooden feel.
You only have to pay attention to the thickness, recommended being 18mm and below; otherwise, your underfloor heating system’s efficiency will be considerably compromised.
Carpets that are too thick reduce the efficiency of the underfloor heating system. Thick carpets are also likely to take a long time to warm up.
The recommended combination of tog and underlay should not exceed 2.5.
Many people recommend concrete as the best flooring for an elegant interior design.
In addition, it is also ideal for an underfloor heating system since it is capable of retaining heat for a more extended period.
You should, however, not encase the system itself in the concrete. The concrete can damage both the electric and water systems; therefore, it is advised that they are installed within the screed.
Can I Fit Underfloor Heating System In My Old House?
Yes, installing an underfloor heating system in an old house is entirely possible. However, you should consider if it is the best choice.
If your old house lacks proper insulation, you will still have to accompany your underfloor heating system with a conventional radiator system.
For low-energy efficiency homes, renovation work should be done, and home insulation and energy-efficient windows and doors installed before installing an underfloor heating system.
How Long Does It Take An Underfloor Heating System To Warm Up?
It usually take 2 to 3 hours for an underfloor heating system to warm up. This, however, depends on the type of flooring in place.
The long time it takes to warm up is also significantly contributed to by the screed as they take some time to conduct heat to the surrounding air through the floor.
Is There Any Harm In Leaving My Underfloor Heating System On At All Times?
In cold winter seasons, you can leave your underfloor heating on throughout the day but at low temperature.
This will be beneficial since you will not have to wait for long hours before the floor warms up. However, during summer, leaving your underfloor heating system on at all times is not considered economical.
Do I Need A Timer For My Underfloor Heating System?
Actually yes. You need to set your system to start warming up some hours earlier before you need it.
Smart thermostats can help you in accomplishing this task without much hustle and, in turn, also help you in keeping your bills in check.
Can I Install The System Myself?
If you are confident you have the background installation knowledge of underfloor heating systems, then why not? You can comfortably install the electric system yourself.
However, for the water system, you will have to hire a professional to do the installation.
Furthermore, you will also need an electrician’s help to connect your system, whether electric or water, to your thermostat sensor and electricity supply.
What Are The Other Methods I Can Use To Make My Home Comfortably Warm?
Home insulation is one of the best options to consider. Ensure your walls and roof are properly insulated to prevent heat loss.
Insulation is also environmentally friendly as you significantly reduce carbon emissions to the surrounding.
Other tips worth carrying out are:
- Filling wall cavity
- Fixing your outside windows, letterboxes, and doors with draught excluders.
- Install double-glazing windows in place of your conventional windows.
- Replace your old boiler, that is, if it 15 years and above, with the new generation A-rated condensing boiler.
How Best Can I Cut My Home’s Energy Cost?
Running an underfloor heating system is expensive, as so is the installation. Due to this, you may consider looking for ways to reduce your energy bills.
To begin with, ensure all your home’s electrical appliances are running efficiently. Here are other suggestions you may want to consider too;
- When boiling water in a kettle, only pour the amount of water you need.
- Turn off your electric appliances once you are done with them. Do not leave them continuously running on.
- You can also replace your bulbs with energy-saving ones.
- Maintain a regular schedule of defrosting your freezer.
- Fit your hot water tanks with an insulating jacket.
- Avoid setting your washing machine above 30 degrees.
- You can also save money by either replacing or repairing your boiler.
You can also save on energy bills by switching your energy suppliers. No need to just stick to one supplier even if they charge unreasonably high for their services.
Always look into the market and consider cheaper, better options.
Is It Worth It To Install An Underfloor Heating System?
Generally, the underfloor heating system is an efficient way of keeping your home comfortably warm and cozy. The only downside you will probably experience with them is the cost of installation.
Well, despite the high installation cost, maintenance and operation cost is quite cheap and affordable. You will probably realize that you are advantaged in the long run.
Which One Is Considered Better Than The Other, Water Or Electric Underfloor Heating System?
Deciding on a better system will depend if you are referring to their cost efficiency or other factors.
Well, for cost efficiency, it is essential to note that both their initial installation price could be high, but the water system may be a little higher than the electric system.
However, the electric underfloor heating system installation process is relatively faster than the water underfloor heating installation process.
Between Radiators And Underfloor Heating System, Which Is Cheaper To Run?
Water underfloor heating systems are way much cheaper to run and more efficient than radiators in most cases when they are paired with contemporary condensing boilers and heat pumps.
Does Underfloor Heating Use A Lot Of Electricity?
The amount of power consumed by underfloor heating systems mostly relies on your temperature settings.
Heating your system with high temperatures will ultimately result in higher electric bills. Maintaining a low temperature when heating your system will also result in lower electric bills.
You can always go for underfloor heating systems without worrying about their operation cost.
You are likely to pay a high initial installation cost, but after that, running and maintenance costs are relatively low.
Install an underfloor-heating system in your home and enjoy a warm, comfortable floor beneath your feet.
You can choose to install them in specific rooms such as the living room or bathroom to cut running costs further or install them in the entire house.