Floor Heating Systems’ Pros and Cons
Before you invest in anything in your home, it’s always smart to weigh up the pros and cons. Floor heating systems are generally preferred by modern homeowners because they provide an efficient and consistent source of warmth from the floor up heating the entire room. We know that there are so many misconceptions about this form of radiant heating that you may be left wondering whether it’s worth the extra cost and time. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the pros and cons of underfloor heating and help you to make an informed decision.
Why Radiant Floor Heating?
There are several reasons why radiant floor heating is a now a popular trend in modern homes.
- Enjoy consistent warmth throughout the room
To begin with, with radiant heating, you can expect warmth to be evenly distributed throughout the room. The room is heated from the floor up so the warmth given is not only efficient but also consistent. You can choose between electric and water based heated floors. Electric systems use heated wires which are installed beneath the floor to provide warmth whereas the water-based systems use pipes which run hot water to generate heat.
- Radiant heating is very efficient
If you compare how traditional radiators generate and distribute heat, you’ll realize that radiant heating is a more effective and efficient solution. This is because the traditional radiator will need to be heated to temperatures of up to 167 degrees in order to warm a room effectively whereas your heated floor system will run at a temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit and provide adequate warmth in a room. Therefore, you’re able to manage your utility bills and enjoy warmth in your home.
- No more cold spots
With traditional radiators, you are assured that there will be cold spots in the room, unlike a heated floor that is designed to provide consistent heat across the room. Radiant heating ensures that there’s no cold air at certain spots which are far from the radiator. Sometimes, when running a traditional radiator, you may be forced to open the windows to get some fresh air when you’re next to it and it gets too hot. This only means that you’ll be wasting the energy and causing the traditional radiator to run more. Radiant heating is the perfect solution to evenly distribute warmth making sure there are no cold spots and the room doesn’t get stuffy.
- Ease of installation and maintenance
When you invest in a radiant heating system, the installation process is as simple as you wouldn’t have imagined. You may even invest in a simple radiant sticky mat that you can install as a DIY project. Once the system is installed, you don’t need to spend time and money on additional maintenance. Most of the radiant heaters available today come with up to 30 years guarantee period. The radiant heating system comes with a thermostat which you can easily program to ensure the room gets adequate warmth. You can even switch it on and off during the day or at night when it’s cool.
- Doesn’t mess your home’s design
Traditional radiators and heating systems that appear on the walls can instantly mess your design goals. If you’re keen on home design, floor heating will work perfectly for you since the modern radiators do not take up any space in your walls. Heated floors can be installed and remain conspicuous so you don’t have to worry about them messing your home’s design. You have the freedom to put any decorations or art on your walls without an unsightly radiator to snatch its beauty.
- No need to change your floor type
Modern radiators are designed to work with virtually any type of floor covering. Whether you have a laminate, wooden, tiled, stone or carpet flooring in your home, you can always install underfloor heating without having to invest in a new flooring material.
- Underfloor heating is safe
Traditional radiators can have hot surfaces which become a serious risk especially if you have kids and pets in your home. With modern underfloor heating, you don’t have to worry about such risks. The radiator is tucked out of the way and there’s no chance of it getting too hot and risking anyone’s wellbeing. All you need to do is to ensure that the underfloor heating is installed properly.
- Doesn’t compromise air quality
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of traditional radiators is the fact that they run on high temperatures increasing discomfort due to reduced oxygen levels. This is not the case with underfloor heating. These modern radiant heating systems offer much better air quality and you can be guaranteed a comfortable and oxygen-rich atmosphere when the system is running.
Disadvantages of underfloor heating
Radiant floor heating also has its cons. A few drawbacks you should be aware of when you install underfloor heating include:
- High cost of installation
Installing underfloor heating may cost you much more than the traditional radiators. First, there’s the cost of purchasing the system which may range anywhere between $10 and $20 per square foot. You may also need to pay an electrician to ensure the system is properly connected to your power supply. A water-based radiant floor heating system is usually only be installed during a construction or renovation project and it can be a bit more costly.
- Installation time
Depending on the underfloor heating system you choose, it can take a while for the installation process to be completed. You may need to apply a self-levelling compound and wait for it to dry before installing the radiator. Water-based radiant heating systems can take up to a week to be installed.
- Increase of floor height
With underfloor heating structures, expect the room’s floor height to slightly increase. You may even need to install insulation boards beneath the radiant heating system just to ensure the heat is properly directed. This means a further increase in floor height. In this case, you may want to consider other types of radiant heating that do not result in increased floor height such as the electric underfloor heating mats which are designed with thin cables.
With that said, it’s now entirely up to you to choose the most energy efficient, easy and reliable way to warm your home. An underfloor heating arrangement will also provide you with significant cost savings than any traditional radiator you can install in your home.
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