Things you should know before buying an in floor heating system


A floor heating system is an alternative heating option that has become very popular in light of the recent hikes in traditional heating costs. In a floor system, a heat source is installed under the sub flooring creating a radiant heat that warms homes from the ground up. Floor heating systems can save homeowners up to 40% in energy costs when compared with traditional forced-air heating systems. This is because a floor heating system keeps the heat where you need it most, near the floor.

Some floor heating systems are more efficient than others and some take more time and energy than others to operate. That is why it is very important that you do the proper research before deciding on what floor heating system is right for your home.

The Three Types of Floor Heaters

There are three types of floor heating systems: hydronic, electric and wood burning. The floor heating system that you choose will depend largely on how much space you want to heat and how efficiently you want to do so.

Hydronic – There is only one type of floor heater that is efficient enough to heat your entire home comfortably and that is the hydronic system. This system uses a system of pipes placed under the floor in which water heated by a boiler is continuously pumped through to heat your home. The system is quite complex and requires the most maintenance of any other floor heating system. You will need to choose an energy source to operate your boiler. These options include gas, oil, electric, solar power, or geothermal power. It should also be noted that the hydronic system takes several hours to warm up and should be used continuously to ensure a comfortable home.

Electric – Electric floor heaters are ideal for heating up small places such as bathrooms or the cold floor tiles in your kitchen. While they can be great for small places, they are not cost efficient enough to be used throughout the entire home. In fact, although the cost is minimal, electric floor heaters usually add to your electric bill rather than detract from it. What’s great about an electric floor heating system? They are both easy to install and maintain.

Wood burning – A wood burning system works almost like the hydronic system but instead of a boiler there is a wood box that heats up the water that circulates throughout the system. The hours of heat that you can garner from this system depends on the size of your wood box and can last anywhere from 12 to 96 hours. The inconvenience of this system relegates it to a back up or tandem heating source. It is rarely used as the sole source of heat.

When compared with the cost of installing a traditional furnace, any one of these floor heating options would be considered reasonably priced. Therefore, focus on how you will use the system rather than how much it will cost you to make your final floor heating decision.

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