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Electric Underfloor Heating vs Hydronic Underfloor Heating - Which is the Better Heating System?

For many, the benefits of underfloor heating are far beyond well-established facts. It is common, therefore, to see property owners investing in these systems for unparalleled comfort in both residences and commercial spaces. In this process, however, a choice must be made between electric underfloor heating and hydronic underfloor heating - a decision that can make a world of a difference.

hydronic underfloor heating - radiant underfloor heating - electric underfloor heating

Diving into the pros and cons of each radiant underfloor heating solution, our blog this week makes it easier to identify which system makes the best fit in your property. Continue reading to find out!

Electric Underfloor Heating vs Hydronic Underfloor Heating

Heating capacity

When it comes to choosing a heating system, one of the first factors to consider is heating capacity.

In this regard, hydronic underfloor heating boasts exceptionally high levels of heating, which makes it the ideal standalone system in bigger properties. This fact renders supplementary heating solutions redundant, allowing property owners to invest and maintain a single heating system at all times.

It is common, however, to combine hydronic solutions to heat pumps, given the low level of water temperature required to produce heat. This allows water heating to take place through the extraction of air outside a home or commercial building.

When it comes to electric underfloor heating, on the other hand, these are better suited to top up the level of comfort in a given property. While it proves to be effective in these scenarios, it is difficult to use these as a prime heating source.

Energy efficiency

Another area in which hydronic underfloor heating comes out on top is energy efficiency.

Given that these systems rely on water heating rather than electricity to provide warmth and comfort in a given space, they prove to be highly efficient. In addition to this, heat also remains constant for a long period of time. Once the mass of the property has reached the ideal temperature, it takes little energy to maintain this state.

With electric underfloor heating, energy efficiency is less, given that heat is produced through direct electrical consumption.

One factor that works in its favour, however, is that heating can run on a timer, allowing individuals to time operations and cut down on energy wastage.

Price and cost savings

When considering affordability - a key factor for many property owners, nowadays - electric underfloor heating systems take the lead. Given its relatively simple setup and design, labour costs are less compared to those incurred for hydronic systems.

Hydronic underfloor heating solutions, however, prove to be more expensive, not least because of the complicated installation process which takes place.

That being said, price and cost savings also need to be considered in a long-term angle. In this regard, hydronic systems repay the initial investment through significant cost savings over their lifetime. Electric systems, while proving affordable at the outset, are expensive to run given that heating is generated through electricity.

Accommodation within property

Another angle in which this debate must be analysed is the ease with which both these solutions can be installed in new properties and those under renovation.

Here, we find that electric underfloor heating is much easier to incorporate in refurbishment projects. It also makes a relatively easy fit in small properties, ideal for the many individuals seeking residential heating solutions.

Hydronic underfloor heating, on the other hand, is not the easiest retrofit solution. It is, therefore, more convenient to install these in buildings that are being built from scratch. Installing these in smaller properties also prove to be a more complicated affair and thus make an easier fit in large spaces.

Key takeaways

For those considering radiant underfloor heating options in their properties, there’s much to gain by making the right choice between hydronic underfloor heating and electric underfloor heating.

When we’re asked which option serves heating and cooling needs the best, however, we’re prone to recommend hydronic systems, based on certain property specifications. Given the exceptional energy savings, powerful heating capacity, and superior energy efficiency these systems enjoy, there’s often little left to consider otherwise.

 Find out more about the best hardware for your property!

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