Pros and Cons of Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular. We have seen its widespread adoption recently for new houses and for renovations. Underfloor heating is now far more competitively priced due to technological advancements. Because hot air rises, traditional wall mounted radiators effectively heat a room from the ceiling down. Underfloor heating obviously does the opposite. It works in two ways, either from heated electrical cables or heated water passing through pipes.

Whether or not underfloor heating is right for you depends on a number of factors and in this article we list the pros and cons of underfloor heating so that you can make an informed decision.


Pros



  1. No more unsightly radiators and of course the extra space you get from not having them.
  2. Unlike radiators the maintenance costs are virtually not existent.
  3. On a cold morning a warm floor on your bare feet feels amazing.
  4. Water left on a bathroom or kitchen floor will evaporate much faster.
  5. Most people aren't aware that underfloor heating can actually be used with almost any type of flooring including: stone, hardwood, carpet, etc.
  6. Your heating bill will be reduced around 25%.

Cons



  1. Traditional radiators cover a smaller area and as such often heat up faster.
  2. Certain furniture such as pianos does not fare well on a heated floor - the list is fairly short but it's worth checking beforehand.
  3. If you aren't in the process of renovating or a new build then the cost of pulling up the floor and putting it back to allow installation can be prohibitive.
  4. You need to use an expert to install it, for the same reason as point 3, if there are any issues it is difficult and costly to fix.
Electric underfloor heating systems are significantly cheaper than the water alternative when it comes to installation. However, when comparing cost for cost you have to factor in the higher energy bill that comes with electrical.

If you are looking to retro fit underfloor heating to an existing property then you need to be aware that the easiest way to achieve this is to lay the pipes/cable on top of the existing flooring and then cover this with another layer of flooring. This obviously causes the floor level to rise and means that skirting boards and doors will also have to be raised.

Undoubtedly the trend for making our homes more energy efficient will continue both for environmental reasons and to reduce costs for the consumer. Demand will continue to increase and this will lead to further technological developments. If the cost is the prohibiting factor for you today, then waiting 5 years or so may make all the difference.