If you’re building a new home, you may be considering in-floor heating options, like radiant floor heating. This innovative and luxurious heating method is growing in popularity across the country. While most buyers are choosing to add radiant floors to new home construction, there has been an increase in radiant flooring renovations. Many building trends fall in and out of popularity, so if you’re considering adding an underfloor heating system, you may be wondering if it’s worth it.
Pros & Cons of Radiant Floor Heating
Traditional heating systems can keep your home just as warm. So, you should begin your decision-making process by considering the pros and cons of radiant heat and deciding whether it’s right for you. Underfloor heating systems can keep your house warm and cozy, but they will come at a cost. The cost of installation may be a hurdle for many buyers when compared to the cost of installing a traditional system, but when the overall costs of ownership are totaled, it could be a viable option for you.
- Pro – Radiant Heat is Energy Efficient: There are two types of radiant flooring, electric and water. While each system provides reliable heat, they create it using different means. Both types of heating warm a room from the floor up. Water-based systems use hot water in pipes to create warmth and electric units use underground wiring to generate heat. Traditional heating systems, like radiators, require consistent high temperatures to warm a room effectively. Radiators require a high temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or sometimes higher, and radiant floors only require a high temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Because radiant flooring systems require a lower high temperature, they use a fraction of the energy needed by a radiator. Additionally, radiators warm the areas nearest to them first, which is why many radiator-warmed spaces suffer from uneven heating. When it’s difficult to accurately achieve the desired temperature in your space, it’s easy to use more energy than intended.
- Con – Costly Installation: Depending on the size of your home, radiant flooring can quickly become an expensive addition to your home. Conservative estimates put the cost of installation for a radiant floor heating system between $10 and $20 per square foot. The cost per square foot doesn’t usually include electrical work to connect the system to a power source. Electrifying the system can easily add another $200 or more dollars to the overall cost of installation. The minimum cost to install an electric radiant flooring system would start at $500 and increase based on square footage, quality of services, and professional labor costs. Water systems usually cost anywhere from two to three times more than an electrical system.
- Pro – Ease of Use: After installation, underfloor heating systems require little to no maintenance. Most systems come with a 30-year peace of mind guarantee. When coupled with innovative thermostats, like Wi-Fi or programmable units, they are easy to run. After you’ve programmed the system to come on and off as desired, you can almost forget about it.
- Con – Installation Time: Installation of an underfloor system can be costly, and it can also take a few weeks before your radiant heating system is ready for use. For electrical systems, technicians usually need a few days to allow the self-leveling compound added to the system to dry. Once the system has dried, the floor covering can be added, which can take an additional day or two. For water systems, it can take even longer because the components are different.
- Pro – Safe Heating Source: Once your underfloor heating system is fully installed, you don’t have to worry about protecting members of your household from the hot surfaces or sharp edges of a heating system. You also don’t have to worry about air quality issues because radiant flooring keeps the air full of oxygen.
- Con – Floor Height Difference: Installing a radiant flooring system can increase the height in a room by ½ of an inch or less. In addition to the heating components, you would also need to install insulation boards that can add another inch to the floor height in the space.
Remodeling a home to add radiant heating is an important consideration that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you wait until you’re renovating a home or building a new one, it can cut the labor costs of installing radiant heat. Call us today at (770) 749-7667 to schedule an appointment or consultation to discuss adding radiant heating in your home.