Electric Radiant Floor Heating
How do you know if an electric radiant floor system is the choice for you? Simply read below to find out if your needs can be met to make electric radiant floor heating effective for you. Speak with a local HVAC contractor to see if electric radiant floor heating will benefit your home.
Electric radiant floors are known to work best for spot heating in a single room. The smaller the area you need to heat, the better it is to go with electric radiant heat.
To install electric radiant heat in one small room, such as a bathroom, it typically costs about $400- $800, depending on the type of floor, size of the room, etc. A hydronic system for this same size room would be $4,000-$8,000. Electric radiant heat is more cost-effective on projects with five or fewer rooms.
Easier and Less Expensive Startup Costs
Hydronic systems have high startup costs because you have to buy a boiler. So for most, it makes sense to use hydronic systems only if they have a really large area to heat — more than 5 rooms.
Other Advantages to Electric Radiant Heating
- Less Floor Elevation - Electric radiant floors require less elevation of the floor than hydronic systems.
- Energy Saving - The electric heating mats are placed above the sub-floor, just under the flooring material. They will heat the floor in 30 to 60 minutes under tile. They are controlled by a timer and a thermostat and in most cases, the homeowners will preset on-off cycles to provide heat only when they need it and where they need it (selecting rooms and heating from your feet up). Hydronic systems, if placed under a cement slab, can take hours to warm up.
- Less Maintenance - There is almost no maintenance with electric radiant floor heating as there are no moving parts and no water pumps to worry about.
- Lower Operating Costs - The cost of electricity in the US varies between 3 cents/kWh and 18 cents per kWh, so the cost of generating 1,000 BTU with a hydronic system may sometimes be lower than the cost of generating 1,000 BTU with an electric system. However, the real comparison needs to take into account the different ways these two systems are used. The hydronic system will be on for many months, while the electric system will be on and off several times a day according to the settings of each room's thermostat. Moreover, when the electric system is on, it will only use electricity continuously for the initial period of temperature buildup. Thereafter, it will cycle on and off and will only draw electricity for 25% to 33% of the time it remains on. (Source: Radiant-floor-heating.com)