Heating systems are one of the most important installations in a building. A room without proper heating is unsuitable for comfortable living. Many homeowners decide to install heated floors in their houses. What should you know about such systems and which type of underfloor heating is best for you?
Table of contents
- What should you know about heated floors?
- Electric floor heating
- Water underfloor heating
- Water vs. electric floor heating - which is better?
Heated floors have many advantages. The most important aspect is the fact that it is practically invisible - as the name suggests, the system is hidden in the floor. For this reason one can furnish their room without any limitations. Traditional heating systems involve external heaters, which reduce available space. It is especially troublesome in small interiors.
In addition to aesthetics, heated floors are exceptionally efficient. Irrespective of the particular chosen method, floor heating guarantees that the temperatures spread evenly in every place. Conventional systems with external radiators cause accumulation of the warmth in the upper areas of the room. Floor heating does the opposite. The highest temperature remains by the floor.
This can significantly reduce the bills. More importantly, heated floors are considered one of the most healthy heating systems.
One of the most important features of floor heating is the power. It differs in each case. Similar to other heating installations, a crucial aspect is type of the room in which heated floors are going to be installed. Thinking of how much power is needed, one should consider the size of the area, the intended use, as well as thermal insulation of the building. Another matter is the type of the flooring - dashboard requires different amount of power than tile floor. Why? If the power is too low, the system will not be able to heat the whole room, whereas too powerful heating would make the space uncomfortable.
There are many types of heated floors. Water and electric floor heatings are the most popular. Which one is the best?
Electric floor heating has many advantages. It is easy to install in any type of space in any building. It can be used as the primary heating system, as well as a complimentary one.
The installation of electric floor heating is very cheap. However experts claim that the further exploitation of the system costs more than water installations. It is related to the fact that electricity costs are constantly increased. Electric floor heating is the most beneficial is small buildings that are thermally insulated.
There is, however, a solution that can significantly reduce the costs of electrically heated floors. The renewable energy sources, more specifically solar power might be the key. Photovoltaic modules are able to fuel this type of floor heating. Although it is a costly investment which pays back after several years, it might be worth the effort. Additionally, many might be convinced by the fact that such solution is eco-friendly.
Water based floor heating is much more popular method than the electric one. Its biggest advantage is the low cost of installation and of running. It should, however, be planned as early as possible - at the construction phase or when designing the apartment. The reason for that is the fact that water floor heating has to be connected to the plumbing system of the building.
Water underfloor heating is highly recommended with condensing boilers or heat pumps, which will provide the highest efficiency. Nonetheless, this type of floor heating can be connected with any other source, such as gas or oil boiler, as well as with solar panels.
A great advantage of this type of heated floors is the fact that it can also be used for cooling. It can function in similar fashion to air conditioning. Experts claim that this type of cooling is healthy, as it doesn’t involve letting the contaminated air inside. It is especially beneficial for allergic sufferers. Regardless, cooling rooms through floor has disadvantages as well. First of all, it is very costly.
Moreover, cold air remaining by the floor might be uncomfortable for some people. Besides, with big differences of temperature, water may condense on the floor. It might increase the humidity of the room.
Both of the solutions - water and electric floor heating have their pros and cons. Before deciding which one is better, one should consider several issues, such as:
- where it will be installed,
- whether it is going to be the main or complimentary heating system,
- if it will be used solely for heating or for cooling as well,
- how much one can spend on the system,
- what type of floor is in the building,
- whether the building has thermal insulation,
- whether the system is meant to be eco-friendly.
The answer to this question will help to pick the best system, fit for the building and individual expectations.