Radiant Floor Heating: Electric vs. Hydronic Systems
Radiant Floor Heating Solutions
With all the research you have done there is a lot of talk about two different kinds of radiant in floor heating Toronto: electric and hydronic. You might know a little about each one, but have you considered the benefits, and drawbacks, of each enough so that you know exactly which one you want to install when the time comes? Here are the pros and cons to each kind of system so you can figure out exactly which one is right for you.
Pros of an Electric Heating System
Electric radiant heating works with a series of electric cables or mats built into the floor that conduct electricity. Due to the fact that it does not use hot water this kind of system can be efficiently integrated into a home currently used forced air heating. This kind of system works incredibly well if you are looking to heat small, individual spaces like a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. Another benefit to this kind of system is that it is easily installed, and is ideal for remodeling projects that are not overhauling an entire house at once. The labour costs are minimal, and after it is installed you can set the heat to run on a time so that your home is not heating rooms at times you are not going to be using them. This also works to keep the temperature minimal until you are home and want it to be a bit warmer.
Cons of an Electric Heating System
Unfortunately there are a few downsides to using this kind of radiant floor heating. The biggest one is that this system uses a large amount of hydro due to the fact that it is electric heating, so it results in large utility bills. Further it is difficult to install in large spaces, or throughout an entire home. As mentioned it is ideal for small spaces like bedrooms or bathrooms, so if you are looking to renovate your entire home this might not be the right option for you.Finally this kind of system is not designed to be a primary source of heat, but rather an additional comfort item for your home. With that in mind it would not be recommended to outfit your entire home with this heating source, but you could place it in rooms you notice you would like a little extra comfort during the winter months.
Pros of Hydronic Radiant Floor Heat
Another way to fuel radiant floor heating technology is by using hot water, instead of electricity. In this kind of system hot water is pumped through tubes, which are laid under the flooring and are used to provide heat. One of the biggest pros to this kind of system is that it is incredibly efficient and keeps your home at a consistent, comfortable and even temperature, year round. This kind of system is recommended for installation in homes that currently use hot water as a primary source of heat because it can be easily diverted into the floor instead of having to do more installations. Another benefit to this kind of system, along with consistent temperatures, is that once your home reaches your desired temperature it takes very little energy to maintain it making it incredibly efficient. Further there are no visible ducts in your home, and you will experience energy savings on your utility bills.
Cons of Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating
The biggest drawback to this kind of system is that the labour and installation costs are significantly higher than electric systems. While you can install an electric system in a small room yourself it is not recommended to install hyrdronic systems yourself, but rather have professionals set it up. The scale of these systems is also a large draw back. If you are not prepared to install it throughout your entire house you might experience difficulties. This system is much more complex than its electric counterpart and is not really designed to be installed on a small scale.Finally this system is not designed for homeowners who like to change the temperature of their home at various times of the day. This kind of heating is designed for consistent heat, so if you prefer to have your house colder while you are at work and warmer when you get home it may not be the best option for you.There are pros and cons to both types of heating and it doesn’t mean one is better than the other, but it might mean one is much more suited to you and your lifestyle based on the needs of your home and potentially your budget. By carefully considering the advantages and drawbacks to each one you will be able to determine which is right for you.