Which Should You Choose: Gas or Electric Underfloor Heating?
When searching for an under-floor heating system, you will be presented with two options: electric or the gas-powered system. The gas powered system is also referred to as the wet under-floor heating system. This is because it relies on hot water to heat a building.
Wet Heating System
The wet under floor system uses thin pipes that are laid beneath the floors. The pipes carry hot water around the building from the boiler and release heat through the floors. The system still uses radiant heating which means it doesn’t rely on air circulation to heat an area. In places where the boiler is heated using gas, the system is referred to as gas underfloor heating. This is common in the United Kingdom.
Electric Heating System
The second alternative is the electric heating system. This is a system that relies on the use of electric wires that are fitted below the floors. The wires provide heat which radiates to the rest of the room. When the electric current passes through the wires, they become hot. The heat is then transferred through the floors to the rest of the room.
One of the top reasons why most homeowners go for the electric heating system is because it is easier to fit. The installation costs of the electric system are also much lower. On the other hand, the wet under-floor heating system involves a lot of work and it is more expensive to both install and maintain. The system involves an extensive network of pipes which run through the house from the boiler. Another drawback of the wet heating systems is that they can only be fitted where there is adequate space under the floors to accommodate the pipes. Even though it is not problematic to allocate space for the pipes, electric underfloor heating is the most preferred option in existing properties. Wet heating systems are advised in new builds, extensions and extensive extensions.
Although the installation cost of wet under-floor heating is a bit high, the operating cost is much lower when compared with the electric counterpart. The boiler is pressurized which means there is minimal water loss. On the flipside, not all homes are connected to gas supplies. For this reason, the electric heating systems make more sense when it comes to underfloor heating.
All in all, the running cost of both electric and gas heating systems can be reduced significantly through the use of alternative energy sources such as solar panels or the solar water heating systems. The efficacy of the system will also be improved by the use of proper insulation. Proper insulation will not only reduce heat loss but can also improve the heat up time from 2.5 hours to just 20 minutes or less.
As you may have already concluded, the decision to use electric or gas under-floor will depend on your unique situation. If you plan on heating a single room, the electric heating system makes more sense in floor heating. If you are constructing a new building and need an energy efficient heating system, then the gas heating system will be a perfect choice.