The benefits of radiant heating, ranging from silent functionality to energy efficiency, remain undisputed. So, do heated floors save money? Installing underfloor heating to complement the available warm air heating systems is one of the best ways to reduce your utility bills.
Installing underfloor heating may seem costlier, especially compared to other heating solutions, but the savings you get afterward makes them worthwhile. Radiant heating solves the problems common with central floor heating systems Toronto. For one, they distribute heat evenly, meaning you will not have only one side of the room warmer. The underfloor installation also means you will not need bulky radiators taking up too much space in the room. Heat dissipation is also impossible with underfloor heaters, so you can open windows without worrying about losing heat.
So, does in-floor heating save money? Read on to find out.
How To Save Money on Energy Bills With Radiant Floor Heating
Consider Trying Off-Peak Usage
Can underfloor heating save you money? Using radiant flooring during off-peak hours when the rates are lower can save you a lot of money – the only issue is establishing whether your electric utility company offers such rates. You can turn off the heat during the day when the costs are higher, and the heat generated at night will keep the floors warm. You enjoy the comfort and convenience of heated floors until you turn on the heat again at night because the system allows gradual heat release.
Try Different Thermostat Settings
Do heated floors use a lot of electricity? Before you determine this, first find out how a thermostat can help you reduce energy consumption even further. Determine the various settings and features on the thermostat when you get underfloor heating – conversance with them will make it easier to control later.
Radiant heating thermostats are often customizable, meaning you can adjust them according to your needs. For instance, you can schedule the heating to begin when you are almost coming home and let the system turn off when you are at work. Additionally, you can set the temperatures to suit your comfort, depending on whether you are awake or asleep.
Consider Using Pre-Fitted Subflooring
You can avoid spending more money than necessary by planning. List all the materials you need beforehand, allocating a budget for sub-flooring with pre-existing channels. That will increase the ease with which installers will put in the radiant heating tubing, enabling them to complete the job in minutes and not hours.
Be ready to spend more if you choose regular sub-flooring panels. You will need silicone sealant that requires at least 24 hours to cure, meaning a prolonged timeline schedule for the project and higher material expenses. The silicone may also loosen later, forcing you to repeat the job.
Minimize Heat Loss in Several Ways
The performance mechanism of radiant heating systems forms the foundation when determining how to save money on heating. Unlike conventional systems, underfloor heating transmits heat from the floors, meaning the warmth travels from the ground up, allowing most of it to land on the objects and people in the room. Low-level heat concentration means minimal to no heat wastage, contrary to what happens when the heat rises to the ceiling, where most of it gets lost.
Radiant systems do not require ductwork during installation. That means heat does not get lost in the ductwork or other mechanical parts, which is a significant problem with traditional heaters.
Try Pre-Fitted Subflooring
Radiant heating systems can work with regular subflooring or pre-fitted ones for specific purposes. Your choice determines the problems you experience and the effectiveness of the heat transfer. Choosing regular subflooring means budgeting separately for silicon sealant and allocating more time for installation to allow it to cure – you will wait approximately 24 hours after sealant application.
Planning and purchasing the pre-fitted option provide a stress-free alternative. The pre-existing channels in the subflooring allow the installation team to slide the tubing in place easily and quickly. The crew will spend minutes on a task that would have taken them hours to complete.
Consider Utilizing Zone Heating
You do not have to heat the entire house at the same time. Underfloor systems allow you to heat specific areas, consuming less energy. Warm each room according to its use. For instance, set the timer for the system to turn on when you are about to go to the bedroom while turning it off in unused rooms. That allows you to prioritize high-traffic areas like the living room or kitchen.
Use Stone or Tile Flooring For Your Home
Wood may have a timeless aesthetic appeal, but it does not work well with radiant flooring. Contraction and expansion of wood make it more problematic with such heating systems. Choosing it will force your installer to spend more time enforcing measures that ensure the wood remains in perfect condition and does not warp with exposure to heat.
A better option is tile or stone. The materials are better at transferring heat and can withstand heating-cooling cycles without damage. They are also less vulnerable to destruction by moisture.
Consider Installing Your Heated Flooring in a Bigger Area
Installing underflooring heating in a larger area may seem like the opposite of saving money, but it is not. Despite the increased quantity of materials and higher labour costs, covering a larger floor surface of the home will be more cost-efficient in the long run. The chances of getting better discounts when working in a larger area are higher. The installation crew can charge less per square footage when they work on a bigger space, meaning you get more value for your money.
Work out the numbers during the planning phase after you select the type of radiant heating you prefer. Calculating the figures will show you the potential savings or possible additional expenses with the extra area. Do not be surprised if what you get is on the lower end of the spectrum.
How Much Does it Cost to Heat a Room with Underfloor Heating?
The cost for in-floor heating varies according to the radiant heating system you prefer, but the average cost ranges between $8 and $20 per sq. foot. Each heating option has advantages and disadvantages worth considering before purchase – do not focus on the prices only. The difference in price range also depends on several factors worth researching before investing in the heating system.
We have outlined the common in-floor heating types below and are available to answer questions or assist with their selection. Remember, the amount you spend in the end may be on the higher or lower spectrum of the price ranges we mention.
Electric Floor Heating Cost
Electric floor heating systems cost less than all the other options, at approximately $8 to $12 per sq. ft. The system uses thin wires that radiate heat under the floor. That makes the wires vulnerable to damage, which is the main disadvantage of the heating system. The cables cannot last long in high-traffic areas like kitchens or hallways.
An additional disadvantage is a complete overhaul after damage – wire destruction requires changing the entire system, which includes taking the whole floor apart for a new radiant heating installation. You cannot repair or replace individual wires without removing the rest.
You must also consider electricity costs in your area before installing electric floor heating. The system uses approximately 3.66 KWh per sq. ft. each month. That power comes at 17 cents per KWh, meaning you will spend around 62 cents per square foot monthly.
The expensive nature of electricity is the main reason most homeowners choose this heating method when all others are not viable. It is better to do your due diligence as you prioritize your needs and weigh the pros and cons before settling on electric heaters. It may be more suitable if you only need it to supplement the available primary heating unit. For instance, you can add it to an existing forced-air heating unit, which means calculating the costs of running the other system.
Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Cost
Hydronic floor heating uses water that is pumped through tubes to provide warmth. It is the preferable method for most people because water comes at a lower cost and can retain heat for longer. However, is radiant heat expensive? You will spend approximately $20 on installation per square foot on average. The costs may be on the higher end of the range, but the operation charges make up for that.
The average range of running costs is around 30 cents per square foot every month. That makes hydronic heating the best for long-term gains. The amount you spend over time will be significantly less than what you spend on the other options.
Air-Heated Radiant Floor Heating Cost
Air-heated radiant systems are also more expensive than electric systems, the installation cost being around $20 per square foot. The system passes warm air through the tubes to provide the necessary heat. It is not as efficient as the other two alternatives because air does not retain heat well.
Another disadvantage of the air-heated options is potential leakage. You may experience the same issues you get with traditional systems, beating the logic of radiant heating in the first place. The problem can get worse because detecting such leaks is not always easy – most people only realize this when the utility bills increase. Since several factors can cause an increase in bills, your first guess may not be the in-floor pipes. That can allow the issue to advance before you finally discover it. The best scenario is to use the system to supplement an existing one, like a furnace.
Running costs of air-heated underfloor heating systems mirror the ones for traditional forced-air heating and cooling systems. The price ranges from 35 to 70 cents per month on every square footage. The material you choose and the availability of a furnace or another heating system determine the exact amount you spend.
Final Thoughts on Whether Floor Heating Saves You Money
When it comes down to it radiant floor heating can save you money in your home and will. Since the system is designed to keep you comfortable in your home, it does not require as much to heat up and warm up the interior of your house.
Lastly, you do not have to worry about a loss of heat since the heat rises from the ground up and does not blow around in the air near the ceiling in your home.
One thing to keep in mind when you are thinking about having a radiant floor installed is that these floors do cost more to have installed, but with the money you save over time and the lifetime of the system, it will pay for itself in the end.
If you are interested in learning more about floor heating, contact the professionals at Heavenly Heat Inc. today. We are ready to answer all of your questions and provide you with the best services throughout the area.