August 20, 2015 Guest Post
If you are interested in the installation of hydronic floor heating but have been hesitant to take the plunge because you don’t know much about it, we are sure that you will have a number of questions. In this second installment, we have covered some more of the most frequently asked questions regarding these heating systems in the hopes of helping you reach a final decision.
• “What variables should I consider before purchasing?”
There are actually a number of variables that will impact the capital and running costs of your heating system, including: frequency and time of use; the size of the application; the heat loss of your home; the insulation levels of the building; and whether you use a combination of electric and hydronic systems or not.
• “Can floor heating be installed in new homes and renovations?”
In short, the answer is yes. Whilst these systems are best installed at the initial time of construction, it can also be added during a renovation (however, specific conditions must be met). It should be noted that a system installed during a renovation will require the finished floor height to be raised considerably.
• “I would like to heat my entire house – how will the frequency of use and application size impact the system I choose?”
It is important to note that hydronic floor heating is best used in spaces that are 100m2 or larger, making it well suited for keeping the whole house warm. You will also find that in-slab systems are not overly fast acting – they can take two days to heat up at the beginning of the season.
• “I would like to heat my ensuite or bathroom – how will the frequency of use and application size impact the system I choose?”
When greater heating flexibility is required (as is the case for small areas, such as an ensuite or bathroom), you will find that an electric system may actually better meet your needs. The mats can be laid directly under the floor and can actually be quite economical.
• “How do the costs of electric and hydronic compare?”
This is a hotly debated question, but it is important to note that there are a number of variables that must be considered. The cost of electricity and gas will fluctuate due to changing market conditions. This will impact the running costs. A hydronic system is significantly more expensive to buy and install, however.
• “How can I ensure the most cost savings?”
Both electric and hydronic systems should be installed over some form of insulation; this will help to minimise heat loss and ensure the highest level of energy efficiency. You should also utilise a high quality electric thermostat; this will allow you to independently control the temperature of specific rooms or areas.
We hope that we have answered some of the other concerns that you may have had regarding hydronic floor heating (and that were not addressed in the first installment of this article). If you have any more questions or worries, we recommend speaking with a heating specialist. They will have all the facts for the use of hydronics in your particular area.