“Is in-floor heating worth it?” You may be pondering this question if considering an underfloor heating system.
For anyone that has ever experienced heated floors, the easy answer is yes. Radiant floors are perfect for Calgary winters. They provide continuous, toasty warm heat to cold spaces exceptionally energy efficient.
Of course, there are costs involved, and every home is different. Learning more about these heating systems will help you decide if radiant underfloor heating is right for you.
How Does Radiant In-Floor Heating Work?
Radiant systems work by warming the entire floor and allowing heat to rise. There are two common types of underfloor heating systems, electric and hydronic. They work similarly but generate heat in different ways.
Electric In-Floor Heating
Electric heated floors operate through a system of electric cables installed underneath your flooring. The wires connect to your home electrical system, and a thermostat easily controls the heating system.
Hydronic In-Floor Heating
Hydronic heating systems work using heated water vs. electricity. A series of pipes installed beneath the floor circulate hot water throughout the heating system. In most cases, a boiler and a pump are required to heat and deliver the water to the hydronic system.
How Much Does Radiant In-Floor Heating Cost?
The price of an in-floor heating system can be as little as $8 per square foot to approximately $20 per square foot. Why such an extensive range? Because the cost reflects the type of system, the installation’s complexity, the job’s size, and more.
Cost of Electric Floor Heating Systems
Electric in-floor heating systems costs come in at the low end, averaging between $8 and $12 per square foot—it is surprising how affordable they are. This is because the wire-based systems are relatively cheap to manufacture and are easy to install.
It’s important to note that electricity isn’t free. So even though radiant floors are energy efficient and offer significant cost savings over time, you will see higher energy bills during heavy-use months.
Cost of Hydronic Floor Heating
Hydronic radiant heat costs much more at roughly $20 per square foot. In addition, the system itself is more complex, and installation is trickier. You also need to purchase a boiler and pump for the system to work.
However, water is cheap, and this keeps energy costs in check.
Pros And Cons Of Radiant In-Floor Heating
An in-floor heating system is a wonderful upgrade, but it’s essential to balance all the benefits with a few drawbacks before making a purchase decision.
Pros of Radiant In-Floor Heating
Comfort: You enjoy ultimate home comfort when you install heated floors. Imagine how nice it is to step down onto perfectly warm bedroom and bathroom floors.
Quiet: A radiant heating system is silent. There are no startup sounds or constant humming.
Versatility: Radiant floor heating works with almost any floor covering. It works incredibly well with a stone, concrete or tile floor as these materials retain heat so well. It’s also perfectly compatible with particular wood flooring and some carpets. We’d be happy to help you decide the best flooring material for your radiantly heated rooms.
Energy Efficiency: Radiant heating is an energy-saving system. There is no ductwork involved, so heat loss isn’t a concern. They also uniformly heat your rooms. This even heat distribution means you won’t experience temperature fluctuations or the cold spots that conventional heating systems produce. Radiant systems also warm air very quickly, and with a programmable thermostat, you can fine-tune your settings to save more energy during the winter months.
Cons of Radiant In-Floor Heating
Installation Cost: Installing a radiant floor heating system is a complex process. It involves removing and replacing flooring, connecting the system to your power supply, and more. As a result, upfront costs are higher than other traditional heating systems. (Over time, though, you will recoup this expense by reducing energy usage.)
Installation Time: Although we often want instant results, radiant floor installation can take a long time depending on the flooring materials and compounds used. For this reason, it’s ideal for installing radiant heat in floor systems during renovations, like during a bathroom remodel. But, of course, every situation is different; we’d be happy to explain the process and provide a time estimate for you.
Floor Height: Radiant heat systems raise floor height slightly. (Hydronic systems add more height than electric systems.) We suggest adding threshold or transition strips between areas with differing heights.
How Long Does Radiant In-Floor Heating Last?
The longevity of in-floor radiant heating systems is remarkable. You can expect an electric system to last 30+ years. The same applies to hydronic heated floors, but other components required for this type of system (namely the boiler and pump) will likely need to be replaced sooner.
Radiant heating systems have such a long lifespan because they are made of incredibly durable materials; they are built to last. And, regular preventative maintenance will further extend the life of your system. Any potential concerns will be identified and remedied by a licensed professional.
25 Year Total Care Warranty
It’s important to be covered by a warranty, especially once your radiant floor heating stops working. As a testament to our confidence in the Nuheat heating systems we install, a 25-Year Total Protection Warranty is included with every installation. It covers the product itself, plus repairs, replacement of the system (if deemed necessary) and any resulting installation costs.
Professional Installation of Radiant In-Floor Heating Systems in Calgary
Installing radiant floor heating systems involves electrical wiring that must meet Alberta’s electrical code to be safe for your home and family.
It’s a project you shouldn’t do yourself, so be safe and only trust this type of work to professional electricians. Certified journeypersons at Sun Electrical will install your in-floor heating system right the first time, and we back up our efforts with a workmanship guarantee. Simply put, we’re not satisfied until you are satisfied, so we’ll keep working until any problems are fully solved.