How much will it cost for you to enjoy a cosy, warm home or office without unsightly radiators? If underfloor heating is something you’re considering, then it’s understandable your first concern might be the cost. The cost of installation, and also underfloor heating running costs, both depend on a variety of factors. That includes whether or not you’re planning a new build or making renovations. Of course, the size of the area to be heated also comes into play. The following 5 considerations can act as a guide to the cost of installing underfloor heating.
1. Wet or Dry – Water or Electricity?
One of the first decisions you need to make is what type of heating to use; water or electricity. There are pros and cons for each type as follows:
- Pros and Cons of Water Underfloor Heating:
It runs very efficiently and works well at low temperatures. It’s especially efficient when used alongside a heat pump. The initial installation costs are generally higher than electric, and pipes can be difficult to reach for repairs or maintenance. Quotes for installing wet underfloor heating can be in the region of £100 per square metre.
- Pros and Cons of Electric Underfloor Heating:
It’s less expensive and easier to install than water heating since there’s no pipe work involved. This is especially advantageous on upper floors. On the downside, electric systems are costly to run. Placement of furniture and heavy items will also need to be considered, to prevent potential damage. Quotations for installing electric underfloor heating can start from around £20 per square metre.
For a free quotation on either wet or dry underfloor heating, contact EcoHeatCool here.
2. New Build or Retrofit?
Costs of underfloor heating systems vary depending on whether you are renovating an existing home, or building from scratch:
- New Build Costs of Underfloor Heating:
A standard screed underfloor heating system is an economical choice for a new build. Installation is quick and it fits neatly into the build schedule. For a 3-bedroom home of approximately 100 square metres you could expect to pay around £2800-£3000. That works out at approximately £30 per square metre, excluding the screed.
- Retrofit Costs of Underfloor Heating:
When you’re installing underfloor heating in an existing home it tends to cost more than a new build. More materials are generally needed. For an average family home with a downstairs floor area of 60 square meters, you could look at paying around £4500. That’s approximately £75 per square metre, inclusive.
3. Different Types of Flooring
The type of flooring you choose will affect the temperature you will be able to achieve with your underfloor heating system. Tile and stone are dense, solid materials which are good conductors of heat. Softer materials such as wood, laminate, linoleum, vinyl, and carpet have comparatively lower conductivity.
- Wood can be heated to a maximum of 27°C
- Tile and Stone can be heated to a maximum temperature of 29°C
- Vinyl can be heated to a maximum temperature of 27°C
- Carpet can be heated to a maximum temperature of 27°C
4. Insulation Considerations
Insulation plays an essential role in getting the best heat output in the right direction – that is into your living or working space, where it is needed. Without insulation there’s a likelihood that the heat generated will escape downwards. This of course wastes not only heat, but also energy and money. A good way to insulate your floor is with insulation boards. These are fitted directly below the heating units, pipes or screed, thus effectively directing the heat upwards through your flooring. For more information on different types of insulation available see here.
5. Heat Loss Calculations
Individual room sizes, the rates of air change and the temperature to be maintained all affect heat loss calculations. There are two principal ways in which heat is lost:
- Fabric Heat Loss:
This happens when structural elements of the building allow heat to escape. For example; the windows, walls, roof and the floor. The coefficient of heat transmission is known as the U-value. Building construction methods can have an impact on this value. Also, the difference in air temperature between the inside and outside has an effect.
- Infiltration Heat Loss:
This kind of heat loss occurs when warm air escapes from the building, into the cold air outside. Infiltration heat loss is the product of room volume, the number of air changes per hour, the temperature difference and the heat of the air.
Now that you’ve looked at these 5 considerations and counted the cost of underfloor heating, you should be in a better position to take the next step. Whichever option you choose, you can look forward to warmth under your feet and the comfortable, even distribution of heat around your home or workplace.
As an experienced and reputable installer of various underfloor heating systems, both in residential and commercial premises throughout the U.K., EcoHeatCool are here to help.
Our consultants will work with you to carry out complex heat loss calculations. They’ll also advise you on the best solution for success when it comes to installing underfloor heating in your property, and can talk to you about keeping underfloor heating running costs down. Contact us today for a free, no obligation quote.