One of the worst things about winter is stepping out of bed onto the freezing floor! While you can put down rugs or wear warm socks, your cold floor is still going to make your room colder. That is, unless you use underfloor heating to keep your floors nice and toasty!
What is underfloor heating?
Underfloor heating is a way to set up heating specifically in your floor. This method of heating keeps your floor warm and allows heat to slowly rise into the rest of your room, resulting in even and natural-feeling warmth.
There are actually two different varieties of underfloor heating systems: electric and water. They are commonly referred to as dry and wet systems, respectively.
Dry system: This consists of a series of electric wires that are installed beneath your floor, which heats the surrounding area. The size of the system will depend on the size of your room, how well it is insulated, what flooring you have, and a variety of other factors.
While an electric system is much easier to install than a wet system, it costs more to operate. An electric system is so easy to install that an amateur handyman can do it, meaning you may not even have to pay an installation fee!
Wet system: Like the dry system, a wet system can also be installed beneath nearly any type of flooring. However, a wet system is much more intricate and complicated to install.
Here’s how it works: Warm water is sent through a system of pipes (similar to the wires in a dry system) that are close to the surface of the floor. Since the pipes are so close to the surface, water isn’t required to be heated all that much to provide a source of heat. This fact alone keeps a wet underfloor heating system very energy efficient.
That said, you’d have to shoulder some extra cost during installation. Setting up such a system means hooking these pipes up to your home’s plumbing in some way (there are a few methods of doing so). Unlike the dry system, you will need a professional to install your system. Therefore, it is also best to only consider a water underfloor heating system if you are building a new house, as it would be prohibitively expensive to install it separately.
The pros and cons of underfloor heating
- Underfloor heating allows you to enjoy warm floors during the winter—no more cold surprises as you lazily roll out of bed in the morning!
- It is an efficient method of heating an entire room, as heat naturally rises. What’s more, you’ll enjoy a consistent temperature in rooms with underfloor heating (as compared to those with a radiator). The diagram on this page illustrates the principle perfectly!
- It is one more heating option to supplement your HVAC system and any other method of heating your home.
- They can take longer to heat up your room than a radiator does.
- The price of installing underfloor heating can be quite expensive, especially if you’re retrofitting an existing room.
Visit the rest of our Bright Insights blog to learn about many other ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home!