Underfloor heating is increasingly overtaking traditional radiators as the preferred heating solution, however, the cost is always a key consideration.
Radiators, although more cost effective at first, can prove to be highly inefficient in the long run with issues such as overheating and energy wastage impacting homeowners’ comfort and causing bills to rise.
Wet underfloor heating systems will cost more upfront than their electric alternatives but they are likely to be more cost-saving than electric throughout the system’s lifespan.
COST OF UNDERFLOOR HEATING VS. RADIATORS
Radiators were introduced as a luxury back in the 1930s but this form of heating is becoming increasingly outdated and overshadowed by more efficient underfloor heating systems. Radiators are inherently prone to overheating, which makes them significantly less efficient.
They also produce hot and cold spots, which means that in order to feel warm further away users need to turn up the temperature. This reduces cold spots but simultaneously makes the area near the radiator even hotter than necessary.
When this overheating occurs it often leads to windows being opened, meaning energy and money is wasted. According to Carbon Trust overheating by just 1% can increase fuel costs by 8%.
This expense is leading more and more people to wet underfloor heating systems, which are around 25% more efficient than radiators when paired with a modern condensing boiler and up to 40% more efficient when running from a heat pump. This increased efficiency means the runnings costs of UFH are often lower than traditional radiator systems.
COST OF WET UNDERFLOOR HEATING VS. ELECTRIC UNDERFLOOR HEATING
As with any product on the market, the price of underfloor heating depends on the quality.
There are cheap options available, but you pay for what you get and the level of quality of a system will impact longevity, efficiency, and performance. Electric underfloor heating is the cheaper option to both buy and install, however, the running costs are much higher than wet systems which means that it is very expensive in the long run.
Spending more upfront on a wet underfloor heating system means having a more efficient long-term heating solution, with maximum comfort for homeowners.
COST OF UNDERFLOOR HEATING IN NEW BUILD PROPERTIES VS. RETROFITTING IN EXISTING PROPERTIES
If incorporated at new build stage UFH is a very cost-effective solution, but if installed as a retrofit system it will be significantly more expensive.
Screeded underfloor heating systems are a cost-effective choice for new build projects, with the additional benefit of quick installation.
With a retrofit UFH system, more materials are supplied, such as pre-routed panels or specialist levelling compound, and this means it can cost more. However, the system that is installed will be one that’s entirely tailored to the requirements of the particular project and will be designed for minimum floor build up, having no impact on floor height.
For projects with particularly unique requirements, specialist systems can be necessary. The AmbiChipboard specialist system, for example, costs more because it combines a structural floor and underfloor heating solution but it can be a more cost-effective solution in the long-term. This is because a two in one solution eliminates the need to acquire and install a UFH system and floor construction separately.
COST OF INSTALLING WET UNDERFLOOR HEATING
Ambiente systems are designed to be as easy to install as possible, reducing the installation time, and therefore the overall cost. The AmbiCastellated system for example features ‘castles’ to make pipework installation neater and easier.
Here at Ambiente, we provide technical support, advice and in-depth installation guides to ensure installers are well equipped and knowledgeable on the system. The less time spent on site, phoning customer service or searching for the right system, the lower the costs!
Click here to view some of our UFH installation guides.
MOST AFFORDABLE UNDERFLOOR HEATING
The Ambiente AmbiTak system is the most affordable in our range. This system has been designed for a quick install, with a printed grid to help installers achieve the correct pipe spacings. The flexible pipe layout allows it to adapt to the space and the tacker staples which are used to secure the system also help to minimise installation times and cost.
Alternatively, you can opt for the cost-effective AmbiDuoClip system, which is a hybrid solution that combines the benefits of the AmbiTak and AmbiClip systems. This is required if AmbiTak is the preferred option but the insulation board is either not deep enough to allow the pipe to be securely held with tacker clips alone, or the insulation is a PUR type board which lacks the required density to hold the clips in place.
Thinking of installing wet underfloor heating in your next project?
Get in touch today for your wet underfloor heating quote – call us on 01707 649 118 or fill out our online enquiry form.
Did you find this article useful? Check out these posts on which is the best underfloor heating system for raised access floors and which is the best underfloor heating for screeded floors.
This article was written by Robert Tuffin.
Robert is the General Manager at Ambiente and has been working in the underfloor heating industry since 2012.