Is Electric Underfloor Heating Efficient?

  • There is still a lot of confusion as to just how efficient underfloor heating can be. The extent of the energy saving abilities of underfloor heating can be seen from various studies putting the energy consumption anywhere between 52% less and 10% more than conventional heating systems.
  • The confusion is caused by the extent of the reduction in ambient air temperature. With radiant heating systems, approximately half the energy is emitted into the room as low temperature radiant heat. This process is very efficient as it provides a lower ambient air temperature allowing you to feel warmer at a lower temperature because the radiant heat is lowering the heat loss from your body. However, you will not fully benefit from these energy savings if you overheat the room to maintain the ambient air temperature you are used to with conventional heating.
  • Energy savings vary depending on the insulation, usage patterns and personal requirements of the occupants. Other factors to bear in mind include the cost of the power source.
Advanced Zoning Ability Leads To Efficiency Gains
Electric underfloor heating tends to be controlled on a room-by-room basis (rather than one central thermostat for central heating). This creates the ideal situation for floor heating efficiency. Warmup thermostats can be programmed to only heat rooms when it is required. This leads to large efficiency gains as energy isn't wasted heating rooms that don't require heating at that time. This also leads to a higher comfort level as rooms which require less heating can have their own heat setting which means they won't be overheated or underheated.
The difference in running costs between typical heating systems such as radiators and underfloor heating systems will vary according to the thermal characteristics of your individual house, the age and efficiency of your boiler or traditional heating system, your usage pattern, the control systems implemented and your particular gas and electricity tariff. The many variables make it impossible to provide a reliable rule of thumb. As a general principle with Warmup a 10-15% energy saving should be possible using insulated underfloor heating when compared to conventional electric heating.
"It not only makes ecological sense, but economical sense to prepare for a new era of clean, renewable fuel by installing electric floor heating"
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