The Differences Between Hydronic and Electric Radiant In-Floor Heating

Have you decided that you want to enjoy the comfort of radiant in-floor heating in your home? If so, you'll need to decide which method you want to use to install this heating system in your home. You can either use a hydronic or electric in-floor heating system, with each method having their own advantages over other systems. Here is what you need to know about the differences between the two before you make a decision.

Electric Is Easier to Install

When it comes to the installation, you will find that electric in-floor radiant heat is going to be the easier installation. It goes in with heating mats that are placed underneath the floor and requires the least amount of work to get the system up and running. The hydronic counterpart uses water, so it is going to be much more complicated. The boiler needs to be installed and pipes run to each room of your home. Conversely, it is difficult to retrofit a hydronic system in a home without some major construction.

Hydronic Is More Cost Efficient

If you are okay with the installation costs, hydronic heating may be the better option in terms of long-term savings. That is because it is much cheaper to run a hydronic heating system than one that uses electricity, which is due to the simple cost of heating water compared to supplying electricity to those heating mats. The other thing to consider is that the hot water will retain its heat much longer than an electric heating mat that has been powered down. This means that once the room reaches the desired temperature, it will stay that way for a while without having to keep the system running.

Electric Heat Works Faster

The time it takes for a room to heat up with an electric heating system is going to be much faster than a hydronic system. This is something to consider depending on which room of the home the heating system is in. For example, if you just want to use radiant heat for a bathroom so that your feet are warm when coming out of the shower, an electric system may be better since it will be plenty warm by the time you are done showering.

Still not sure which method of radiant in-floor heating is going to work best for you? Reach out to a local heating service professional for more information on these two heating methods.


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