Electric Or Water Underfloor Heating, Which One Is Better?

by | May 24, 2022 | HVAC

Electric Or Water Underfloor Heating installation price

Are you decided to make your home have an underfloor heating system? If yes, you may want to know which one suits you the most, an electric or water underfloor heating system. Those two systems are the underfloor heating system that is available on the market now. Before that, we should know the difference between those two.

How Does It Work?

Are you wondering about how electric or water underfloor heating works? Underfloor electric heating will use an electric heating cable that is connected to the main supply. Sometimes using heating mats or even both.

Meanwhile, the water underfloor heating system works by heating pipes to pump water with the heat source and circulate the water in-circuit under the floor. So, that’s how the two-floor heater work.

Type of Project That Suits the System

The electric one is suited for the renovated project, and it is better for single room use. If you are working on a renovation, this electric underfloor heating may be more suitable because it does not increase the floor height significantly. The heater cable can be fitted even if it is just a layer of leveling compound. The electric system can also be a choice if you just want to install the heating system in one or two rooms.

The water one is different. It is recommended for a new-build project. And it can be used in larger spaces. Why does it recommend a new build rather than a renovation? Because it requires installation with a thick layer of screed. And it has greater system depth compared to the electric heater. 

Which One Costs More?

Cost is one of the most important factors before you can decide which one suits you. So basically, it is a little bit tricky. The installation cost of the electric one is cheaper than the water one. But the running cost of the electric one is more expensive than the water one. The electric system uses electricity to heat the floor. 

So, it can cost higher in the running time compared to the water system. The water system uses a boiler to heat the water and then circulate it under the floor. You can also combine several methods on how you can boil the water.

The Installation Processes

The electric underfloor heating has rapid installation times. Sometimes it can be installed in just 30 minutes. It is suitable for small rooms like bathrooms or as a secondary heating source in larger spaces. Heating a large area with an electric system may not be desirable because it has low efficiency in energy.

The water underfloor heating system takes much longer to install. It is recommended to install under the ground floor. It can be used in larger spaces with more efficiency in energy usage.

In case you need more information about those two systems, here is the more detailed info.

Electric Underfloor Heating System

This type of flooring is powered by electrical energy and installed under the floor cover. It has a structure that, when heated, will transfer the heat to the ground.

For safety reasons, this heat-emitting structure is insulated. It is done by using a waterproof extruded polystyrene sheet.

However, it can also be isolated. The structure will be covered on both sides by a fiberglass mesh inside a fine cement mortar. This type of insulation is much more efficient in terms of heat conditioning.

Water Underfloor Heating System

First of all, it should be noted that this type of heating system is the one that provides the greatest energy savings and a shorter payback time. This is because its efficiency is considerably higher.

This system achieves an ambient temperature of between 18ºC and 22ºC thanks to the fact that the water that heats the soil reaches a maximum temperature of 46ºC. If water is heated with a boiler, this system saves a 30% energy bill compared to the system explained above.

Besides, the use of the boiler can be combined with heat pumps and condensing boilers. Therefore, the energy efficiency will be much higher. 

After all the explanations, have you decided which one suits you the most? Is it the electric one or the water one? It is up to you to choose an electric or water underfloor heating system. It is hard to tell which is better. So, pick the one that suits you.