When Midwestern winters reach peak freezing temperatures, many homeowners long for additional sources of heat in their homes. If you want to give your home interior a worthwhile upgrade during the coldest months of the season, why not install heated floors? Not only will heated floors give your property value a boost, but you will also get a dose of warmth under your feet. Heated floors are for more rooms in your home than just bathrooms. Heated floors are a must-have convenience and comfort for every room in the house!
Is It Worth Having Heated Floors?
Is it worth having heated floors? Does the price justify the experience they offer? Let’s unpack everything you need to know about installing heated floors in your home.
How do heated floors work?
Underfloor heating options differ from a gas heater or fireplace that disperses heat into the room. Heated floors push heat up, warming your feet while leaving the air around you cool. Therefore, heated floors won’t impact your HVAC system or fireplace and its efficiency.
Electric heating is the most common and affordable floor heating system available, so we’ll focus on that for the basis of this post. Hydronic radiant floor heating systems run heated water through pipes under the floor, whereas electric systems run wires through the subfloor material.
Whether opting for electric or radiant floor heat, both systems serve the same role of providing uniform heating across the room. Typically, electric floor heating systems take around 30 to 60 minutes to reach the ideal temperature setting.
Electronic floor heating systems come with programmable thermostats. They allow you to set the heat to turn on for around an hour before you get up, so you have warm floors first thing in the morning. If you heat your entire home using radiant heat, you can easily control the floor temperature for energy efficiency and cost savings.
Safety Requirements with Heated Floors
One of the considerations for installing electric floor heating is applying for an electrical permit before starting the project. You’ll need to complete this step even if you plan on completing the project yourself.
The permit includes an electrical inspection and certificate you’ll have to provide if you sell your home. Don’t skip this step, or you could open yourself to liability. Not to mention, a professional inspection is important to ensure safety. You don’t want an electrical fire burning down your home.
What are the Pros of Electric Underfloor Heating?
- It’s ideal for smaller rooms in the home.
- Electric floor heating systems are more affordable than hydronic systems.
- Suitable for use under a natural stone or tiled floor.
- Near maintenance-free after installation.
What are the Cons of Electric Underfloor Heating?
- Electric underfloor heating is more suited to smaller rooms rather than larger rooms
- It’s affordable and energy efficient but expensive to install.
What are the Benefits of Heated Flooring?
Most high-quality underfloor heating systems come with a 20 to 25-year warranty. They don’t require any maintenance throughout their lifespan.
Radiant heated flooring provides a 20 to 25 percent higher energy-efficient rating than conventional forced air heating systems. Homeowners can expect significant savings on their heating costs over the floor’s lifetime.
A forced air heating system distributes warm air throughout the room. On the other hand, heated floors heat the entire floor, leading to an evenly heated room. As a result, you feel cold drafts less often, much cozier, and more comfortable at lower ambient room temperatures.
Increase Your Property Value
Heated floors increase your home’s value and most increase the appeal of your property to prospective buyers, particularly luxury-seeking millennials and Gen X’ers.
What are the Disadvantages of Heated Flooring?
Installing heated flooring in your home is a costly experience. However, while you pay a lot upfront, the eventual energy savings will pay for the entire floor setup over its lifetime.
Replacing your Flooring
If you have existing tiles or laminate, you’ll need to rip out the old flooring to install the heating system in the subfloor and then replace the flooring system. This can be an expensive exercise, though, worthwhile. Tile is the best choice for your new flooring system as it conducts heat well.
Should you install heated flooring?
If you’re considering installing underfloor heating in your home, it can help to weigh the pros and cons first. Sure, it might cost you more upfront, but the convenience and energy savings will pay off over the long run.
You’ll have to ensure professional fitment if you don’t have any handy experience. Even if you do complete a DIY fitment, remember to apply for your permit and have the installation professionally inspected.
Related reading: Radiant Heating (Energy.gov)
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