Comparison With Hydronic Systems

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Electric On Demand vs Hydronic Storage Systems

A Livella electric underfloor heating systems has a number of advantages over an in-slab hydronic system, these include; repair costs, even heat distribution, running costs, operating styles and maintenance costs.

Repair Costs

There are serious ramifications if a hydronic system is damaged or fails. This would involve significant structural damage to the concrete slab and is a costly process.

Heat Distribution

An electric underfloor heating system will heat the floor evenly. This is not the case with hydronic systems as they heat the floor closer to the boiler at a higher temperature than the furthest point. This uneven heating of the floor can be very noticeable depending on the design of the hydronic system.

Running Costs

Although hydronic systems are run on lower tariffs (in some instances where the input does not exceed off-peak restrictions) this does not necessarily mean that the floor is cost effective to operate. Hydronic floor heating systems can take between seven and nine hours to warm whilst an electric system can reach the desired temperature within forty-five minutes to an hour and begin cycling saving you money. An electric floor heating system cycles at approximately 60% after reaching temperature and costs approximately 1.69 cents per square meter per hour to enjoy.

Operating Styles

Electric floor heating systems are typically zoned into smaller areas than hydronic systems to ensure that smaller areas are run only when required. This means you are not wasting significant amounts of energy heating areas that are not being used. Furthermore; to enjoy warm bathroom/kitchen floors in the morning a hydronic system will have to operate for approximately nine hours when they are only enjoyed for forty-five minutes. An electric system is programmed to run an hour before the heating is required and turn off before you enter the room, the residual heat will carry you through. A typical bathroom will cost six cents to heat in the morning.

Maintenance Costs

An electric underfloor heating system has no moving parts and therefore requires no maintenance. A hydronic system needs to circulate water continuously and they use valves and manifolds, which are prone to sedimentation, mechanical problems and maintenance issues. This maintenance can also become expensive depending on the quality of the system installed.

Further points of differentiation:

Point of comparison Electric Floor Heating Hydronic System
100% of energy is delivered to the heating element Yes No
Suitable for off-peak power Yes No
Suitable for all floor coverings Yes No
Mechanical room required No Yes
Venting to outside of house required No Yes
Easy and effective for small areas Yes No
Minimal floor height added Yes No
No high voltage / hot surfaces or combustible gases Yes No