1130 Industrial Ave #12, Petaluma, CA 94952

Know your Floor Heating

Imagine this:  It’s mid morning during winter and your walking on warm concrete floors.  Feels good, right?  Before getting heated flooring consider the different types of floor heating that you can get.  There are three main types of heating:

  1. Via electric wires – more likely in residential construction
  2. Via hot water tubes – used in residential construction
  3. Radiant air floors – used in commercial buildings

Option one is easier to install and is a more affordable buy, but more expensive in the long run.  Heating via hot water tubes, also known as hydronic heating, is less expensive to operate, hence its more likely to be used in larger areas.  The initial cost for this is higher than electric wires since the install is more complicated – you have to hook it up to a water heater.

Floor heating costs are as follows:

  • Electric floor heating can be 60% less depending on size and circuits. Labor can be between $1,500-2,500.
  • 55% cheaper than electric heating, hydronic heating boilers can cost around $4,000. Total cost can start at $12,000 for material and installation.

floor heating - hydronic and radiant heating vs air system heating

Expect to save money in heating with either one of these options.  With floor heating, also called radiant heating, we keep warmer with at a lower temperature compared to heated air.  As shown in the image above having air heating is less efficient and you are more likely to be colder at the same temperature.  Expect in-floor radiant heating to last more than 35 years if well maintained.

There are two types of radiant floor heating–wet and dry.  Dry installation is a system of tubing underneath the subfloor between the joists.  Wet installation is the most common on the ground floor.

Other benefits for radiant heating to take into consideration include:

  • Better air quality
  • Increased comfort
  • No visible radiators, ducts, or holes
  • Quiet heating system

You won’t regret the extra comfort from floor heating, especially in the cold San Francisco weather that we have.

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