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Underfloor Heating: The Pros and Cons

As the days start to draw in and cold toes are hitting colder floors first thing in the morning, many homeowners are dreaming of the luxury of heated flooring. Underfloor heating, or radiant floor heating, is to many of us the ultimate luxury. There’s no doubt that underfloor heating is truly indulgent, and feels great – but is it really worth it? We take a look at the pros and cons of underfloor heating.

The pros

  1. More economical to run. Underfloor heating provides constant warmth and needs to be heated to lower temperatures than radiators in order to provide heat.
  2. Constant, consistent warmth throughout all areas that have underfloor heating – no cold spots! Radiators heat one area and are controlled by a thermostat, which determines the radiator output based on the temperature in the thermostat location. This means that homes can have cool spots and warm spots as the warm air from the radiators disperses throughout the room. In fact, underfloor heating is so efficient that it can reduce heating bills by 15%.
  3. Space saving. Unlike radiators, which can take up room, gather dust and, quite frankly, just look plain ugly, underfloor heating is literally invisible. It doesn’t take up any space and allows you to plan your home décor based on form, not function.
  4. Versatile. People may think that underfloor heating limits your flooring options but in fact, it works equally well with vinyl, laminate, wood, carpet and stone. What’s more, it is super easy to install, especially if you incorporate it into another heating upgrade or renovation project.

The cons

  1. The cost. The cost of underfloor heating installation will depend on a range of things, including the type of heating that you choose, the size of the room and the age of the building. However, installing underfloor heating is definitely going to cost more than a simple boiler upgrade, with electric heating costing an average of £4,500 for a renovation and £3,000 for new builds, and water heating more than double that. The long term benefits are undeniable, however, so may offset the downsides.
  2. Disruption. One of the reasons that underfloor heating is cheaper to do in a new build or extension is that so much has to be undone in an existing building before the heating can be installed. As a result, installing it in an existing property could take days.
  3. Loss of room height. While it is true that underfloor heating doesn’t take up room space, it will raise your floor slightly. If you are incredibly tall, or your ceiling height is an issue, losing half an inch may be half an inch too far.

When it comes to making home improvements it is a case of working out the short term cost versus the longer term benefits and savings. However, personal preference comes into it too; if you are not sure about the best choice for you, speak to a local heating specialist for advice. For more tips and guidance, follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter.

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