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South Africa is lucky to have fairly mild winters in comparison to snowier parts of the world. However, the chillier snaps, especially in the evenings, may have you piling blankets on to try to keep warm. Underfloor heating has been around for a few decades but rising electricity prices have kept many away from investing in it as a home or business heating system.
Developments in hydronic underfloor heating systems offer an alternative to electrical systems. The hot water alternative will keep your entire home warm at a reduced long-term cost.
Here are some benefits and drawbacks to using hot water in your underfloor heating.
The initial cost of installing hydronic underfloor heating is higher than its electrical counterpart. However, in the long-run it is cheaper and more efficient to run than other heat sources.
Hydronic heating systems also have an extremely long lifespan and require little maintenance once installed correctly. The system should last a minimum of 50 years.
As a radiant heating source, underfloor heating is able to evenly heat entire rooms from the ground up. That means there are no cold spots and the room can easily be kept at a constant, comfortable temperature.
Different heat sources are available to suit your needs and preferences. Heat pumps, boiler pellets and solar heating are the most popular. Installing a buffer tank to store heated water for when it is needed can prolong your heat pump’s lifespan.
To make it a cost-effective investment, hydronic heating is best suited to spaces that are bigger than 100m2. Therefore, it is best to have water underfloor heating installed across your entire home or as an integrated part of your home’s water heating system.
Single rooms such as bathrooms are best suited for electric underfloor heating as it will most likely only be used during the winter months.
There are a number of large office blocks, shopping centres, hospitals and veterinary hospitals that use hydronic underfloor heating as their core heating system.
Lastly, it is important to note that a hydronic underfloor system will add up to 50mm to your floor height. For this reason it is best to install it during the building process.
Should you want to update your home’s heating system, electric underfloor heating can be retrofitted.
An additional perk of underfloor heating is that it does not reduce floor or wall space. Neatly hidden under your tiles, carpet or laminate flooring, it acts as an almost invisible heating source that will keep your home luxuriously warm.
The key to making hydronic underfloor heating an investment for your home is have it correctly installed by an expert. Ask questions to ensure the system you choose is capable of efficiently heating your space.