Underfloor heating is an efficient means of heating your home.
There are various costs to bear in mind: the purchase of the system, installation costs – if you are choosing to use a professional installation company – and the cost of running it.
Underfloor heating prices have decreased in recent years as the technology behind the manufacturing of components and fixings has improved.
Two Types of Underfloor Heating Systems
There are two types of underfloor heating from which to choose:
- Electric underfloor heating, also known as dry UFH, works by laying a series of mats under the top layer of flooring. They are then plugged into mains power or can be used with alternative forms of power, such as solar energy.
- Wet, water or a hydroponic underfloor heating systems all use hot water circulating through piping in the sub-floor to heat the floor above. They can be used with a modern, efficient combi-boiler or with a ground source heat pump.
The Cost of Installing Underfloor Heating
Wet Underfloor Heating System
The installation costs of a wet UFH are more than when installing a dry system. Costs will vary from one manufacturer to another and from one installation company to another, thus always get three quotations as a minimum.
The underfloor heating cost per square metre for a wet system varies:
- In a new build property, a bespoke wet underfloor heating system costs around £3,000 – this is for an averaged sized home, with three bedrooms and a floor area of 100m².
- Installing a wet system in an existing property will cost more – around £4,500 in a home with a floor area of around 65m² or, around £75 to £100 per m².
These costs are for self-installation. In the case of a three-bedroomed property, installation would be around £800 or £30 an hour for the engineer’s time.
However, to offset these high installation costs, wet underfloor heating is more efficient to run. It is a system that is 25% more efficient than a radiator system saving £160 for a well-insulated averaged sized, three-bedroom property.
Dry underfloor heating system
The underfloor heating installation cost for a dry system are significantly lower than that of its water counterpart.
This is because there is no need to dig down to accommodate pipes, for a layer of screed concrete and so on. The top layer of existing flooring is simply lifted and, depending on the sub-floor, a thin layer of board to stabilise the sub-floor. The mats are then unfurled, the top layer of flooring replaced and the system switched on.
Electric underfloor heating cost will vary from one company to another but as a guide, electric underfloor heating kits can be bought for as little as £20 per metre, with the average between £50 and £75m².
If you are not installing the system yourself, there will be professional electrician fees to add to this which can be upwards of £200 per day.
However, a dry underfloor heating system is easy to fit, presenting fewer installation problems. But, the cost of running an electric system is higher than that of a wet underfloor heating system.
Although favoured in existing properties, you only really save money with such a system if you have an alternatives source of power in the home, such as solar panels, wind turbine and so on.
What other costs do you need to bear in mind?
The cost of underfloor heating, both installation and running costs, have long been the basis on which detractors and fans of underfloor heating have long used to list the pros and cons of the systems.
It is a heating technology that has been around for many years and to make the installation and running costs lower, experts suggest the following;
- Where possible, use of alternative sources of power will reduce running costs of both system.
- Insulation of the property should also be of the highest standard possible.
- Wet underfloor heating cost can be reduced further by buying a complete, all-in-one-box kit, complete with comprehensive instructions and specialist tools for self-fitting.
- Wet and electric underfloor heating costs should be controlled with the use of a smart thermostat; this allows a higher level of control over the heat in individual rooms and across the home.
- Wet underfloor heating cost is around £100 per m² plus installation costs of a professional company but is cheaper to run.
- Dry underfloor heating systems can be self-fitted and costs between £50 and £75 per m² but are more expensive to run.