So, you have decided to install an underfloor heating system, but you are uncertain which system would work best for you.
Well, there are generally two options: A dry system where an electric film or cable is placed under the floor or a wet one where hot water is pumped through pipes that are installed under the floor.
So, how do these systems work?
The Dry Underfloor Heating System
As mentioned above, this system involves installing an electrical film under the floor. Well, installing the electrical system is quite simple, and depending on the system, only the final connections will require the expertise of an electrician.
Once the underfloor has been insulated to avoid heat loss, the cables can be laid on the sub-floor. The next step is putting a floor covering with a self-leveling compound depending on the system.
The Wet Underfloor Heating System
If you have a boiler, then this would be the ideal system since it can be used to pump hot water through the pipes laid on the sub-floor.
A dedicated thermostat is installed to control the temperature.
Advantages of Dry over Wet Underfloor Heating System
There are numerous benefits of using a dry underfloor heating system compared to a wet one.
First, water pipes require extra space, and so, this system will require an addition of the floor. An electrical system, on the other hand, can be installed with little or even no floor build up. This allows you to retain the existing features of the room.
The installation of water pipes requires the expertise of professional plumbers while electrical systems can be installed by workmen working on the floor. As earlier mentioned, only the final connection requires the skills of a qualified electrician. This saves on the installation cost.
Also, dry underfloor heating systems require less maintenance. An electric system does not have moving parts, and so, the chances of breakage during installation are minimal. On the other hand, water pipes are likely to corrode over time. That adds to the repair and maintenance cost.
Lastly, hot water systems are better suited to ground floors as they have to be embedded in the sub-floor. Electrical systems, on the other hand, can be used on any floor throughout the home.
What’s even better is that if you have solar panels, you can power the system for free, thus saving on electrical bills.
The bottom line is, a dry underfloor heating system is easier to install, more eco-friendly and requires less maintenance.