electric floor heating

Underfloor Heating By Water Or Electric: Which To Choose?

The radiant floor is a heating system that is installed under the floor and that, unlike other heating systems, has the advantage of distributing heat evenly. There are two types of systems for heating the radiant floor: the electric radiant floor and the hydronic radiant floor heating systems. You can also install a radiant ceiling or radiant base, depending on the characteristics of the house and its needs. However, in this article, we will delve into the two types that we have just mentioned.

What is the electric radiant floor?

The electric radiant floor is a means of an electrical resistance installed under the pavement. It helps to transform the electrical energy into heat energy. In some cases, it consists of a programmable thermostat through which it can be programmed to make more efficient use of the system.

The installation is carried out by means of a cable circuit or heating mesh, which is placed on top of an insulating sheet, turning the floor of the room into a large uniform source of heat. Its installation is simple, fast and economical.


  • It is a low-temperature system and provides high comfort (25º to 29ºC).
  • It is an efficient and immediate heating system. It emits heat directly and for this reason, it is also easier to control the comfort level in the home.
  • Individualized regulation: It is possible to control the temperature of the radiant heating system individually by means of chronothermostats in each of the rooms.
  • Does not require a boiler.


  • It has a large power consumption which translates into an increase in the bill.

When to install electric radiant floor

  1. When it is not possible to install underfloor heating by water, opt for the electric radiant floor.
  2. When the house where we want to make this type of installation does not reach the natural gas supply network, the electric radiant floor then is the best option.

hydronic radiant floors

Hydronic radiant floor: how does it work?

The radiant heating floor by water distributes the water through the pipes installed under the floor. The radiant floor by water is the heating emitter, therefore, it must be connected to a condensing boiler or heat pump that generates the hot water and then distributes it through the radiant floor. The emission surface is very large (soil), and a circuit impulse temperature is needed at about 35-40 ° C. Without excessively high water temperatures, we will achieve great comfort, avoid problems of poor circulation due to excess hot water radiant heat and also increase energy savings.

The radiant floor by water is also a system of high thermal inertia, therefore, a continuous switching on or off of the system is not recommended. It is more efficient in continued use as it gives the system time to heat the house and in this way, maintain the heat.

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It also has regulation possibilities. Through a switchboard, the different thermostats are controlled. Meanwhile, if you want to individually control each area of the house, as it is a single continuous circuit, zone valves can be installed.

What is the best system, electrical or water radiant floor?

When recommending one system or another, there is always a phase of a study to determine which system suits more. It all depends on the location, orientation or meters to be heated. But whenever possible, the radiant floor by water is recommended for its high degree of energy efficiency. If combined with the heat pump, it is a system that provides energy savings and therefore allows the investment to be amortized over time. On the other hand, the electric radiant floor supposes a high energy consumption, especially if it is meant for continuous consumption.

In any case, the electric radiant floor can be really cost-effective due to its quick response, energy efficiency and fast installation with low cost.

Whichever one you choose, installing radiant floor heating systems is never a task for amateurs or DIY enthusiasts. Call in Conquer Plumbing if you live in Los Angeles for professional installation services.

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