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How Much Does Radiant Heat Cost?

May 31, 2008
If you are thinking of switching to radiant heat in your home, you might be wondering how much it will cost. That depends on what type of radiant heat you install and in how many rooms you install it. Generally though, electric radiant heat is cheaper than hydronic. But just how much cheaper?

If you install an electric radiant heat floor in your bathroom or kitchen it will probably cost somewhere between $500 and $900. The same thing may cost over $4,000 for a hydronic system. By comparison, forced air heating would cost about $200 per room which is why almost all new homes are being built with forced air. It is very rare that you will find any new home being built by a builder with radiant heat.

Why is hydronic radiant heat so much more expensive than electric heat? The first reason is that you have to install a boiler or some other means of heating the water. Additionally, you have to get the pipes under the floor(s) and they usually need to be embedded in concrete. A complete hydronic radiant heat system in a medium sized house can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 which is quite expensive and out of financial reach of many people.

If you are just building your new home, that is the best time to install hydronic radiant heat. Doing it later makes it much too expensive and makes electric radiant heat the better choice. If you are buying a home in a development and want hydronic heat, ask the builder as soon as possible whether this is something they can install. Hydronic heat is the preferred heat of most people because it is better on your skin and it is silent. If you do have the chance to have it put into your new home, it will most certainly increase the value of your house whenever you decide to sell it.

If you are thinking of electric radiant heat, it's advantage is that it is relatively easy to install in individual rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen. Pads with electric circuits are put in under the floors and there are no moving parts like a hydronic system.

Electric radiant heat is the simpler choice for most people and the cheaper of the two kinds of heat. Most people who install electric radiant heat in an existing house do it only in a few selected rooms such as the bathroom. This is because the bathroom is the first room you go to when you wake up and having a warm bathroom floor is very nice.
About the Author
Learn more about radiant floor heat and how you can have it installed at my web site Radiant Heat Floors.
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