The key to running a cost effective Underfloor Heating System, whether it is Electric Underfloor Heating or Water Underfloor Heating is having a good quality insulation in your subfloor and well insulated surroundings. There is little point in investing in a floor heating system if you have not got up to date modern good quality insulation as the heat loss will mean your system will be running more than it should to try and compensate.
In most cases where an underfloor heating system isn’t performing properly or is failing to heat adequately will be down to poor or insufficient insulation. The sub floor insulation ensures that the heat radiates up and through the floor instead of trying to heat the mass below. It is also important that the room where the underfloor heating is also well insulated to keep the heat that rises from the floor level in the room and not be lost through poor insulated roofs or thin walls and draughty windows. Good examples of floor heating insulation we recommend depending on the system are Thermal Insulation Boards for use with under heating mats and Castellated Floor Heating Plates for use with water Underfloor Heating
According to the BEAMA a household fitted with good insulation and modern heating controls can save up to 40% on their energy bills, this is a massive saving!
There is no need for the running costs to be high if you adhere to the advice above and also install a suitable modern thermostat with a set back facility. Modern Thermostats such as the Touch Control digital floor heating thermostat has a built in set back facility that monitors the heating system and never allows it to drop below an acceptable level (in most cases when the system is not within its set time settings and functioning, it will maintain the system at 5 degrees lower than the temperature when the system is operating), this means that the floor will not be allowed to loose all of it’s heat as otherwise heating a cold floor from a low temperature every time is both costly and time consuming.
An example running cost can be worked out by (size (m2) x .15) x electrical cost (in £) x hours. This will supply an upper estimate, as the electric underfloor heating is never on every minute of the hour, and in reality only about a quarter of the time as it maintains the temperature, depending on insulation.