Under Floor heating (also known as UFH) is about the best heat distribution terminal arrangement in your home space. The energy sources electricity, warm boiler water or solar energy may be used in the system as media for generating heat under floor for this purpose. Naturally therefore, the three types adopt three different technologies.
Further, of the three, electricity is generated most of the time with non renewable resources such as fossil fuel. The boiler hot water is too generated mostly using natural gas, LP gas, or oil due to convenience and availability. Only solar energy is truly a renewable source of energy.
However, analysis by the industry show electricity is undoubtedly the cleanest and most efficient (a near 100%) at the point of usage.
Efficiency of Electrical UFH
It is surprising to note the observations of independent experts that since the year 2003 the price of gas has risen by 92%. In contrast the cost of electricity has risen only by 54%.The reversal of this trend in the near future is unlikely due to the electricity generation from renewable fuels and the so far untapped technologies that are currently being pursued.
Typically a bath room which is generally heated for most of the time of the day (say for example 10 hours) will consume only about 2 units (kW-hr). And annually the power needed will still be less than 1kW. As things stand today, the annualized cost for gas is 1.5 more than for electricity according to the industry.
Can Electrical UFH efficiency be further Improved?
• Use of proprietary insulation boards have shown to reduce the operating cost by as much as 50% in an electrical UFH system. The saving is said to have been achieved by reducing the heat up time by about 60%.The savings would enable you to payback your investment in about 2 ½ years which is really good.
• A special advantage available with electrical Under Floor Heating system is the flexibility in manipulating the operation or adopting the system.( All controls in any system for that matter use electricity for powering it) .Microprocessor operation makes a lot of hard tasks being made easy. The use of sensors and a timer for monitoring or programming temperature at different locations is easily possible in the electrically operated heaters due to this. This would further enhance the efficiency. The zoning of the building is easily possible for convenient and energy saving usage of each. Come to think of it, you would only need to add a programmable thermostat to get all this.
• A good thermostat would further make it possible to accurately monitor your room temperatures. No more under heating or over heating to waste costly energy. Maintain your unheated rooms (for eg. Living room, visitors areas etc. in the morning) at 15 0 C, Heated Rooms (such as wet rooms like bath rooms or kitchens} at 21 0 C and the other heated rooms like bed rooms at 18 0 C will easily be possible while drastically reducing your energy consumption. This setting can be easily programmable to a different one in the evening or seasonally. In the alternative the whole automation may be over ridden if the necessity arises.
Electrical under floor heating is a viable option for your high energy bills .The reduced energy consumption contributes considerably towards a smaller carbon foot print. The power losses of the grid distribution are beyond you and whether you use grid power or otherwise the losses are an inbuilt constant. But you can certainly use a clean, near 100% efficient electrically powered under floor heating system in your home in order to manage your home energy and green house gas emissions effectively.