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Electric or Hydronic Underfloor Heating?

It is important to outline the many benefits electric floor heating has over hydronic, including:

  • The capital cost of hydronic is far higher than electric.
  • Electric is perfectly suited to not only new building projects, but also renovations as well as new rooms. You can easily install electric floor heating to any single room or area, extension or granny flat. You can add electric underfloor heating at any time you are altering your flooring. Hydronic is, in essence, a new build process only as it is installed prior to pouring the slab.
  • Labour costs are minimal for electric floor heating.
  • Compared to hydronic floor heating, the electric installation process is simple and uncomplicated ( DIY suitable ). It is also far quicker.
  • Electric floor heating has no moving parts or maintenance requirements while the hydronic heating system comprises a boiler, pumps, manifolds with valves with regular maintenance requirements.
  • Damage or failure of a hydronic system would result in substantial and expensive consequences, as this could involve significant structural damage to the concrete slab.
  • There is still a preconceived notion that ongoing heating costs for hydronic are far cheaper than electric. However, this idea was built over time before recent large increases in gas prices and furthermore can be completely negated by additional benefits like Colbuster Advanced Thermostats, as well as the offset through the use of solar energy.
  • The electric system is independently controlled per room, which enables rooms not in use to be switched off. With hydronic heating, the boiler needs to fire up to warm the water, whether one or all the rooms are in use.
  • It is far quicker for electric heating to achieve the required temperature. Hydronic can take over a day, meaning more cost and far less convenience, while electric heating is on demand.
  • Where a floor has significant thermal mass and the electricity provider offers time-of-use electricity rates, much heat can be stored when the electricity is cheap to carry its warmth throughout peak electricity tariffs, whereas this is not possible with hydronic.
  • Electric floor heating will heat the floor evenly, while hydronic heats the areas closer to the boiler at a higher temperature than areas further from the boiler. This uneven floor heating can be quite noticeable depending on the design of the hydronic system.

Further benefits of electric floor heating in comparison to hydronic:

Electric Hydronic
All energy delivered to the heating element Yes No
Suitable for all floor coverings Yes No
Mechanical room required No Yes
Outside venting required No Yes
Minimal floor height added Yes No
No high voltage / hot surfaces or combustible gases Yes No


Finally, underfloor electric heating is a perfect solution that does not compromise your design. The beauty of underfloor electric heating is that it is unseen and therefore does not compromise any design features at all. It simply fits around the hardware in your room. It is also extremely safe for children and pets as there is nothing hot to touch. No risk of fire or burns. And allergy friendly – does not emit V.O.C.’s (volatile organic compounds).

If you would like a free no obligation quote to provide electric radiant under floor heating, please send us a plan or design to sales@coldbuster.com.au and we’ll get back to you quickly with a drawn-up plan along with your quotation.

Electric or Hydronic Underfloor Heating? Give us a call.
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For more information see our Measuring Up for Floor Heating Guide

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