If currently nearly 5 million houses are equipped with underfloor heating in France, it is because this fashionable device has certain advantages. In electric, hydraulic or reversible form, the new, more efficient installations make it possible to gain in comfort thanks to soft and harmoniously distributed heat. However, it should not be forgotten that this device is expensive and sometimes restrictive. Let’s take a look at how it works, its pros, cons, and cost.
How does underfloor heating work?
Underfloor heating, or underfloor heating, is an installation that consists of heating a home through the floor. As a result, it is not necessary to install radiators or other heating devices (stove, fireplace, etc.), since this system made up of pipes or cables implanted in the slab makes it possible to heat the whole house. without further input. In addition, you should know that the heated floor can be installed in only part of the house, especially as part of an extension.
The different types of underfloor heating
There are several types of underfloor heating:
- Electric underfloor heating : this device consists of laying electric heating cables on the slab of the house. This cable network is covered with insulating plates and a classic screed. Connected to the mains, this solution diffuses a harmonious and gentle heat in the rooms.
- Hydraulic underfloor heating : in this context, these are flexible polyethylene pipes that allow hot or cold water to circulate in the slab. The device is connected to a heat pump, to a boiler or to solar panels to operate and to a regulator which makes it possible to manage the distribution of the heat (through a box or a smartphone).
- Reversible underfloor heating : this solution, like reversible air conditioning, can heat the house in winter and cool it in summer.
What are the advantages of underfloor heating?
Underfloor heating has many advantages:
- Comfort : the heating comfort is certain, because the heat is soft and is evenly distributed in the house or in the equipped rooms. In addition, the ground is no longer cold in winter and it is more pleasant to walk on it barefoot.
- inertia : the inertia is soft and regular, with an average of 20 to 35°C, against almost 60°C for other heating devices.
- Space saving : underfloor heating eliminates the need for radiators, stoves or fireplaces. As a result, the space saving is real within the house.
- aesthetics : in addition to saving space, the absence of often unsightly radiators thanks to underfloor heating allows you to enjoy a more beautiful interior and a completely invisible heating method.
- The interview : underfloor heating does not require any specific maintenance, apart from an overhaul by a professional every three to five years.
- Better hygiene : unlike radiators, underfloor heating does not emit dust when it heats up.
- Energy savings : quality and efficient underfloor heating can reduce energy bills by nearly 15% compared to other heating methods.
- The noise : Some heating devices make noise when they work, which is not the case with underfloor heating.
- reversibility : it is possible to opt for reversible underfloor heating which allows the house to be cooled in the same way when it is hot.
- State aid : underfloor heating is a device eligible for financial aid from the State.
What are the disadvantages of underfloor heating?
Despite its undeniable advantages, underfloor heating has its drawbacks:
- Its cost : underfloor heating is a very expensive installation, especially for hydraulic and reversible systems. If you can significantly reduce the amount of your energy bills for use, the investment is still significant.
- In the pose : if you are embarking on a new construction, providing underfloor heating is easier. But if you opt for a renovation, the work will be very important and expensive. In addition, the elevation of the ground for the installation of a heated floor can impact the location of your doors, your electrical outlets, etc.
- The choice of flooring : the installation of a heated floor is not compatible with all floor coverings (carpets, certain thick parquet floors and certain tiles, natural stone, etc.).
- Miscellaneous work : certain types of work that require drilling into the floor are impossible with underfloor heating. Thus, to fix certain pieces of furniture, you will have to opt for gluing or find other solutions.
- The interview : if its maintenance is nil on a daily basis, the overhaul to be carried out every three to five years is relatively expensive. It is indeed imperative to have it carried out by a certified professional. To do this, count 450 to 900 euros depending on the size of your installation.
- Temperature management : recent models of underfloor heating are more efficient, but some older models do not diffuse even heat and can be difficult to adjust. However, the slower inertia and its comfort have the effect of diffusing the heat very slowly, which does not allow the house to be warmed up quickly after an absence, for example.
How much does underfloor heating cost?
Underfloor heating has a certain cost, both for its installation and for its use.
On average, the price of the installation breaks down as follows:
- For electric underfloor heating: 40 to 50 euros per square meter.
- For hydraulic underfloor heating: 70 to 100 euros per square meter.
To this price must be added that of labour, which fluctuates between 10 and 20 euros per square meter. Thus, count on average 6,000 to 10,000 euros for installation for a house of 100 m².
Like any heating device, underfloor heating has a cost of use. You will need to plan the price of the energy source and the overhaul. Nevertheless, underfloor heating remains one of the least expensive devices to use and can reduce energy bills by almost 15% compared to other traditional systems.