Radiant Floor Heating Cost vs. Baseboard Heating Costs

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As we all know, walking on a cold floor is not enjoyable but that’s where radiant floor heating and baseboard heating can help. Both can heat the floors in your home as well as provide heat for a space. This helps to ensure the floor is warm when you step out of bed first thing in the morning or step onto the floor after a long, hot shower. Here’s what you need to know about both heating options, including the costs associated with each one.

What is Radiant Floor Heating?

Radiant floor heating is a type of heating system that involves placing heating coils beneath your flooring, such as underneath porcelain tiles or beneath your wood panels. When the unit is turned on, heat travels through the coils. As heat travels through the coils, the flooring begins to heat up, making it warm. As the unit is run for a prolonged period of time, heat from the floor can start to rise, creating more warmth in the space. Radiant floor heating is designed specifically to heat floors, not large spaces. When people think of heating floor tiles in a bathroom or a kitchen, they’re typically thinking of radiant floor heating.

What is Baseboard Heating?

Baseboard heating is completed by a vent that is placed within the baseboard. As the vent is so low to the ground, it helps to heat the floor near the vent. This helps the ground to feel warmer, even though the purpose of the vent is not to hit the floor. Baseboard heating is designed to fill a room with warmth, rather than solely heat the floor. The floors are heated simply because of where the warmth comes out of the vent. Baseboard heating is traditionally used around vinyl, linoleum, or wood floors, but it can also be used in carpeted spaces.

What Are the Costs Associated with Radiant Floor Heat?

The costs associated with radiant floor heating vary based on many different factors. One of the first factors that affect the costs you will pay for radiant floor heating is how the coils placed below the floor are heated. Traditionally, the coils are heated through either a hydronic heating system, a propane system, or an electric system. Old hydronic heating systems and propane systems typically cost anywhere from $6 to $20 per square foot to install. An electric system typically costs around $8 to $15 per square foot to install. Alternatively, more energy-efficient heating sources are being used, including solar heating, or geothermal in-floor heating. It is important to note that these technologies typically cost less than electric radiant floor heat but more than propane systems.

What Are the Costs Associated with Baseboard Heating?

Baseboard heating is typically done using an electric baseboard heater. Most electric baseboard heaters are not very much to purchase and install. It may cost a few thousand dollars on the high end. The higher costs associated with baseboard heating are the electric costs associated with running the unit. Baseboard heaters are not energy-efficient at all. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of the heat that they produce ends up being restricted. There are many things that can restrict the flow of hot air from the unit, including dirt, dust, cobwebs, items placed in front of the vent, or even cold air blowing in the opposite direction of the baseboard heater. As such, most experts recommend finding a better way to heat a space than through a baseboard heating system.

How Can You Determine If Radiant or Baseboard Heating May Be Better for You?

If you desire warmer floors, you may be looking at both baseboard heaters and radiant flooring heaters. Both options can help to heat up the floors in your home, but there are major differences between the two options. These options may include energy efficiency, cost, and if they can even be installed in your space. A floor heating company can help you determine which option may be the best fit for your home and explain to you why. This allows you to make the choice that is ideal for your home and budget.

Angi, formerly known as Angie’s List, understands that many homeowners do not fully understand the difference between radiant floor heating and baseboard heating costs. This can make it hard to determine which may be a better fit for your space. Angi hopes that by answering questions you may have about these heat sources; you are able to make an educated and informed decision as to which may be a better fit for your home.