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Hydronic vs Electric Underfloor Heating

Hydronic vs Electric Underfloor Heating

Radiant underfloor heating systems are an excellent choice for heating large spaces with high ceilings because of their ground up direction of heating. Spaces with high ceilings are often difficult to cool because the warm air rises to the top, leaving floor level significantly colder. By providing radiant heat from below, the system warms up objects in the room from below and maintains temperature extremely well.

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Hydronic Underfloor Heating Systems

Hydronic underfloor heating systems are known for providing a gentle, consistent heat that lasts longer than traditional heating. The sophisticated design uses hot water, circulated through a closed loop of piping that runs under the surface of the floor. The system is powered using heat pumps, gas boilers as well as solar energy. The key to complete control over the system is a high-quality thermostat which gives the ability to adjust temperature in different rooms and floors. These systems are highly customisable and can be installed in any kind of space.

Hydronic floor heating is the perfect option for heating large, open areas because it can be used under almost any kind of floor surface. Often used with a natural gas boiler for extra efficiency, hydronic underfloor heating systems are eco-friendly and easy to operate.


These systems are extremely efficient, and cheaper to run than electric radiant systems.

  1.  Better at heating large spaces
  2.  A well-built and properly installed hydronic system can last decades if maintained and serviced regularly. The high efficiency ensures less wear and tear on the components.
  3. One of the best features of hydronic radiant systems is that they can be paired with tankless water heater systems. Combining the two guarantees savings on your energy bill since tankless water systems are also extremely energy efficient.


  1. Since hydronic systems require significant installation under flooring, it is best to consider this option during new construction or renovation.
  2. These systems cost more than traditional heating systems. The higher up-front cost is offset by savings on energy down the road, but the initial investment is definitely higher.

Electric Underfloor Radiant Heating System

One of the most popular styles is the electric system, in which a wire mesh or network of individual wires runs beneath the surface of the floor, warming up the floor and room using the natural electrical resistance that occurs when electricity flows through the wires.

Electric radiant heating systems are buried within thermal masses, between cement boards and ceramic tile can retain heat long after the system has been turned off.


  1. Electric radiant floor systems are discreet and almost undetectable with the right settings for the room.
  2. They act as an excellent form of complementary heating, providing support for traditional or ducted heating systems, reducing overall costs.
  3. Ideal for surfaces like ceramic, stone tile and concrete slabs.
  4. Easy to install during renovations and construction.
  5. Significantly more cost effective than traditional space heaters.


  1. Not practical to install unless renovating a home, or during new construction.
  2. Electric systems are not ideal for heating entire spaces, they are better suited for surfaces like cold floors.
  3. Can be expensive and inefficient to run if they are relied on for heating entire spaces.
  4. Electric floor heating is not very effective under insulating materials like carpets, hardwood, or vinyl.

Hydronic and Electric Radiant Heating Systems

Efficient Pure Plumbing is a Melbourne based team of ducted and radiant heating specialists with a passion for providing customers with the highest-quality heating solutions for every budget. Call 03 9792 3261 today for a free quote, or email us at info@heatingcoolingsystems.com.au.