How do you get the comfort of radiant heating systems at an economical price?
1) Use radiant in select (high value) areas of your home
2) Use a qualified contractor
3) Simplify the system
Many people understand the superior comfort and energy efficiency of a radiant heating system. So, why doesn’t everyone have a radiant heating system? The most common answer I hear is that people perceive the system to be an expensive luxury item. Some of this is pure misperception, but there is some truth underlying the misperception. While many luxury homes have radiant heating systems, it doesn’t have to be just for the rich and famous. The comfort of a radiant heating system can be enjoyed by both the classes and the masses. I have outlined the top three ways to make a radiant heating system affordable.
First, significant cost can be saved by using radiant floor heating only in the high value areas of your home (i.e. the basement, master bath or garage). Of course, this limits the materials and the labor required to install, but it also simplifies the mechanical room and controls, thereby creating a compounding price reduction effect.
Second, if you are utilizing a contractor for your radiant heating system installation, do your homework. As with any construction project, a knowledgeable, quality installer is important. Incorrect design or installation will cost you in the long-run. And, multiple quotes will assure you are getting competitive prices.
Third, simplify the system via design and products. Utilize a contractor or manufacturer that can provide a simple design. And, use products such as the Uponor RR30E that simplify the radiant heating system installation.
A while back, I wanted to prove that these 3 approaches could achieve a low cost radiant heating system. So, I challenged one of my colleagues to install a radiant heating system in a 1000 sq.ft. basement in only 1 day. You can view the video on our YouTube channel. We utilized the Uponor RR30E and fast trak products to complete the entire installation in about 7 hours. This was starting with material delivery and finishing with the radiant system up and running. While we didn’t charge the homeowner for this installation, we estimated that this type of system in a new home would have cost the homeowner approximately $6,000 to $8,000.
Yes, there are radiant systems in luxury homes costing 2, 5 or even 10 times this price tag. But, when you address these three key points, the comfort of a radiant heating system can be and affordable economic investment in your home.