If you’re considering having an underfloor heating system installed, you may have a range of questions on your mind, including whether or not it would save you money over time. After all, underfloor heating is not cheap to install, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthy long-term investment. Let’s dive in!
Cost of Installation
Before discussing the running costs, we should consider the installation costs of underfloor heating and other options. Here are the average installation costs for different ways of heating a home:
- Dry Underfloor Heating (with Renovation) * – £3,000 to £6,000
- Dry Underfloor Heating (in New Build Property) – £1,600 to £3,500
- Wet Underfloor Heating (with Renovation) – £7,000 to £14,500
- Wet Underfloor Heating (in New Build Property) – £4,000 to £9,000
- Gas Boiler and Central Heating System – £1,000 to £3,000
- Oil Boiler and Central Heating System – £500 to £2,000
- Electric Boiler and Central Heating System – £1,500 to £5,000
- Air Source Heat Pump -£1,500 to £18,000
- Ground Source Heat Pump – £15,000 to £35,000
*To clarify, a dry underfloor heating system uses electricity, whereas a wet system involves water being heated (just as would occur in conventional radiators). Also, renovations would be required in an existing property, while, on the other hand, it would be cheaper to have an underfloor heating system installed while a new build property is under construction.
So, as you can see, there is a good chance that it would be more expensive to have an underfloor heating system installed than to opt for a boiler and central heating.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. For one, each heating solution comes with an array of pros and cons and so which option would suit you best would depend on your preferences. Moreover, (and this leads us into the next section), there is also the matter of running costs to take into account. Remember, it’s important to spend time finding a heating engineer (or the relevant installer for the type of heating system you’re opting for). We suggest obtaining quotes from three qualified professionals, if possible, before making a decision.
Note: Prices for running different heating systems are more volatile nowadays due to the ongoing energy crisis (as of November 2022). Before diving in, let’s get right to the point. Yes, underfloor heating can certainly save you money in the long run and in this section, we’ll explain how.
Estimates suggest that, depending on the type of underfloor heating system you opt for, how large it is, and how often you use it, you’d likely spend somewhere in the region of £200 to £300 per year. Considering that it would cost you several thousand pounds to run a conventional heating system (e.g., gas boiler + central heating), underfloor heating can represent massive savings on your heating bills over time. So, let’s say, for instance, you were to spend £10,000 on an underfloor heating installation (of course, a significantly lower installation cost is entirely possible depending on the size and type of system you need). While that would be about £7,000 to £9,000 more expensive than a boiler with a central heating system, as far as upfront costs go, it could save you money over time.
Based on current prices (albeit prices that are limited by the Energy Price Guarantee or EPG), you can expect to save approximately £1,800 to £2,300 thanks to lower heating bills. So, while underfloor heating tends to cost more to install, it can offer whopping savings when it comes to your heating bills.
What’s more, by considering the above estimates, the lower running costs would make up for the higher upfront costs of opting for underfloor heating after about 3-5 years. Once you reach that point, lower heating bills would then mean you’d end up with more and more money in your pocket than you would have had you decided to go with a more traditional option such as a natural gas combi boiler and central heating system.
Obviously, it may be possible to reach the point of saving money overall sooner than within the 3-to-5-year time frame given above. On the other hand, it could take several years longer. It will really depend on a range of factors, but most importantly, how much you spend on having your underfloor heating installed in the first place. One way or another though, you can expect to save money over time.
Technically, the only risk would be if your underfloor heating system gave out and needed replacing before you could reach the point of saving money. But given that underfloor heating systems tend to last from 25-50 years, we wouldn’t consider that a particularly worrying risk!