Costs of Hydronic Heating
Very few people can build or remodel a home on a limitless budget. For this reason, understanding the typical cost of a heating system is important when it comes to weighing quality and overall expense. The upfront costs of hydronic heating is more expensive than a bare bones traditional heating system, but the longer term savings from reduced energy consumption can help to make radiant heat less expensive in the end.
Typical installation costs for hydronic radiant floor heating can range from $3 to $7 per square foot. This is a broad range because every region is different in terms of contractor fees and there are so many different methods of installation. Additionally, multiple installation methods can be used on one project, which further complicates general cost estimates. It is important to note that this does not include the boiler and pump system, which again, are highly variable in cost.
How to Reduce Hydronic Heating Installation Costs
Single storey slab on grade wet installation of radiant flooring can help keep costs lower because there are no expensive prefab panels that need to be purchased. Also, there is only one trip for pouring the concrete, unlike other wet applications, and the thermal mass and insulation are already in place, unlike dry installations.
DIY radiant tube installation is a project for adventurous homeowners with a good grasp of construction practices. While this is not a project for the light hearted, the savings of completing some of the work yourself can make up for the time commitment required.
Long Term Costs of Hydronic Radiant Flooring
When looking at the real costs of a residential heating system, it is important to factor in the life time costs with the upfront expenses. A homeowner will typically save somewhere between 20 to 40% with a radiant heating systems using hydronics, as compared to a traditional forced air system. This means that the higher initial cost of hydronic heating can be recovered for homeowners who plan on staying for the long term.
Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives
The importance of reducing our national energy use has also inspired the government to establish tax incentives for those who install energy efficient heating, appliances, and other systems. These tax breaks can help take a significant chunk out of the upfront installation cost of hydronic heating and help shorten the timeframe for recouping the difference in price when compared to other heating options.
The best thing that a homeowner can do is speak with a heat and air specialist in their area to get a personalized estimate on the cost of installing a hydronic heating system that meets their needs.