A few years ago, the application of surface heating to any building involved a premium in additional capital cost. This was not so much for the system itself, but rather for the insulation layer required to prevent downward heat loss. Now Part L regulations demand insulation in the floor whether you heat it or not. In fact, most of the projects we get involved in have layers of insulation with a thermal performance far in excess of that required for the heating system.
Today, the cost of the insulation material and the time taken to install it are no longer part of the surface heating package, so the best solution is now often the least expensive too. Surface heating and cooling systems offer cost savings as they operate at lower air temperature (1-2˚C lower to provide same level of comfort). Cyril Sweett and The Trade Association for Surface Heating and Cooling (UHMA) research reveals that a traditional radiator system costs 25% more over a 30 year period that a surface heating system. There is also a reduction in building heat losses and energy consumption and the heat source can operate at its highest efficiency. The greatest savings will be in rooms or spaces with high ceilings, as our systems heat only the occupied zone.
Savings in the region of 30-50% are possible. In rooms with lower ceiling heights, the savings will come from the lower operating temperatures of the system, together with the reduced air temperatures, to give savings of 10-20%. There are also no costs attributable to painting and decorating and no replacements due to vandalism of radiators etc. We find that this is often a key criteria for specifiers.