Jingzi is not a professional, but just a customer, who wrote down her insights after several months of gradually learning and investigating the market .
First: Whether or not to install a heating appliance
The first time I saw a floor heating system was at a remodeling site, where the floor heating system was installed. I saw the pipes all over the ground andmy first impression was that it would be very bad if a leakage were to occur some day. So I thought I will never consider using this kind of system! I believe that many people have the same impression as me.
Jingzi lives in Sinopec family area. It is a great place where central heating is provided uniformly for such a large area. In winter, we do not wear coats at home and we are able to sleep well with our heating unit. When I settled down in Changsha, I really expected a centralized municipal heating, but it seems like it will not come anytime in the near future! .Especially at my age hethere are many old and young people at home whohuddle together around a stove, and they do not want to move away. If heated floors are installed, the two children can happily play on the ground and the old can also benefit from it.
Just think, how happy we would be if we could take off our thick coats after coming back home and enjoy the warmth! In order to improve my family's quality of life, I think it is very essential to install heated floors. Everyone should have heated floors as long as their economic condition permits. After all, making money is intended to make life better. So, I decided to install a heating system. As for the type, I started doing some research.
Second, should I choose water heating, electrical and floor heating, a radiator or a combination of all of those?
Initially, I worried about having water leakage problems, so I considered the electrical heating. My husband, who works in the industrial control equipment industry and comes into contact with electrical equipment quite often, was very opposed to electrical heating. His reason was that radiators age quickly. In general, he rarely makes a decision at home, but I will respect him once he makes them. So I am determined to give up this idea immediately.
But there was still the problem that I had to make a choice between floor heating, a radiator, or a combination of both. Some say, "Just choose the right one, not the expensive one." So, I made a comparison among them based on what I learned over these months to figure out the proper one.
Advantages of heated flooring:
1. The most comfortable. Coldness starts with the feet, this means that one will feel warmth all over their body once their feet get warm. This is why an air conditioner cannot have the same effect in winter. When using an air conditioner, hot air will flow upwards, and the floor is the coldest place in the room. Naturally, feet cannot get warm, thus floor heating is still needed even though a central air conditioner is provided. Comfort of floor heating also lies in that it does not make the air dry compared with heating radiators and air conditioners.
2. Small space is needed, concealed mounting, and will not influence the style and effect of housing decorations. This is apparent when compared to heating radiators.
3. More energy-saving. For the current price of natural gas, it is cheaper than electricity to reach the same heating effect. Several of my friends whose houses are all about 140m2 spend 1300-1800 RMB per month on natural gas. I remember, during my month of rest after giving birth to my second child, I had a Gree radiator for heating my room where the temperature was normally maintained at above 10℃, and the energy charge of that month increased by more than 600 RMB. This increase was only from heating my own room, a space about 10m2!
Disadvantages of floor heating:
1. The ground should be leveled twice before installing floor heating, so this raises the installation cost. Let me use my house, about 139m2, as an example. The first leveling can be done with cement and gravel andthen tiles can be put down directly. However, those areas with wood floors require an additional leveling, thus adding 2000 RMB to the total cost, which excludes cement and gravel. The price of cement and gravel varies greatly from one source to another, which will talk more about a little later.
2. Floor heating has some requirements for wooden floors. Three-layer or multi-layer solid wood floor or laminate flooring is required. You can't use solid wood floors because they will crack and becomedeformed. If a solid wood floor is essential, there is one kind of special wood for floor heating, but the price is not affordable for ordinary families. So it is a hard choice if you love having a solid wood floor.
3. It heats up slowly and consumes a lot of energy. Every time it turns on, it must begin at a low temperature, gradually warming up the floor and reaching the ideal warming state for at least 24 hours. Therefore, it has to be kept on as long as there is no one at home for a long time throughout the day. Because of this, it is good for someone who stays at home, but for those who go out to work at all day and only get back after work, the floor heating is always left unused. Fortunately, the temperature can be set on low, reducing some of its energy consumption.
4. Heated floors reduces the height of the room. The height of the whole house where a heated floor system is installed will be reduced by around 10cm.
5. It is suitable for a new house, but not for an old one.
Advantages of a radiator:
1. It gets warm soon after it is turned on, relatively faster than a heated floor. When not needed, it can be directly turned off on the boiler, or the radiator in each room can be turned off individually, which gives you good control over energy consumption.
2. Amount of concealed work is small andconvenient to service if problems occur.
3. It is convenient to dry clothes and quilts in winter. This is very practical: a cotton-padded jacket can be dried out in several hours, while increasing the humidity of room. Kills two birds with one stone!
4. Both new and old houses can be equipped, making a good choice for old houses.
5. It does not have any requirement for the floors, so it's suitable for any kind of floors.
Disadvantages of radiator:
1. It is less comfortable than a heated flooring system. The radiators will dry out the air when heating the room, thus the air quality is not as good as those with heated flooring systems. Furthermore, the heating range of radiators is limited, areas closer to it will be warmer, and those further away will be cooler. The floor is also colder than those with a heated flooring systems, making it less comfortable.
2. Space needed. A radiator has a limited heat range, so a big house will need many radiators, and their placement can be a tough problem to solve. Moreover, the current housing prices are so high that every piece of land is costly.
3. The style and appearance of housing decorations will be influenced. Radiators placed throughout the house will have an influence on the whole style, especially as time passes and they are aging and yellowing.
4. External things apart from itself will be affected. For example, solid wooden furniture, leather sofas, appliances and many other objects should not be placed near radiators, because they are unable to withstand the heat.
Combination: means a heating system with a combination of heated flooring and radiators. Ordinary families can choose heated flooring for the dining room, balcony and corridor, and radiators for other rooms.
Advantages of choosing a combination of both:
1. It combines almost all of the advantages of both heated flooring and radiators.
2. In theory, it ismore energy-saving than heated flooring alone. The radiators, which are not used can be turned off directly. Of course, this is just in theory. Actually, it is not necessarily so because a true feeling of warmth first comes from the air being warmed, then the walls. This way, the whole space can be warmed uniformly, thereby improving the level of comfort. When the radiators are turned on, only the air will get warm, but the walls do not, thus the whole room will not be warmed, causing poor comfort.
Disadvantages of choosing a combination of both:
1. High cost. The combination is the highest cost compared to the heated flooring and the use of radiators. The cost will be about 2000 RMB.because a water mixing center is necessary.
2. Similarly, leveling is needed. Installation of floor heating will take up about 10cm of vertical space, thus a leveling layer about 10cm has to be added on the areas of floor heating, increasing the cost of labor and materials.
3. Maintenance risk is increased. The more complex the structure, the easier it is for problems to occur. So reducing the sections where problems could easily occur will reducing the risk of repairs.
In short, Jingzi suggested not choosing the combination.