Electric Radiant Heat Outperforms Hydronic Radiant Heat

Posted on 2013-11-13 13:39:44 PST

For a Multi-unit dwelling in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada, the numbers are in and they’re impressive!

More and more projects are using radiant heating as the primary heating system for the building. Whether that projects is a single detached residential home, an office and warehouse building, a high-rise office tower, etc., radiant heat is being deployed in all kinds of projects.

The primary drivers are energy efficiency and comfort. We’ve explored those topics throughout our website and blog, so I won’t go into detail here. I do, however, want to share some comparative results we’ve compiled.

It’s not very often we get the opportunity to compare different heating systems directly in a way that makes sense. Usually the buildings are different, or are in a different climate, and so forth, making a direct comparison very difficult. Not in this case, however.

One of our customers is in the business of building relatively small muli-unit residential rental apartments intended primarily for retired people. The rent includes heat and light for one price. Naturally the building owner wants to be able to control his costs as best as he can. Any savings goes directly to his bottom line. He had several of these units with hot water radiant heating.

As he built more units, he switched to SmartRooms radiant heat primarily because of the initial capital costs and that maintenance costs are generally zero. He hadn’t expected that the electric radiant system would be so much better on his consumption, however!

Radiant Heating Numbers vs. Hydronic Heating

The SmartRooms units consumed 30,217 kwh of electricity in total for all the units. The hydronic units consumed 60,365 kwh. That’s almost exactly twice as much! Total operating costs are going to be similar, of course: $2,328.36 for the SmartRooms units vs $5,200.84.

  SmartRooms Hydronic
Energy Use (all units) 30,217 kwh 60,365 kwh
Annual Cost (all units) $2,328.36 $5,200.84

The hydronic system uses significantly more energy to do the job than the SmartRooms Earth Thermal Storage units. The hydronic hot water system is also subject to maintenance issues such a pumps and boilers, whereas the SmartRooms system is not. It just keeps working year after year after year.

So if you want an economical and energy efficient heating system that you can just “set and forget”, then you should be looking into SmartRooms radiant heating.