How to Calculate Hydronic Heating Costs
There are several factors you need to consider when you determine hydronic heating costs. You can compare the costs of installation, hydronic supplies and operating costs among others in order to determine when you break even on your investment. Furthermore, you have to consider any potential maintenance you will need for your system in case anything goes wrong or how to prevent such incidents. However, you also have to consider the potential savings and how efficient the system works in providing heat and hot water for your home.
The first thing that you must consider is the cost of installation of your system. Since this system is part of the fabric of your home, it will be much less painful to install if you are building a new home or completely remodeling. With this in mind, you will find that it usually costs about $3 to $7 per square foot to install your complete system. This will depend on a number of factors including the method of installation the contractor uses as well as the region in which you live since this can affect contractor fees. Of course, the size of the home always matters.
You also need to think about the kind of supplies you will need, which will depend upon the system you use. Combined with the costs of installation, the supplies will definitely add to the overall upfront costs of the system, especially since you will pay for these supplies. You have to consider the costs of tubing, which can vary depending upon whether you decide upon copper or PEX.
Operating costs should also be factored into the overall costs. Compared with other systems such as electrical heating systems, a radiant heating system can save between 20% and 40% in heating costs. When using a forced air system, it takes more work to circulate heat throughout the space, so this system is not as efficient as a radiant heat system because you will need to use more power. However, it is important to be sure you have a conductive material such as ceramic that emits heat easily.
Maintenance can bring about unexpected costs, but there are some ways to prevent higher maintenance costs. For instance, PEX is resistant to corrosion and leaking. Also, using single storey slab on grade wet installation can help cut costs as well. You can also use anti-freeze in your liquid medium because this will help prevent pipes and tubes from freezing and bursting in cold weather.
There are also other factors you can consider when trying to drive down hydronic heating costs. You can look for tax incentives for energy efficient heating that give you rebates. This helps you more quickly recoup the investment you made for your heating system. You should also make sure you are looking into installing a system over the long haul so that over time you do recover your investment. With the right installation, materials and operation, you can have an energy efficient system that eventually save you money.