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Community and Q&A

How efficient is ceiling radiant heat?

lmpifer | Posted in General Questions on

I’m considering renting an apartment with ceiling radiant heat, and wondering if it’s cost effective.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    The cost to heat this apartment depends on the fuel.

    Some ceiling radiant panels are electric-resistance panels, and electricity is usually an expensive fuel.

    Some ceiling radiant panels are hydronic (which means that they circulate hot water). The cost to operate a hydronic system depends on the fuel that fires the boiler.

  2. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #2

    "Cost effect" depends on what you really mean by that. With radiant ceilings and floors comfort is achieved at a lower room temp, which can reduce the amount of fuel used by a few percent. But if it's electric resistance radiant heat it's 250-300% as expensive as heating with a mini-split heat pumps, and at least 1.5-2x as expensive as heating with non-modulating ducted heat pumps.

  3. wjrobinson | | #3

    Smaller homes in areas with low cost utilities and moderate climates... are the most effective strategies for lowering this type of cost. Point blank answer. Of course so many ask... want to lower costs.... while living in an 8000 sqft igloo ten miles from the north pole.

    San Diego.... lower costs... Duke Energy down some states below me have better rates than I have... nationwide their are a few spots with super low electric costs... around me it is because some towns have town owned utilities with crazy low cost contracts to purchase Canadian excess hydro... So jealous.... costs like 1/3 of my lovely National Grid.

    Dana... just a thank you to you for posting here at GBA and doing so much number crunching in your posts. You are one of the best to join GBA. Keep up the great posting neighbor. We all owe you a night out someday at your favorite spot.


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