Should underfloor heating be on all the time? 

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underfloor heating on all

Installing an underfloor heating system in your home offers a huge number of benefits. For instance, it gives you more control over which room gets certain levels of heat at a specific time of the day. Secondly, it gives you energy-efficient heat as and when you need it by connecting it to a programmable thermostat. And with a smart thermostat upgrade, you can control your underfloor heating system from anywhere in the world using your smartphone. 

In addition, underfloor heating has proven to be more efficient than conventional radiator systems or central HVAC systems. However, while still talking about efficiency, one question remains about this heating system; should underfloor heating be on all the time? Or should you switch it off from time to time when it’s not in use? 

Let us have a look!

Should Underfloor heating be left on all the time? 

Although this usually depends on the season, It’s safe to leave your underfloor heating system on all the time. Specifically, keeping your underfloor heating system on all day during the winter months ensures faster response time when the heat is needed. While it might sound odd to leave your heating system when everybody is out of the house, underfloor heating can take 2 – 3 hours to warm up the space to the desired temperature. 

One reason for this is that the screed surrounding the radiant heating pipes takes a while to conduct the heat and radiate up the floor surface to heat the room to the desired temperature. On the other hand, leaving the system on at a reduced temperature allows it to heat up to a comfortable level very quickly. Plus, it encourages faster warming times and higher efficiency, thus reducing your chances of feeling chilly for longer. Nonetheless, it is still recommended that you reduce the temperature of your underfloor heating overnight by using the best thermostat for underfloor heating effectively. 

All in all, leaving your underfloor heating on all the time will not cause any damage to the system. However, you should keep it at a low temperature when everyone is out to heat your home faster when you need it. 

Also, it’s important to note the benefits and drawbacks of leaving your UFH system on all the time can change dramatically depending on the type of underfloor heating system in your home. Some of those benefits and drawbacks include; 

Effects of leaving Electric Underfloor heating system on all the time 


In general, electric UFH systems heat up faster than hydronic underfloor heating systems. Therefore, you don’t have to leave them on all the time as you can simply switch them on when needed. Plus, you can pair them with smart thermostats to turn them on at specific times to ensure that your home has enough warmth all the time. Other than that there are no added advantages to leaving your electric UFH system on all the time. 


The major drawback of leaving an electric UFH system on all the time during the winter months is that it increases the costs of your electricity bills. Secondly, since they heat up faster, they constantly shut off and turn back on to maintain the same temperature. Lastly, each electric heating mat has a limit to how long it can work. Therefore, this limit will be reached quite fast if you’re constantly running your electric underfloor heating system. 

Effects of leaving Hydronic Underfloor heating on all the time 


Unlike electric UFH systems, water-based in-floor radiant heating systems become more effective when you leave them on for longer. Besides, they keep ambient heat a lot better compared to electric systems. As a result, the system uses a lot less electricity in the long run than you would when turning it on and off constantly. 

Another benefit of leaving a hydronic underfloor heating system on all the time is that it helps you save energy since you don’t have to heat your house from scratch each time. 


Hydronic systems quickly reach the end of their lifespan with air bubbles being introduced or heat pumps backing up. This is why many hydronic systems are equipped with a smart control system. On the downside, keeping a smart control system on all the time will significantly increase your home’s ambient temperature, but negatively affect the lifespan of your UFH system. 

In addition, mechanical components like the flow valves and actuators can fail quickly if they get overworked due to the constant switching needed to regulate the system. 

When should I turn off my underfloor heating system? 

As already mentioned, it’s safe to leave your underfloor heating on at all times as most systems are designed to be powered up for long periods. Plus, many systems run on an underfloor heating thermostat that can jump into action whenever you want it to. That way, you can set the underfloor heating up on a timer and eliminate the need to switch it off at all at the mains. This will allow it to simply cool down and power back up again when and as needed. 

However, there are some instances where you should shut down your underfloor system. These include; 

  • Vacations

When you’re going on a vacation with your entire family, it’s recommended that you shut down the entire underfloor heating system. Turning the electric underfloor system off when on a vacation is a lot better than having it run for no reason. 

However, this doesn’t apply to a hydronic/ wet radiant system since the water/ fluid in the pipes may freeze when you’re away. So, if your home has a water-based UFH system, always keep it on, even when you’re on vacation.  

  • Long workdays 

A normal workday lasts for about 8 hours. Therefore, leaving your underfloor heating running during that period will allow you to return to a comfortable home. Also, you can consider setting the system to a lower level to save on energy. 

However, if you’re going away for longer or on a shift-based workday, consider shutting down your underfloor heating system. This is because shifts are usually longer than expected. Alternatively, you can install a smart or automated system that allows your underfloor heating system to turn on automatically before you reach home. This will help you save energy by preventing your UFH system from heating your home when you’re away.

  • Summer

Why Should I turn off the underfloor heating in the summer? 

If it’s starting to get hotter outside and your home is getting warmer, leaving your underfloor heating system at all times will be inefficient. Moreover, the system will make your indoor spaces uncomfortable for the occupants as it will be too hot. To avoid this issue, only leave your underfloor heating system on all the time when the outside temperature is close to freezing. 

  • Weekends away

Lastly, if you’re going away for a weekend, you can shut down your underfloor heating system if no one else is at home. This will allow you to enjoy your weekend without wasting energy at home. Besides, hydronic underfloor heating systems retain some heat hours afterward even after shutting them down. Therefore, you’re more likely to find some residual heat when you return from your weekend, especially if your home is well-insulated. 

How much does it cost to run an underfloor heating system all the time? 

The cost of running an underfloor system varies depending on various factors such as the room size, level of insulation, and how long you leave the system on. In addition, the cost of running an electric system can be up to 5 times the running cost of a hydronic underfloor heating system. 

According to Nu-Heat, the cost of running an electric and hydronic underfloor heating system is as follows; 

Room Size (sq m.)

Water-Based/ Hydronic UFH

Electric Underfloor Heating 







Final Word; Should underfloor heating be on all the time? 

You can safely leave your underfloor heating system on all the time during the cold winter months, even if you’re leaving the house for a few systems. This will ensure that your home has adequate warmth when you return and help you save a lot of energy. 

However, there are some instances you can shut down your underfloor heating such as when you’ll be away for an extended period to prevent the system from overworking. Alternatively, you can set your programmable thermostat for underfloor heating to switch on the system at specific intervals to prevent the pipes from freezing. 

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