I'm thinking of buying a single-level barn conversion. It doesn't have any gas supply & has electric underfloor heating installed without any other heat source. As far as I'm aware it's installed throughout the building. It was renovated no more than 2 years ago so will be insulated to modern standards.

Will this be sufficient to heat the building if it's particularly cold? I'm in Hertfordshire, England.

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    It depends on a lot of factors. What is your climate like? How well insulated is the building? How much heating is installed, etc. It would be impossible to give a simple answer without more information. – TomG Feb 4 '16 at 20:20
  • I'm in Hertfordshire England – Andy b Feb 4 '16 at 20:33
  • As far as I'm aware it's installed throughout the building. It was renovated no more than 2 years ago so will be insulated to modern standards – Andy b Feb 4 '16 at 20:34
  • Andy, please update your question rather than putting new information in comments. Along with your location, describe the climate. Don't make us Google it. Here, "particularly cold" is -30F. :) – isherwood Feb 4 '16 at 21:10
  • Electric heat is relatively expensive! – Yehuda_NYC Feb 4 '16 at 21:35

I agree with Ed Beal, get the plans of the layout. Also, confirm if the building, slab or crawlspace was indeed insulated or everything was inspected & what Passes or Fails were issued. I'd also put a Contingency in the Agreement Of Sale that it must be found to be completely sound. You'd have an Electrician test what he can, even if it's just continuity readings.

If it doesn't or can't be checked out, then see what you might be allowed to use to assist, supplement or replace it with. Like: Electric Baseboards, Wood Stoves, Passive Solar, More or Better Insulation or Geo-Thermal Heat Pump.

  • I've never heard of crawlspaces in the UK; they seem to be a US item. But the general advice is good. To put it in UK terms: check that it was signed off by Building Control and it'll be fine. – AndyT Jan 10 '17 at 17:23
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    They may not exist, but I've got to throw it out there in case it's present and would therefore be a much easier replacement or supplement process. Yeah, I haven't had any luck with Building Control, what we call the Zoning Dept. Some, require a Court Order and that's even if you're the property owner...ridiculous. – Iggy Jan 11 '17 at 4:26

At least your heat is under the floor. Here in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon) many houses have radiant ceiling heat, same thing but in the ceiling. Kind of goofy to put it in the ceiling since heat rises but even that works. The 1 advantage is the room will feel warm with no air blowing. Some of the disadvantages are a nail driven into the cable will kill a room and will need to be replaced. Electrical costs are many times higher than when the systems were originally installed. Will it be enough heat? It all depends on how many runs are in each living area. The systems were usually sized to meet the need of the area/ type of construction.

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