Why Underfloor Heating is Better Than Radiators

When it comes to heating systems, many people stick to the conventional radiators over other forms of heating, for their homes. This could be due to lack of knowledge on other heating systems, or not wanting to spend money and keeping to what they already have.

Since the 1980s, the radiator has been the standard method of heating within homes all around the UK.  Aside from this, there have been more efficient ways of warming up the rooms in your home. The most efficient and most comfortable method of radiating heat is underfloor heating.

Underfloor Heating Vs. Radiators

There are many benefits to choosing underfloor heating, over a radiator system. These reasons include:

  • Heat Distribution
  • Comfort and Energy Efficiency
  • Cost Efficiency
  • Aesthetics

Heat Distribution

Underfloor heating emits heat to a room through the process of radiant heating. Radiant heating is the effect of which you can feel warmth from a particular component which is emitting infrared radiation. A big example of radiant heating is the warmth that you feel from the sun.

Radiators, on the other hand, heat air through convection. Convection is the process of heating the air and then transferring the heat throughout a space to warm up the environment. The heat from radiators rise, and then drop back down as they cool, to then be heated again.

With radiators being located on one wall, it generally takes longer for a whole room to heat up.  Because of this factor, it means that there will be cold spots and hot spots in a room and so the heat is never distributed evenly. Whereas with underfloor heating the warmth is distributed evenly under the room.

Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Underfloor heating can emit heat directly in your home and maintains the state of relative humidity that is naturally occurring in its environment. Alternatively, radiators reduce the humidity of the room which can make the room feel stuffy.

Many homes in the UK suffer with low humidity, especially during the winter-time. The problem with low humidity is that it can cause ‘dry air’, which results in a slightly suffocating atmosphere. It also can cause cracked, taught or itchy skin, as well as irritated eyes and nasal passages. It can also cause nosebleeds and increase static electricity. Low humidity can also make it easier for bacteria and viruses to be spread.

Underfloor heating distributes the heat in a room and so the temperature is generally the same throughout the room. As well as this, the heat doesn’t differ much depending on how high or low you are in a room. Radiators take a while to heat up and convection usually requires circulation of air, which means that some form of ventilation will occur. Opening windows usually allows this ventilation, although it means that a lot of energy is lost out in the environment.

Cost Efficiency

Radiators are susceptible to overheating and so to cool them down you will need to open windows and doors which will mean that you will waste all the energy that you have used to generate the warmth in your house. Radiators also cause cold and hot spots because of their poor heat distribution. Because of this, people tend to turn up their heating so that the heat can reach to the other side of the room. This consequently makes one side too hot in the process and used more energy than needed.

Increasing your heating by just 1% can actually increase your monthly energy bills by 8%. Without realising, your bills will increase everyday and you will be wasting your money and energy.


Aesthetically, there are many benefits to having underfloor heating. As the heating system is under the floor, it means that it doesn’t take up any floor or wall space. Radiators are very bulky and take up a lot of wall space. They can get rather annoying when needing to decorate your home, as they get in the way of your skirting board and when painting behind the radiator. They are also very plain and not a very aesthetically pleasing. When furnishing your house, radiators can also take up space where you could potentially put furniture. This causes restrictions and your furniture could also act as a barrier, preventing the heat from being transferred into other areas of your rooms.

There are many benefits with underfloor heating and so it should be a top thought for consideration when it comes to deciding on what heating methods you should go for in your property. There are more benefits than losses and can be installed easily within any property. Why not delve deeper into the world of central heating and look at different forms of heat emitters, other than radiators.

Content provided by SPM Plumbing and Heating.

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