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Underfloor Heating vs. Radiators – The Key Differences?

This article discusses the profound differences between underfloor heating and radiators as a heating system to your home. The main differences between underfloor heating and radiators can be highlighted in the main following 5 points:

  1. Heat distribution

  2. Comfort and Air Quality

  3. Cost efficiency

  4. Aesthetics

  5. Zoned heating

Central Heating with radiators was introduced in the 30’s and has since been used as the standard heating system for UK homes while remaining more or less unchanged for the past 8 decades. More recently, Underfloor Heating is being used in Irish houses as the heating system of choice, offering unrivaled comfort and luxury.

Below, you will find a comparison of these two systems, and an explanation of why we feel that Underfloor Heating is the best solution for heating a home.

Underfloor heating and radiators distribute heat differently. This illustration compares radiant floor heating and the uneven heat distribution from a radiator system. As some areas take much longer to heat with radiators and other areas are overheated, hot and cold spots reduce desired comfort levels.

2. Efficiency & Comfort of a System

The way the heat is distributed impacts the efficiency and comfort of the heating system. Radiant heat heats object directly and it maintains the natural humidity in a room, whereas convection of warm air tends to reduce humidity, which can make the heated area feel stuffy. If the whole floor of the room is heated then radiant heat gives a very even spread of heat, whereas conventional heating heats one area initially and then takes time to circulate to reach the required comfort levels. Rising air temperature through conventional heating can cause discomfort and overheating, which in turn can reduce oxygen levels, and ultimately breathing problems if the air is too warm.

3. Overheating Is Inefficient and Expensive.

Radiators were introduced as a luxury in the 30’s, but they are prone to overheating which makes a heating system far less efficient. Ventilation is often eventually required, such as opening a window, causing the energy to be lost to the environment.

The way radiators produce heat creates hot and cold spots, meaning that in order to feel warm further away from the radiator, you need to turn up the room temperature. This will cause the radiators to create more heat and reduce the cold spots, but at the same time make the area near the radiator even hotter. This overheating means that the room temperature will eventually become too hot, creating the need to open windows to let fresh air in, but at the same letting the heat escape, wasting energy and money. Wasting energy is expensive as overheating by just 1% can increase fuel costs by 8% (Source: Carbon Trust) which can really push your heating bills up.

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