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The Energy Efficiency of Underfloor Heating

With the autumnal months upon us and winter only round the corner, we all begin to start gradually upping the frequency of our heating. When it comes to heating, an increasingly popular trend is the installation of underfloor heating systems, but is it just a fad or is underfloor heating a genuinely efficient mode of heating one’s building?

Radiant Heat vs Convection

To fully understand that we will need to analyse what is different about the way underfloor heating distributes its heat. Traditional methods, such as radiators, rely on convection currents to distribute their heat, where underfloor heating radiates. The convection current from the radiator serves to heat the air within a room where the radiant heat attempts to heat the objects within the room. As such – being an object yourself – you are likely to feel warmer even when the underfloor heating is set at a cooler temperature compared to the radiator.

Equally, the type of heat that the radiator emits actually serves to dry out the air, where the radiant heat from the underfloor preserves the moisture. The difference here is that this dryness manifests itself through a degree of stuffiness and can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Also, due to the convection currents, a lot of the heat emitted actually ends up around the ceiling, as opposed to underfloor heating which radiates heat gradually from the floor upwards.

Through heating from the floor upwards, you are guaranteed a more even heat distribution, and thus a much reduced risk of overheating. The underfloor heating is designed specifically and ergonomically towards what best suits humans. Through targeting the human comfort levels, you are reducing the temperature at which you need to set your thermostat, boosting your energy efficiency and, ultimately, saving money.

Installing a Thermostat

The beauty of a thermostat is that you can set your underfloor heating to come on at certain times, thus saving the unnecessary wastage that is synonymous with overheating and, essentially, redundant heating when there is no one present. Through fully utilising a thermostat you can reduce your energy bills significantly.


Radiators can be problematic when it comes to maintaining them, in the form of bleeding them and even just general repair. Underfloor heating is great in that once it is installed, you will need to experience very little in the way of maintenance, meaning that if you are applying an underfloor heating system to a business or organisation, you won’t lose any work hours through disruption.

Efficiency: The Stats

Through installing underfloor heating you can expect to save around 15% on your heating bills compared to more traditional heating methods; a staggering percentage when you consider that in the Governmental study shown in the Housing Fact File 2013, around 62% of the average energy consumption is spent on home heating. Another thing to consider of course is that the pipes used for heating are all underfoot, meaning that any heat that is pumped into that system is utilised; no heat will be lost through the transfer pipes, which can of course occur with radiators.

Underfloor heating is a generally more efficiency means of heating your building by ergonomically targeting the human comfort zone, thus reducing the unwanted occurrence of overheating. As a side note, the convection current of a radiator actually serves to transport dust around a building, meaning that it is not only more efficient and cost-effective, but also cleaner. So if you were ever in two minds as to whether underfloor heating is more energy efficient, there is only really one answer to that; with the ever increasing energy prices, it is certainly something to consider.

Continental Underfloor have over 15 years experience in the provision of high quality underfloor heating systems- providing systems for a range of purposes from extensions to new builds to renovations.

Tel: 01566 772 322 Email: [email protected]

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