Can Underfloor Heating Replace Radiators?
Ever since radiators were introduced into British homes in the 1930s, they’ve been considered the default heating system. Originally this wall-mounted replacement of the coal fire was a clean and efficient luxury item in the home. Over the intervening century radiators have become the norm. So much so, that homeowners have started to look at alternatives.
Underfloor heating isn’t exactly a ‘new’ way to heat the home. The Romans first introduced it to Britain, but it’s taken a while to emerge in its contemporary form. Over the past 10 years, however, there’s been a significant growth in the number of people installing underfloor heating. The sector is predicting stable, ongoing growth for what’s seen as ‘luxury’ heating for the 21st century.
Can You Swap Radiators for Underfloor Heating?
The big question being asked of underfloor heating is: “Can it heat a home as efficiently as radiators?”. This refers to the fact that for many households it’s being installed only in the bathroom, or kitchen.
In this blog we consider 4 differences between the two systems:
1. Radiant Heat vs Convection
Swapping your radiators for underfloor heating isn’t just about heating location. The kind of heating they each produce is completely different. Radiators use a convection system in which air is heated, it rises, then – as it cools – it falls to the floor and is heated once again. Underfloor heating warms objects rather than the air, and the ensuing thermal heat rises naturally to the ceiling.
2. Distribution of Heat
Radiators tend to heat one particular area of the room, leaving cold spots that can’t be reached. It also tends to dry out the atmosphere, and pull dust into the convected air. This can cause problems for family members suffering from asthma, or eczema. Radiant heat, by contrast, spreads heat evenly across the floor. It then rises naturally to warm the whole room. Radiant heat retains the humidity in the air.
3. Aesthetic Differences
You might think that we’re so used to living with radiators now, that we no longer see them. But take them away and you’ll see the difference it makes. Unconsciously we tend to organise rooms around the heating source. Underfloor heating frees you from radiator–centric interior design. It also encourages more large floor cushions, rugs and, of course, bare feet all year round.
4. Room-by-Room Control
Conventional central heating tends to work off one thermostat that sets the temperature for the whole house. This can be wasteful as rooms that are seldom used are heated unnecessarily. Underfloor heating bucks this trend by offering a zoned heating. Rooms are controlled individually and heating is supplied only when it’s required. This lowers usage, which lowers household bills.
RB Liquid Screed Provides Underfloor Heating Expertise
As houses become more energy efficient, it’s likely that all new builds will incorporate underfloor heating. At present the majority of wet underfloor heating installations are in new properties, although retrofits are becoming more common. RB Liquid Screed specialists are available to answer questions about underfloor heating, and to conduct a heat loss calculation on older properties.
Can underfloor heating replace radiators? RB Liquid Screed takes a look at the differences between wall mounted radiators and ufh – 01842 659498 / 07498 964984