Under Floor Heating or Radiator Systems? Or Both?

underfloor heating or radiators
Image credits: nrgpanel.ie

One of the most important aspects modern living, and one that makes the home such a cozy environment, is a heating element to defend against the cold.

Today there are a great many options available from the modern infrared panels to fireplaces and more.

Two of the most effective ways to keep the interior of your home or commercial location warm are the dependable radiator and the classic UFH, or Under Floor Heating.

The big question is, which of the two would be best in your home?

This following article will highlight some of the important consideration when making this decision.

By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each, it will be easier to make the best selection for your home or even consider the third option: both.

Advantages of UFH (Underfloor Heating)

Under floor heating works by running heated water through pipes laid below the surface of your floor. The heat for these elements is provided by a heat pump.

1. Energy Efficient

UFH requires less heat to keep the room heated as well as most other heating options. Actually, the UFH will use between 15 and 40% energy to keep the entire home evenly heated at a mere 2°C less than a home heated with radiators.

2. Even Heat Spread

In some locations, a heating element like a radiator will effectively warm its vicinity and much of the surrounding space as well. However, the heat will be considerably greater the closer you stand to the radiator.

With the UHF, no matter where you stand you will receive the same amount of warmth and the rising heat will soon create an even interior temperature.

3.  Aesthetically Pleasing

Unlike a big bulky radiator, the UFH is hidden discreetly beneath the floorboards and out of sight.

4. Boost Property Value

As an eco-friendly option, a UFH in your home makes the property more desirable to the discerning modern market. Real estate experts agree that environmentally friendly homes can rake in higher prices on today’s markets.


1.  Initial Installation Costs

While the costs to run the UFH can be low, the initial installation is large project that must be designed by an experienced tradesman. The heating elements need to be laid just right, and can’t run under certain pieces of furniture or appliances” and then there’s the price.

2. Takes time to warm

The UFH will take some time to reach the desired temperature that will warm the room. But, there are some sophisticated heat pumps with timers and remote-control switches that can be activated 20 mins (or so) before you arrive home.

Advantages Radiator

The radiator also works with warm water or other fluids that move through the radiators fins and never need replacing. Convection will then carry the heat across the interior.

1. Cost Effective

Installation and maintenance costs are also reduced in the trusty radiator. They require a one time investment of installation, and then run fine with little attention. Furthermore, the installation is far less complex or costly than with a UFH option.

2. Specific Heat Spread

Rather than heating the entire home, the radiator can be used to heat a specific room alone. In some cases, this can help to reduce energy expenses.

3. Doubles as Clothes Dryer

Need your wet sweater ready for school or work in 30 minutes? The radiator can do this. Clothes can be hung on and around the radiator to dry with no risk of fire. This is also good for getting you’re your socks nice and toasty before slipping them on.


1. Not the Prettiest

In a room with finely balanced aesthetics, a radiator can be an eyesore.

2. Maintenance

The radiator will need a bit more maintenance than the UFH and a good power flush every couple of years to keep the minerals from collecting inside.

What About Both?

The great thing about both heating systems is how compatible they are. The UFH and Radiator system can work together to provide heating solutions to specific situations. Maybe the budget is not enough for a full UFH, or perhaps UFH is only needed in one part of an extensive complex.

Thanks to the flexible designs and similar heating dynamics, both the UFH and Radiator systems can be combined to one innovative heating solution.


Author Bio:

Tom Philips is the Operations Manager And HVAC Consultant of Milwaukee HVAC. His years of experience made him knowledgeable on all of technologies and techniques that made him an expert HVAC Consultant. He also write blogs to share his learnings about HVAC.

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