Central Heating V. Under Floor Heating – Which Is Better?

Submitted by Dorothy on Fri, 03/09/2018 - 13:12
underfloor heating

If you own your own property or home, you may be reassessing the heating system you are using, advises John Peel, boss of My Oxford Plumber.  Perhaps you have been using a traditional central heating system through radiators and are wondering if it is worth investing in something modern such as underfloor heating.  To help you decide between the two, it is important to understand the differences.  Once you know a little bit more about how they both work, you are in a better position to make a choice over which is best for you.

Heat Distribution

The way in which heat is distributed will depend on the heating system you choose.  Central heating through radiators heats the surrounding air using the process of convection.  Air heated by the radiators rises upwards to the ceiling.  When this air cools, it falls back down to floor level and is then heated again by the radiator.  This creates a flow of both cold and hot air, which means there will be areas in a room are warmer than others, near the radiators for instance. 

Underfloor heating delivers radiant heat that helps you feel warm, it is so-called radiant heat because radiation is responsible for the warmth achieved by this type of system.

Comfort and Efficiency

The comfort and efficiency of your chosen heating system are affected by the way the heat is distributed.  When warm air is convected it reduces the humidity in the room, which can leave the room feeling stuffy.  Whereas radiant heat warms objects that come into contact with it directly and does not have a negative effect on the room's humidity levels.  If you have underfloor heating for the whole of a room's floor, there will be an even spread of warmth, while the heat generated from convection will take its time to spread from the area closest to the radiator.

Overheating Can Be Expensive And  Inefficient

Radiators can be incredibly helpful, though they can overheat, make them inefficient and expensive to run.  You often need some form of ventilation with radiators, whether it is opening a window or something else, which can mean that the energy and heat escape.  As the heat initially is felt around the area nearest to the radiators and takes a while to spread, you often need to turn the thermostat up a lot higher.


When decorating, underfloor heating is much better because it doesn't take up any floor space, as all the heating is produced underneath the floor.  As radiators need to be inside rooms and can be quite bulky, wall space, therefore, needs to be taken into consideration.  This can cause problems when you are decorating smaller rooms such as bathrooms.

Based on the information above, underfloor heating may well be the better option rather than central heating radiators.  It will give you a more efficient way to heat your home and will not waste energy as much, though it may cost more to install this type of heating.  However, it is important to weigh up the cost of each system, your available budget and your own living arrangements when choosing which is best for you.