It is common knowledge that electric underfloor heating is becoming a more popular choice for home heating and less home-owners tend to go for traditional radiators - But why? Choosing the right heating source for your home is a major decision and one that needs to be made correctly as it will affect your life for years to come. Making the right decision can lead to reduced energy bills, added comfort and an efficient heating system… Get it wrong and you could be looking at heat loss, inefficiency and wasting your hard earned money.
Electric underfloor heating for under tiles and electric underfloor heating for under wood and carpet is becoming increasingly popular across Europe, especially in the UK. The concept of underfloor heating was first coined in Roman times where hydronic systems were created. The systems were first introduced into the UK in the 1960’s and has since evolved, innovated and become more accessible to homeowners. Similarly, the idea of central heating came from the Roman people and was later developed into cast iron radiators by the Victorians. Radiators became the norm and the most popular form of heating for homeowners in the 20th Century and has been since…
But how do you decide which is the best heating system for you now and for the future?
When taking into consideration the environmental impact, the way forward is electric underfloor heating. This type of heating system can use up to 40% less energy to heat your home compared to radiators. This is because underfloor heating heats a much larger surface area and can therefore run using less energy. For example, a radiator must provide 2160W output to heat a 15sqm room, whereas the underfloor heating suitable for this size room would produce 1915W output - But would provide a more even heat distribution through the room (not just at one end where the radiator is). Electric underfloor heating also works using radiant heating which is much more efficient than convection heating which radiators use. In this example, it is clear to see that the underfloor heating system not only saves energy and money, but would provide a better and evenly distributed heat source. Another major factor that contributes to energy savings is insulation and thermostat settings.
The initial cost of products and installation of both radiators and electric underfloor heating vary depending on the size of the room/s and the desired output levels. However, there are several benefits with having electric underfloor heating - Firstly, after the initial installation there is virtually no maintenance costs whatsoever, whereas radiators can and will need maintenance eventually. Secondly, the costs of the electric underfloor heating system can be regained through energy savings.
The speed and reactiveness of both systems are basically the same. If the outputs against room size are measured accurately, both systems can generally heat a room within 15-20 minutes of the system being switched on. However, with the use of thermostats times, dates and temperatures can be set in advance making underfloor heating an ideal heating solution for people who are out often, work long hours or wake up earlier than most. Another factor to note is that electric underfloor heating systems cool down slower, making the heat provided last longer.
These heating systems differ greatly in this respect. Electric underfloor heating does not get in the way or take up any room space. On the other hand, radiators are often bulky and take up valuable wall space. Radiators are especially space-wasters in bathrooms, conservatories and loft conversions as space is limited. With the electric underfloor heating, wall space and room space is made available. However, although they take up valuable space in rooms and often look unattractive, they can complement the final finish to a room.
The electric underfloor heating system wins this one hands down. There is nothing like waking up on a cold winter’s morning and stepping on to a toasty warm floor. Tiles, vinyl and wooden flooring all end up cold during the winter and having underfloor heating gives that warmth that we all desire. On another note, the electric underfloor heating also runs a lot quieter as oppose to radiators which often crackle and tick as warm water flows through it.
Radiators attract dust and people often have trouble cleaning parts of the radiators as some parts are unreachable. With the electric underfloor heating, this problem is non-existent. Furthermore, with the underfloor heating dry stuffy air is eliminated making the hygiene benefits of the underfloor heating better than radiators.
Looking through the benefits and drawbacks mentioned, it is clear that electric underfloor heating is the way forward. It is becoming the more preferred source of heating for a reason - Taking into consideration all factors involved, it is definitely the better source of heating for homeowners.