Home Energy Savings Series Radiant Floor Heating


With heating accounting for a sizable portion of most family budgets, practically everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to energy. The good news is that radiant floor heating might be the solution to your energy-cost worries. It saves energy and, according to some experts, provides a more pleasant, steady heat source.

Radiant floor heating was always supposed to be something only individuals who appeared on home renovation shows — heated floors in bathrooms, anyone? — could afford, but it is now more accessible and economical than many people know. It is simplest to add radiant floor heating when building a home, but it may also be placed in existing homes.

Do you understand the distinction between hydronic radiant heat flooring and electric radiant heat flooring? Do you want to learn more about the energy efficiency of radiant heat? Continue reading. We're here to explain how radiant floor heat works and whether it's appropriate for your house.

What Is Radiant Floor Heating in UK?

In contrast to forced hot air heating, which blows heat into a room through baseboards or vents, radiant floor heating distributes heat from the floor itself. (Radiance heating may be installed in wall panels or even ceilings, although it is most usually utilized in floors.) The floor is heated first, and the heat gradually rises. In other words, the heat is directed directly at you, beginning with toasty warm feet and up to the ceiling.

How Does Radiant Floor Heat Work?

One- Radiant floor heating systems use radiant heat instead of convection heat. Infrared radiation is used to distribute heat straight from the heated surface. The heat in radiant heat flooring systems is located in coils beneath the flooring. Heat is transferred via the coils (by electricity or hot water) and subsequently to the flooring right above it.

Two- Forced hot air heating, on the other hand, functions in a more random — and hence less energy efficient — manner, according to home remodeling gurus such as Bob Vila. He discusses the disadvantages of forced hot air heating in this manner:

Three- Forced hot air works on what Vila refers to as a yo-yo effect. This occurs when hot air is blasted randomly into a room, causing a transient warming period followed by a rapid cooling. This causes a heating yo-yo loop, resulting in you setting your thermostat to whatever temperature is currently in effect. Not only does it provide less constant heat, but it is also less than energy efficient.

Four- Stratification is another concern with forced hot air heating, according to Vila. Air swiftly rises to the ceiling as it is randomly blasted via grates in the ceiling (where most of it stays) or through vents on the floor. As a result, the top of your room (where no one spends time) is warmer — often up to 10 degrees warmer, according to Vila — than the actual living space you're attempting to heat. As a result, you keep cranking up the thermostat in the area of the room where you spend the most time.

Types of Radiant Heat Flooring Systems

  1. Radiant heat flooring is located in the floor, as the name suggests. However, there are distinctions between the various types of radiant heat flooring systems. Here's what you should know about the two most prevalent.

  2. Hydronic radiant floor heating is the most common and cost-effective type of radiant heat flooring, according to Energy.gov. Heated water is pumped from a boiler through tubing installed in a pattern beneath the floor in hydronic radiant floor heating systems. Some systems use zoning valves or pumps to manage the hot water flow through the pipe. Thermostats control the temperature of a room.

  3. Electric radiant floor heating: Electric wires inserted into the subfloor are used in radiant floor heating systems like this one. Typically, they are laid out in a grid beneath the floor in some form of plastic matting that conducts electricity. According to Energy.gov, this form of radiant heat flooring is frequently utilized for extensions since its dependency on energy can make large-scale use prohibitively expensive unless your electricity provider (the firm that handles acquiring your electricity) provides time-of-use rates.

  4. According to Energy.gov, in this case, you might charge the concrete floor with heat during off-peak hours (often from 9 p.m.-6 a.m.). The floor traps heat, keeping you comfortable without using power during the day. Because of this possible cost, electric radiant floor heating is commonly seen in smaller places, such as heated floors in restrooms.

Pros and Cons of Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Pros of Radiant Floor Heating:

 The mechanism is concealed beneath the floor. There are no radiators or vents visible.
 Radiant floor heating systems are often quiet. The technology activates without the noise often associated with forced hot air systems.
 Allergens are reduced by radiant heating. No forced hot air means no dust mites or other airborne particles being blown about in heating ducts.
 The heat is more uniform and consistent. Because the heat is not blasted in bursts, the heat source is steady, resulting in a more pleasant atmosphere overall.
 Energy efficiency of radiant heat. According to Vila, research show that this sort of flooring is possibly 30% more energy efficient than forced hot air heating systems due to the way heat is transferred into a space.

Cons of Radiant Floor Heating:

 Cost of radiant floor heating: If you're building a house or adding an addition that will require heating, the most cost-effective alternative is to install it from the start. Radiant floor heating might be retrofitted in an existing structure in areas where tubing can be linked to the bottom of a first-level flooring. The tubes might be inserted if the floor is accessible from a basement or crawl area.
 Radiant heat flooring systems might take some time to warm up. This might be a problem during bitter cold spells. This may be mitigated by keeping the thermostat at a consistent temperature throughout the day and night to keep the system steady.
 That's all there is to radiant heat energy efficiency and how installing radiant heat flooring may aid in your home. Other energy-saving suggestions may be found in our Home Energy Savings Series. Learn more about anything from the differences between tank less and conventional water heaters to the importance of basement insulation.

As per UtilityKing the best energy suppliers are:

  • Best overall service | Scottish and Southern Energy.

  • Best at resolving complaints quickly | EDF.

  • The largest supplier | British Gas.


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