Radiant Heating vs Underfloor Heating

Why Choose Radiant Panels Over Underfloor Heating?

With over 90 years’ experience in designing, manufacturing and installing radiant heating panels (we still have panels in active service that were installed in the 1930s), we are increasingly being asked how radiant panels compare to underfloor heating.

The exact application and its requirements will obviously create advantages and disadvantages to varying degrees, but the main benefits of radiant panels over underfloor heating are broadly – in our opinion – universal:

(1) Flexibility and Response times – Almost as soon as a radiant panel is switched on, you feel the warmth and the adjustability is near enough instant. In contrast, underfloor heating takes hours rather than minutes to warm up because the entire floor slab has to be brought up to temperature. And by the same token, it also takes longer to cool down or adjust the room temperature.

(2) Efficiency – Radiant panels are more energy efficient as they heat objects and occupants directly rather than relying on heating air to then warm the occupants and objects. This enables a lower air temperature for the same sensation of warmth which results in lower running costs. Radiant heating can also be zone controlled at a very granular level, whereas underfloor heating tends to be much less controllable requiring you to heat unnecessary areas.

(3) Building Fabric – Underfloor heating is part of the floor slab and therefore re-modelling the building or repairing the heating are both time consuming and expensive. The long-term impacts of repeated heating and cooling cycles can also be detrimental to floor coverings.

(4) Occupant comfort – Radiant heat is evenly distributed and therefore avoids temperature graduations unlike underfloor which is warmest at the floor. In addition, radiant doesn’t cause convection drafts and dust circulation and therefore avoids the ‘stuffy’ conditions frequently associated with underfloor heating.

(5) Aesthetics – Underfloor heating limits the selection of floor covering. Radiant panels blend into their surroundings in the ceiling and leave all floor space clear to be covered and used entirely as you desire.

(6) Capital cost – Radiant heating is almost always cheaper to purchase and install.

We design and manufacture our panels in the UK at our Swansea factory. If you’ve got a heating project and would like to discuss your options please give us a call on 01792 89 22 11 or drop us a line at sales@solray.co.uk