Modern low water content radiators are more efficient than underfloor heating as an emitter for low temperature systems, according to Nick Whitwell, managing director of Quinn Radiators.
He says that the right radiator is far more responsive to the thermo sensitivities of modern buildings, rather than underfloor heating which is less controllable, leading to overheating and wasted energy.
'The increasing use of low water temperature systems, such as heat pumps and condensing boilers, has led to many myths circulating about radiators. For example, that you need huge radiators to get the right heat output, or that you need underfloor heating because it offers a lower temperature with larger surface area. However, this simply isn't the case and a low temperature system combined with the right radiator is far more efficient than an underfloor heating system,' said Mr Whitwell.
Research by Rettig ICC and Professor Harrysson, at the Orebro University in Sweden supports Mr Whitwell's argument. The study involving 130 Swedish houses revealed that the heating consumption of underfloor heated buildings is 15 per cent to 25 per cent higher than in radiator heated buildings. The findings also showed that radiators are around 15 per cent more efficient than underfloor heating in single-storey houses and up to 10 per cent in multi-storey buildings.
Mr Whitwell concluded: 'There is no doubt that underfloor heating systems can bring more comfort to bathrooms and kitchens, when used in combination with a heated towel rail or radiator. However, I can't see that they will ever replace radiators as the main heat emitter in our homes because they don't offer the control and responsiveness that is required to efficiently heat a modern property.'