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Underfloor Heating vs Radiators - Can Underfloor Heating Systems Replace Radiators?

Many homes and offices across Australia still feature radiators - a once dominant energy system for internal heating. At a time where energy-efficient heating is essential, however, underfloor heating vs radiators is a common debate in the industry.

underfloor heating v radiators - heat pumps

Diving into the pros and cons of both these solutions, our blog this week helps you determine the differences between underfloor heating systems and radiators - and whether the former is capable of replacing the latter.

Continue reading to find out!

Underfloor heating vs radiators


For property owners that opt for radiators, affordability is one of the biggest benefits of this solution. Compared to other alternatives, these prove to be an easy fit in just about any budget.

When it comes to underfloor heating, however, the high cost incurred in the purchase and installation process can prove to be onerous for many property owners. Beyond the price of the equipment itself, professional service is required if these are to be laid down properly and to ensure the system works at its peak.

Energy efficiency

Diving into underfloor heating vs radiators debate, one of the most important consideration pertains to efficiency.

In this regard, radiators suffer from lower levels of efficiency compared to underfloor heating systems. As a result, property owners can expect to pay over and above the level of heating provided, rendering it a costly solution in the long run.

In terms of the latter, however, their biggest sell is their exceptional levels of energy efficiency. This is especially the case when it comes to hydronic underfloor heating systems, which rely on water heating and cooling - as opposed to electricity - in order to control internal temperature.

Given that these systems do not require high water temperatures in order to provide an adequate level of heating, they make a perfect fit in properties with a heat pump. This ensures greater efficiency and cost savings.

Property design

When it comes to considering alternatives to radiators, property design is often a key consideration.

While radiators are easier to accommodate in a given space, they can often prove to be a clunky and unsightly addition to homes, offices, and commercial buildings. Given that they take up room space, this can limit property owners in terms of how they arrange their furniture.

Underfloor heating systems, on the other hand, offer unlimited design freedom to architects and interior designers. Given that they do not take up any visible space, they make an appealing solution in properties with a commitment to aesthetic layouts.


Compared to underfloor heating, radiators require a relatively straightforward installation, allowing homeowners to simply set these up and enjoy internal heating almost instantly.

Hydronic heating systems, however, require significant planning and involves a slightly complicated installation process. These can, therefore, be difficult to install as a part of a refurbishment project, although it isn’t impossible.

Another limitation with these is that property owners need to be diligent about the kind of floor finish chosen. Our previous blog on this subject can be found here.

Heating method

Radiators rely on convection heating, where heat is circulated along with dust and other allergens. This reduces the quality of the air inside, affecting the health and well-being of occupants.

Convection heating solutions also do not distribute heat evenly across a room. This results in the development of cold spots, where there is a sudden loss of heat - and comfort - in a room that’s otherwise warm.

Underfloor heating systems, on the other hand, are based on the principle of radiant heating. This means that the objects inside a room are heated, as opposed to the internal air itself. This results in better heat distribution and the prevention of air-borne diseases and common respiratory conditions.

Key takeaways

Having considered the pros and cons of two popular heating solutions - underfloor heating vs radiators - it is clear that the latter is set to replace the former as the go-to heating solution in modern properties.

Despite the benefits radiators are renowned for - affordability and higher reaction times - these systems do not come close to the energy efficiency, comfort, and long-term cost savings guaranteed by underfloor heating systems.

Choose the best for your property with underfloor heating!

Find out more about the best hardware for your property!

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