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Radiators use water that has been heated to a high temperature by a boiler to heat all the rooms of your house, both upstairs and down.  Underfloor heating will heat your whole house, but at a much lower water temperature, making it more efficient and ideal for use with a heat pump.

It's a common complaint that the heat from radiators goes up to the ceiling first due to convection, while the nearer you are to the radiator, the warmer you are.  Underfloor heating, on the other hand, provides an even heat across the room, heating the objects and people that are in contact with the floor, and its effect diminishes the closer you get to ceiling height.





Installing UFH on all floors of your house provides the most efficient heating which, combined with a heat pump, will result in a 6 star heating efficiency rating.  Installing just one radiator would reduce that to a 4 star rating because the heat pump would have to provide a hotter water temperature for the radiator, which would then have to be mixed down for the UFH.  Your radiators would also have to be typically around 50% larger than normal, taking up more wall and floor space.  Given that your build cost is typically going to be between £2,000 - £3,000 per square metre, do you really want to pay this much money to lose about 10% of your floor area to radiators?  This 10% figure is derived not just from the actual area occupied by the radiator, but also includes the area in front of the radiator that you cannot use for anything else but allowing the heat out.


Heat pumps work most efficiently at the optimum water temperature for underfloor heating, which is why we say that heat pumps and UFH are a match made in heaven.  Air source heat pumps are available at sizes to efficiently heat most homes, even at low outside temperatures.  Ground source heat pumps are available in larger sizes, and are more efficient, but need boreholes or a lot of ground for the collector pipes.  Installing UFH to both floors, with a heat pump designed to run at 35 deg C, earns your heating system a 6 star energy efficiency rating.  This drops to 4 stars if you install any radiators which need a flow temperature of 45 deg C.

Mitsubishi Ultra Quiet Air source heat pump

If you choose to install a heat pump, you may be eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive payments from the Energy Saving Trust/Ofgem; payments that can pay for most, if not all of the cost of buying and installing the heat pump and hot water cylinder.  In Scotland, you may also be eligible for an interest free loan from Home Energy Scotland, repayable over up to 12 years, depending on how much you borrow.  This facility helps you to budget for installing a heat pump, or any other eligible renewable energy device.  Please note that the RHI scheme for domestic installations closes on 31st March 2022.

Visit our heat pumps page for more information.

All installation photographs on this web site are our own work, and are copyright.

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