How underfloor heating can save up to 10-20% energy consumption due to reduced temperature

min read time
2023-09-06 15:26:32

Underfloor heating (UFH) has been found to be a highly efficient method of heating our homes and can overcome issues with performance and operating costs that are associated with radiator-based systems. Our new whitepaper, created with LCPDelta, and supported by laboratory and field trail, demonstrates the efficiencies between UFH and heat pumps. 


UFH can provide the same degree of comfort as radiator systems, but at a lower operating temperature due to a more even distribution of heat. 


There is a growing need to heat our homes in more sustainable and efficient ways. Alternative heat sources such as heat pumps, operating at a lower flow temperature can provide this more efficient option. 


Heat Pumps 


The UK government set out its plans to scale up its heat pump rollout in 2021 – as they are considered a key technology for achieving net zero emissions. Heat pumps work with both UFH systems and radiator systems, however, our research focuses on heat pumps with UFH. Efficiency can vary between the desired system. The temperature differential between the heat source and the delivered temperature of the heat output has a direct impact on the system’s efficiency. This affects the coefficient of performance. The greater the temperature difference, the lower the coefficient of performance. The principal benefit of UFH on appliance performance is that due to its large surface area, the required surface temperature and the primary flow temperatures are much lower than even the largest radiators for delivering the same amount of heat. 


Whitepaper finding 1: For heat pump systems with UFH, total savings of over 30% are realistically achievable. 

Underfloor Heating Statistics


UFH works efficiently at low flow temperatures delivered by heat pumps, whereas radiator systems work most efficiently at a high flow temperature. Combining UFH with a heat pump system creates a very effective method of heating and cooling homes. Putting this into figures, UFH generally has a flow temperature of 35ºC and a return of 25ºC. 


Whitepaper finding 2: Savings from reduced temperature can be as high as 10-20% equivalent to 1200-2400kWh or £408-£816, in 2023 prices.


Whitepaper finding 3: Combined savings from reduced air temperature and improved appliance efficiency when using a heat pump can be between £1326-£1643, in 2023 prices.


Condensing Boilers


Condensing boilers benefit from a lower primary circuit temperature when operating as long as the radiators have been sized up to match design output at a return temperature that causes condensation at the heat exchanger. Condensing boilers and radiator systems can cooperate and achieve high efficiencies together. However, efficiency may be lower during maximum output in the colder months. Conversely, UFH often runs at a higher efficiency since it operates well below the condensing threshold. The exact efficiency will however depend on the individual installation.


UFH is a highly efficient method of heating our indoor environment alongside most residential heating systems. To find out more about how UFH and residential heating systems work effectively, fill the form out below to receive the full whitepaper.