Why is Underfloor Heating Efficient?

This post discusses why underfloor heat is the most efficient of the three types of heat transfer. It has a lot to do with science and physics and the way that heat transfers through space. Underfloor heating makes a lot of sense for high-end home builds and remodels.

Radiant heat works best as underfloor heating, but few know why that is. It has a lot to do with science and physics, and we’ll try to shed some light on why radiant heat is such an efficient and consistent way to heat a space.

The Three Types of Heat Transfer

Heat is transferred one of three ways: convection, conduction, and radiation

Convection is when heat transfers through air particles, which move faster as they warm, creating less dense and faster-rising particles. This is why you can feel the heat above a flame after lighting it.

Conduction occurs when heat starts at a warm end and travels to the cold end. This can only take place when the objects are in direct contact with each other (such as metal objects).

Lastly, radiation is when heat travels in waves and the energy transfers from a body of high temperature to one of a low temperature. The points do not need to be in direct contact with each other, so the heat “radiates” from all sides.

Where Radiant Heat Comes In

Since people feel most comfortable with even heat distribution in a particular space, UFH helps meet this goal by being a consistent source for the radiated heat to distribute more evenly through a room. Underfloor heat sources heat you as you need to be heated, which keeps you more comfortable as you need to be heated. Because the actual heat is more consistent, you’ll find that you don’t need to turn up the thermostat to compensate for lost heat that occurs with other heat sources.

How to Make Radiant Heat the Most Efficient

Regardless of whether you choose an electric- or water-run system, you want the pipe spacing to be as tight as possible to promote even heating. Your radiant heat installation team will design a layout that creates top efficiency within the given space. They’ll also help determine where to place your thermostat. This matters as a thermostat placement in an area that has major temperature shifts will give you inaccurate readings.


As you can tell, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to radiant heat flooring but it is overall a highly efficient and effective heating system. If you’re thinking about installing a new system or as an upgrade, call the professionals at The Earth Heating at (503) 788-7777 today. They’ll walk you through the process and determine which type of radiant heat is best for you and your home.

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