Once you’ve made the exciting decision to improve your Nottingham home with a conservatory, you can eagerly anticipate all that lovely light and extra quality living space. However, to make the most of it all year round, you’ll need to factor in a way to keep it warm enough in the colder months. Our glazing might well be amazing, but even the very best glass will inevitably be your biggest source of heat loss in a room!

Looking into a house as the sun goes down. Lights inside duplicate sky lights behind. Warm glow of home.

The usual ways of achieving a warm conservatory in winter are electric radiators, underfloor heating, or extending your home’s existing central heating system. The latter can cause problems and will need to be checked, though, because Building Regulations state that ‘heating in a conservatory should be independent of the rest of the system’. Of the first two, we’d always recommend the underfloor option wherever possible…and not just because my 20th century aunty says it’s ‘futuristic and cool’!

From a thoroughly practical angle, underfloor heating is more energy efficient. It’s cheaper to run. It’s more controllable. It gives you more usable space and better air quality. It makes cleaning easier, and it’s safer with young children around.

Energy efficiency

One big drawback of traditional radiators is that to warm your room effectively, they need to be run hot (65-75C). However, you only need to run underfloor heating at 30C (or less, depending on the floor finish), using significantly less energy, meaning significantly lower bills. Some manufacturers claim that underfloor systems will save, on average, around 15% on heating costs.

Even running at high temperatures, the heat from radiators is nowhere near as effective as radiant underfloor heat. This is because rooms heated by radiators are likely to have ‘cold spots’ in the middle of the room, and very hot spots next to the radiators themselves. So what do we usually do if we’re next to one? That’s right – open a window to feel more comfortable. Mad, isn’t it?!

Underfloor systems don’t over-heat and warm your room much more evenly. OK, they may take a bit longer to reach your desired temperature but, controlled by an intelligent thermostat that will switch them on at just the right time ahead of when you need them, that should never be a real issue.

Safety and comfort

The high temperatures of radiators reduce oxygen levels in the room and the thermal circulation that hot air generates – with air rising to the ceiling and then back again – agitates and circulates whatever dust and allergens are present. Underfloor radiant heat, on the other hand, keeps the air fresh and oxygen-rich.

Furthermore, with underfloor heating, you don’t have to worry about young children, sharp edges and hot surfaces: everything’s safely out of the way. Cleaning and dusting is also a whole lot easier – in all honesty, radiators are a pain!


Radiators dramatically reduce floor space for furnishings, because you need to leave plenty of room around them for their heat to circulate. It’s the same story for wall space. With underfloor heating, you can decorate without hindrance and everything looks so much cleaner and more stylish.

Installation and maintenance

Whether it’s installed with a network of electric wires or tiny water pipes, underfloor heating is relatively quick, easy and economical to install with a new conservatory. Retro-fitting is also possible but, understandably, likely to be more expensive.

Once installed correctly, there’s very little that can go wrong: any problems are invariably found and resolved well before your chosen floor covering goes down. And, as we’ve already established, running costs are substantially less than with radiators.

We believe that choosing underfloor heating to keep your new conservatory warm is a ‘no-brainer’ aesthetically, economically and environmentally. It adds value to your home. And yes, Aunty, it is pretty cool and futuristic too!

If you’ve any questions about our superb ranges of Archer conservatories, windows and doors, submit an online enquiry or visit our showrooms at The Mill, Queens Road East in Beeston or Rutland House, Nottingham Road in Ilkeston. You’ll find all the numbers and addresses at the bottom of the page.