Contour Heating

LST Radiators: Pros and Cons of Different Heating Systems for Hospitals – Contour

  • 17 Nov 2020

This piece sees Contour Heating explore the pros and cons of underfloor heating, LST radiators and radiant ceiling panels in hospitals.

Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating spreads warmth over the entire floor area using low-temperature radiant heat.

Pros 

They are good for infection control because they are not objects on display to gather dust. This means they will not have the risk of containing hospital-acquired infections.

Underfloor heating provides more wall space, as opposed to radiators, freeing up more room for potentially more beds within hospitals.

They are energy-efficient because less energy is consumed to provide a consistent temperature. Radiators, on the other hand, need to be heated at high temperatures to heat the rooms they are in.

Cons

Underfloor heating systems may not be as reactive enough. This is due to them providing a consistent heat temperature, and maybe slower when compared to radiators to detect room temperature.

Our overall temperature is controlled from our feet, so a large surface area being warm may influence doctor and nurses’ overall temperatures. As they are on their feet all day, this could be unpleasant and cause them to overheat.

Ceiling Radiant Panels

These usually consist of high-density fibreglass insulation boards, a heating element, and a textured surface coating mounted in a frame.

Pros

Like underfloor heating, ceiling heating is great for infection control and freeing up wall space, providing a hygienic solution without taking up space.

Ceiling heating more reactive than underfloor heating with fast responses to heating demands that may occur within hospitals.

Cons

As heating is regulated by our feet and ceiling panel heating comes from the top – feet can become cold, whilst service users’ heads can become hotter, which may cause headaches and discomfort.

Heat rises and it can become difficult to heat the whole room, with heating being distributed onto the heads of service users.

With this, dementia patients (or other vulnerable users) may become confused as to why heating is coming from the ceiling and not conventional radiators – something they may be more familiar with.

Ceiling heating panels are costly to install and maintain.

LST Radiator

Low surface temperature radiators are widely known to provide efficient heating solutions.

Pros

Compared to the other two heating systems; LST radiators are cheap to install. These can be done quick and efficiently, especially because they’re readily available.

They’re easily distinguishable with dementia patients as radiators are the traditional heating source.

LST radiators provide good reaction times when they’re turned on and the room should be heated up speedily – providing a cosy setting for hospital service users.

They are suitable for refurbishment projects. Unlike underfloor heating, LST radiators can be moved to any desired space, so there are no restrictions like makeup of the floor and ceiling to stop you from installing them.

Cons

LST radiators can reduce wall space and this can become difficult in hospitals where space is limited. However, LST radiators can be easily moved to areas in the room to maximise space.

They can gather dirt and dust when being fixated to the wall. As this is a key concern, specifiers should opt for a solution that provides easy access for thorough and consistent cleaning practices. 

Conclusion

Choosing the right heating solution for your project is crucial. It should be well considered and involve the client that will be working in the rooms that are being created or refurbished, as well as the department that will be maintaining the project once it is handed over. 

Contour can be contacted at;
The Mansions
43 Broadway
Shifnal
TF11 8BB
Tel: 01952 290 498
Email: [email protected]

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