In this study, the unsteady thermal performance of a test room heated by circulating hot airflow under the floor was analyzed with a developed mathematical model based on heat transfer equilibrium among the air flow, the floor and the indoor air. The time variations in the indoor air temperature for the serial duct floor heating system were investigated theoretically and experimentally. The time variations in the floor surface and the indoor air temperatures were predicted theoretically for the parallel duct floor heating system. Experiments on the time variations of the dimensionless numbers such as Nu for the airflow in duct and the indoor air, Gr for the indoor air and the heat ratios of convection and radiation to total heat for the serial duct floor heating system were performed. The theoretical and experimental results showed a good agreement. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.