Forced-Air Systems vs. Radiant Heat

What’s Right for Your Home?

hvac types west virginiaHow you heat your home has a big impact on your comfort. It can also make a big difference in what you spend each month to keep comfortable. That’s a lot to think about if you’re planning a renovation or building or buying a new home.

Two of the most common heating system choices are forced air and radiant heat. Here’s how they compare.

Forced Air

A forced-air heating system uses a furnace to warm the air in your home. The furnace burns natural gas, heating oil, or propane to heat air, which is then forced through ductwork using fans that deliver heat to registers (or vents) in each room of your house.

If you have existing ductwork, it makes practical and economic sense to stick with a forced-air system. You can connect the ductwork to a central air conditioner, whole-house humidifier, or air filtration system to provide year-round home comfort and indoor air quality.

There are downsides to a forced-air system, the most common being leaky ductwork. If ducts were poorly installed, the air you’re paying to heat escapes before it gets to your rooms, resulting in drafts and uneven temperatures. Leaky ductwork can also become a home for mold and other allergens, which can then get blown through your home.

While forced-air systems can be set up to create heating zones you can adjust with your smart or programmable thermostat, they can be inefficient because heated air quickly cools and the process needs to begin again. Not only do you burn more fuel, but your equipment also needs to work harder. And heated air naturally rises to the top of your spaces—where you can’t feel it. Keep that in mind if you have rooms with very high ceilings.

Radiant Heating

A radiant heating system uses a boiler to heat water or steam and distribute it through pipes to heat the floors or walls in your rooms. The water is eventually recycled back to the boiler to be reheated and used again.

Unlike a forced-air system, radiant floor heating warms the objects and people in the room rather than the air around them. The heat is transferred to people and objects in the room via infrared radiation, like heat from the sun. Because it doesn’t heat air, a radiant heat system is generally about 15% more efficient than other heating systems.

Still, radiant heating systems aren’t perfect for every home. They can be expensive to install, and they can raise your floors by as much as half an inch: Good to know if you have low ceilings. Lastly, because it’s installed un the floor, it’s much harder to access the heating elements for repairs or maintenance.

The Choice Is Yours

When it comes to heating your West Virginia home, there are many great options to choose from; the best one depends on your home, budget, and preferences. Not sure what’s the right choice for you? We’re happy to answer all your questions and walk you through your choices. And once you decide, you can rely on the experienced pros at Roach Energy to install your equipment correctly to insure it keeps your home comfortable for decades to come.

Like any mechanical equipment, boilers and furnaces require regular maintenance to keep them operating at their best. Protect your investment with one of our smart, affordable service plans. Contact us today for more information.