Radiant vs Forced-Air Heat

Deciding which type of home heating is best for your home is really a personal decision. With so many choices like radiant heat and central heat, it’s best to learn how each works and the pros and cons of each to assist you in the decision-making process. Armed with the facts, you can then make an informed decision.

How Does Radiant Heat Work?

Radiant heat is one of the most comfortable ways to heat a home. It is transmitted by infrared waves. Radiant heat is transferred through the air, and it is converted to heat energy when it comes in contact with objects, such as people, furniture and walls. It is like being warmed by the sun. Radiant heating has a number of pros. It is more efficient than forced-air heating because no ducts are needed. Those will allergies benefit as radiant heating doesn’t blow around and distribute allergens.

Radiant heating systems can be installed as panels in ceiling and walls or in the floor. Electric radiant floors are comprised of electric cables below the floor covering. For cost-effectiveness, it is important that the floor have a thick thermal mass, such as concrete. The thick thermal mass allows for the unit to heat the home for several hours without having to turn the heat back on. Hydronic radiant heating systems are the most popular. Its floor-system pump transfers the heated water from a boiler through the tubing under the floor. Ceiling and wall-mounted radiant panels can be heated with tubing carrying hot water or with electricity. Depending on the cost of electricity in your area, radiant heating systems may be costly to operate. These units can also be expensive to install due to the labor involved in installation.

How Central Heating Works

A central heating system has a furnace that provides heat for the home. Heat is produced through the combustion of oil or gas, and the heat passes through a heat exchanger. Air from the return air ducts is blown over the heat exchanger, and the warmed air is carried throughout the home through the ductwork. Today, there are furnaces with variable-speed blowers and high energy-efficiency ratings up to 98 percent AFUE. Central heating systems have an average lifespan of 20 years and are easy to maintain. With a sophisticated filter, these units can help keep the indoor air clean by removing lint and microscopic pollutants. The only downside with central heating systems is that it tends to blow around any indoor dust and allergens. However, central heating systems provide a warm and cozy home.

HVAC Products and Services at Carefree Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning

At Carefree Comfort in Deerfield, IL, we carry and install top brand furnaces and boilers to use with radiant heating systems. In addition to our competitive prices, customers can save money with our Internet specials on select equipment and HVAC repairs. Be sure to call us for any of your home heating needs.