Choosing a new heating system is a major decision. If you’ve started the process of shopping around for a new heater, you’ve probably already discovered 2 truths.
- There are a lot of options out there.
- Comfort doesn’t come cheap.
Here’s another truth for you—there’s no such thing as one “perfect” or “best” heater. There is a heater that is best for you, though. Finding it can be tricky, but that’s what we’re here for. Let’s take a closer look at radiant heating in Fort Wayne, IN.
Radiant vs. Forced Air Heating
First, we’ll want to look at the key difference between the most popular home heating systems. Let’s consider furnaces and boilers. The way a furnace works is by heating air directly, and then distributing that heated air throughout the house via a system of air ducts. Heat pumps distribute heat this same way, though they heat the air differently.
Radiant heating systems, on the other hand, do not heat air. They heat surfaces. In order to do so, a boiler is typically used to heat water. While there are all-electric radiant heating options, the hydronic setup is preferred by most homeowners.
A boiler heats water, that water circulates throughout pipes typically installed in the floor, and the heat from that water transfers to the floors themselves. Then, that heat radiates up and into the living space, warming objects and bodies in the process.
What’s the Benefit of This?
You need some very basic science here. To put it simply, water retains heat a lot more effectively than air does. The water in those pipes is going to lose heat slower than the air in the house will. Plus, warm air rises. That means that air heated by a furnace or a heat pump can rise up to the ceiling and essentially get trapped up there. Not so with a hydronic heating system!
Consider too the fact that ductwork can develop leaks over time, suffer from poor insulation, etc. That means that inefficiency is more likely to be a concern with furnaces than with radiant heating systems. There just isn’t as much opportunity for heat loss.
The Price Factor
Okay, here’s the deal on price—you have to consider the big picture. Is a boiler going to cost more upfront than a furnace? Yes, almost certainly. Is a boiler going to cost more to install than a furnace? Yes, probably. And definitely, if you already have ductwork from a central AC or previous furnace in place.
But a boiler will also last longer than a furnace will. There are fewer moving parts to break down. And they also operate more efficiently. So, in the long run, you can wind up saving money by using a boiler, rather than a furnace, to heat your home.
Have questions about your heating options? Don’t hesitate to ask. We have the answers that you need to choose your new heater with confidence.