Radiant Heating and Forced-Air Heating Systems: Which Is Better?

radiant heating

The right heating system is tough to choose, especially since there are so many options available on the market today. First, you’ve got a big decision to make: will you have a forced-air heater that moves heat into the air, or will you have a radiant heating system that transfers heat directly to a room?

Forced-Air Heating Systems

This includes the most common heating systems, furnaces, as well as heat pumps, which are quickly gaining ground and becoming a lot more popular. Forced-air systems work by drawing in the air from around the home, which moves through a filter before heating up and blowing back out to the rooms through the supply ducts. Furnaces and heat pumps heat the air in two different ways.

  • Furnaces use the combustion of natural gas to heat up a heat exchanger.
  • Heat pumps move heat from the outside air to an inside coil.

The advantages of heat pumps and furnaces is the ability to filter the air, to add in humidifiers and dehumidifiers, and—in the case of the heat pump—to use a single system for heating and cooling. The disadvantages include having to put in a set of bulky ductwork, noisiness, and the fact that you may still end up forcing contaminants back into the home.

Radiant Heating

Radiant systems come in two types: electric and hydronic. Electric heat is somewhat costly, but it does transfer heat directly into the room, which is one of the most comforting methods of heat delivery. A hydronic heating system uses hot water circulated around the home through a set of pipes. This delivery method is comfortable, efficient, and quiet, and it doesn’t involve any bulky ductwork. However, it is more costly than a furnace, and a hydronic system (a boiler) isn’t right for every home.

We know that this is a tough decision for any homeowner. Call APC Plumbing & Heating and we’ll be happy to help you choose a new heating system for your Highlands Ranch home. We have someone in your neighborhood today!


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