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Radiant or Forced Air: Which Heater Is Best for You?

heaterYou’ve probably asked yourself the question, “Should I invest in a boiler or a furnace?” without actually knowing the difference between the two. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t expect everyone to understand the unique intricacies of forced-air and radiant heating systems. Most homeowners would rather just have heat that works and leave the rest of their brain to focus on more important things.

However, if you’re trying to save money and keep your home warmed to your specific standards, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got a heater that can get the job done right. While heater maintenance in West Des Moines, IA is an important factor, as well as timely repairs, you’re never going to get your money’s worth if you choose the wrong type of heater from the get-go. That’s why we’re writing this post, to give you a rundown of the unique advantages and disadvantages of each heating system.

A Timeless Division

Furnaces and boilers have been around for centuries. While their ancestors were much less efficient and much more faulty, they’ve been heating our homes for generations. Old boilers used to run boiling water or steam through radiators that could produce enough radiant heat to keep many homes up north warm for 20 seasons. Now, furnaces are the most common (and often most affordable) way to heat a home effectively. Let’s talk about why.

  • Installation Costs. Furnaces have always been cheaper to install than boilers. While it’s possible to buy an extremely expensive furnace that’s more efficient than a boiler, the initial cost of a furnace will usually be cheaper than a boiler.
  • Noise. Furnaces make the noise of whooshing air through the vents and an occasional bump when starting the system for the first time in the season. Radiant heating systems function almost silently, since water and steam running through pipes behind walls can be insulated and their slight noises can be that much harder to hear.
  • Long-Lasting and Easy to Maintain. Boiler systems win this category handily since they don’t require any air duct systems or air filters to change. They’re easy to maintain and last 15-20 years, with some managing even to double that age in the best of cases. While furnaces aren’t much of a hassle either, boilers are hardy systems that don’t require much effort to maintain.
  • Indoor Air Quality. Since radiant heating systems don’t require air ducts and cycling air, they’re less likely to perpetuate poor air quality. Radiant heating systems rely on radiant heat which emanates through objects, meaning your home will be less dry and dust won’t be stuck cycling through your home.
  • They Feel Different. Furnaces blow warm air through your home which can be perfectly acceptable for many homeowners. Radiant air feels almost like the sun, since it radiates warmth through objects and people. Many homeowners often like radiant heating more just based on feeling, but it’s an individual preference.

While this isn’t everything, these are some major differences between the two systems. Both function extremely efficiently these days, can be affordable when purchased through a reliable contractor, and are great solutions to homes with specific heating needs.

Call Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today to discuss your radiant or forced-air heating solution!

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