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Homeowner’s Guide: Radiant Heat vs. Furnace

radiant heat vs furnaceA radiant heating system can be a great way to keep your house warm in winter without using a lot of energy. But how does it stack up against a regular, forced air furnace? Let’s take a look at both options, and examine the pros and cons of radiant heat vs furnace.

Radiant Heat

To start with, heating coils are installed underneath your floor. The heat then spreads through the room, rising to create an even temperature throughout. Also, the coils warm whatever they touch, so walking across the floor makes you feel toasty. Not only does this process use much less energy than a forced air system, it’s achieved without ductwork, eliminating the energy loss that comes from leaky or broken ducts.

Unfortunately, without ducts to spread the warmth, it can take a long time for the room to heat fully. And if you want cooling in the summer, you’ll need to put in ductwork anyway, for your A/C. Installation is also very expensive, and if you’re retrofitting, it will require tearing up your floorboards. However, it will save you money in the long run.


A forced air furnace heats the air at the furnace unit, then distributes it throughout your home using vents and ducts. It’s good for maintaining air circulation, and the system’s air filter removes allergens and other contaminants from your home.

However, you do also have to deal with air leaks, broken or damaged ductwork, poor airflow, and the loss of energy and heat that comes from these problems. Ductwork also tends to heat your home unevenly. Areas right in the path of the airflow get super warm, while areas not getting as much air remain cold.

So which should you choose when it comes to radiant heat vs furnace? Talk to an expert to help you weigh the pros and cons. Take a look at your home’s heating needs and see which option would best benefit you.

To help choose between radiant heat vs furnace in your own home, contact us at Beyer Boys. We provide the best HVAC service in San Antonio.