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Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

How Does Radiant Heating Work?

The most popular home heating system is probably the furnace. Furnaces are forced air heaters, meaning that they heat air directly and then distribute this heated air throughout the house in order to warm it up. However, there are some drawbacks to this operation.

While forced air heating is great if you want to heat your home promptly, issues like duct leaks and hot air getting trapped at the ceiling can lead to problems with efficiency and overall comfort. These issues are resolved with radiant heating. So how does radiant heating work?

Heat Surfaces, Not Air

Despite their popularity, forced air heating systems are applying heat to something that doesn’t hold it all that well. The air in your house is not going to maintain heat as well as, say, water or your floors would. That is why hydronic heating is such a popular method of radiant heating.

With a hydronic system, you use a boiler to heat water. That water then circulates throughout the house via a system of tubes installed beneath your floors—or, in some cases, behind your walls. The heat from the water in those pipes is applied to the construction materials, and it then radiates out into the living space.

In-floor radiant heating is especially beneficial, as it keeps the heat down in the living space. Hot air rises, and it can be frustrating to have chilly feet and legs even as your furnace works away. In addition to hydronic systems, radiant heating may be achieved with the use of electric cables installed in the floors. Electricity is more expensive to purchase than fuels like natural gas, however, so the boiler is typically the preferred system for radiant heating.

If you have any questions about radiant heating in Loveland, CO, give Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning a call. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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