Having a boiler and radiant heating in your home offers many advantages compared to having a furnace and forced-air heating. Switching to radiant heating requires a substantial investment since you will need to install a boiler and radiators, baseboard heaters, or underfloor heating coils. However, it is an investment that will definitely pay off over time by improving your home comfort and lowering your heating costs. If you’re unsure whether a boiler is right for your home, here are some of the reasons why it can be such a good choice.
Effective, Efficient, and Consistent Heat
Although radiant heating works more slowly than forced-air heating, it is still more effective overall. With forced-air heating, the temperature continually fluctuates and you often have issues with some rooms being too hot and others being too cool. Radiant heating always maintains a more consistently warm temperature as it doesn’t just heat the air. Instead, the radiators or underfloor coils heat all of the nearby surfaces including the floors, walls, and furniture. This helps to provide much more even and thorough heating. All of the heat then continually radiates out into the air to make everything feel much warmer. By heating all of the surfaces, the temperature will also stay warmer and not immediately start dropping when the heating system shuts off as it does with forced-air heating.
Although boilers aren’t always quite as efficient as furnaces, radiant heating still tends to cost less to operate. One reason is that forced-air heating typically wastes lots of energy as a result of heat loss in the ductwork. Radiant heating doesn’t have the same issue since water retains heat much better than air.
Another reason is that a boiler allows you to have a zoned heating system. This means you can shut off or turn down the heat in unoccupied areas, which lessens the time the boiler has to run and saves on energy. Having a zoned system also improves comfort since you can keep each room at the exact temperature you desire. With forced-air heating, you have to heat the entire home at once. You can also only set one temperature instead of being able to customize the temperature settings for different areas.
Forced-air heating systems tend to be fairly noisy, as you’ll always hear the furnace and blower running and the air flowing through the ducts. Radiant heating systems run nearly silently, as the only sound you’ll hear is when the boiler runs and you’re standing near it. This means you’ll never again be woken up by the sound of your heating system turning on at night.
Better Indoor Air Quality
Another major drawback to forced-air heating is that it always contributes to air quality issues. Whenever a forced-air heating system runs, it circulates lots of dust and airborne pollutants and blows them out into every room. This is the reason why homes with furnaces tend to be quite dusty in the winter when the heating runs almost constantly. Since radiant heating systems don’t have ductwork and don’t circulate air, you won’t have this same issue.
Heating and Hot Water in One
Conventional boilers only work with radiant heating, which means you will still also need a separate water heater for your plumbing system. However, if you instead choose to install either a system boiler or a combination boiler, it will provide hot water for both heating and plumbing. This can help to save you money since you’ll have one fewer appliance that you need to worry about repairing, maintaining, and replacing.
Combination or combi-boilers can be an especially great choice as they are extremely energy efficient. Instead of storing hot water in a large tank, combi-boilers work like tankless water heaters and only run on demand. This eliminates issues with energy waste since the boiler doesn’t have to constantly keep the water hot and will only turn on when you need hot water for heating or plumbing.
If you’re considering a boiler for your home, Tyler’s Heating & Cooling is ready to answer any questions you may have. Our plumbers specialize in boiler and radiant heating installation and can also handle your boiler repair and maintenance needs. We service all makes and models of boilers, and our certified HVAC technicians also install and service furnaces and air conditioners. For more information on our residential or commercial HVAC and plumbing services or to schedule an appointment in the Mishawaka area, contact us today.