heating options

Furnaces, HVAC System

The Truth: Radiant Heat vs. Furnace

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There are many different options when it comes to heating your home. The most common is a forced-air furnace. But you can also install a radiant heating system. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at radiant heat vs furnace options.

Radiant Heating

With radiant heat, heating coils are installed beneath your floorboards. Heat then rises, spreading throughout the room and providing an even, comfortable layer of warmth. Not only are you warmed by the ambient heat, but also by direct contact with the heating source. There's nothing like walking on a radiant floor on cold mornings.

Radiant heating doesn't use ductwork, which eliminates the energy losses that can come from leaky or damaged ducts. Thus it uses much less energy than a forced air system, while heating a room more evenly. The drawback is, no ductwork also means no cooling in the summer. If you do get radiant heat, a dedicated duct system would still have to be installed for your A/C.

Radiant heat is also expensive to install, particularly when retrofitting an existing home, as it means tearing up the floorboards. And if you have thick carpet or area rugs on the floor, they act as insulation, and the radiant heat won't be able to spread effectively throughout your home.

Furnaces

A forced air system has its own advantages when it comes to radiant heat vs furnace. It warms your home more quickly and provides better air circulation.

The main drawback is dealing with energy loss from damaged ductwork, air leaks, poor airflow, and more. Additionally, the ductwork can circulate allergens and other contaminants through your home. The heat isn't as even, and the lower areas of your home will have trouble getting heat at all.

So ultimately, which is better? It all depends on your specific heating and cooling needs. Talk to an expert and let them help you decide which is the best option for your home.

For help solving the radiant heat vs furnace conundrum for yourself, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve all of Broken Arrow's heating and cooling needs.

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

How Wood-Burning Affects Indoor Air Quality

How Wood-Burning Affects Indoor Air Quality

Wood burning for indoor heating has sure gotten a bad rap these last few years, and no wonder. Wood smoke is full of particulates that adversely affect the indoor air quality of a home, and that aggravate all kinds of respiratory problems, from allergies to bronchitis and asthma. It can even aggravate conditions leading to heart and lung failure.What's more, wood smoke is full of the carbon emissions that are contributing to the greenhouse effect; plus it creates a layer of smoke that can hover over cities in the winter time. Some municipalities have even had to ban the burning of wood to diminish the haze.Still, some people are mighty partial to having some kind of heating option in addition to their central HVAC system. Let's look at some choices that might not have as many potential problems as a wood-burning fireplace.

Other Heating Options

The majority of wood stoves sold have some of the same issues as wood-burning fireplaces. They give off carbon emissions and particulates that foul your IAQ, and are inefficient to use. However, a new generation of so-called catalytic stoves are a much better option. These stoves have a catalytic combustor that traps smoke and other combustion byproducts. A chemical coating in the combustor interacts with the smoke, igniting it at a much lower temperature than the 1100 degrees F that is normally required for wood stoves.The fact the ignition occurs at low temperature means the stove is more efficient, and that the amount of emissions given off is reduced. Wood also lasts much longer. These stoves do require maintenance to keep them clean so they continue to burn efficiently. Also, the parts can be expected to wear out within a decade or so.Non-catalytic stoves are easier to maintain, but release more emissions and have a higher burning rate so are less efficient.Pellet stoves are another option. They burn cleaner than non-catalytic wood stoves and fire places, but require some electricity to ignite the pellets.

For more on fire places and indoor air quality, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.