Hydronic Heating VS. Forced-Air Heating

Forced air ducts

Summer is officially over, and crisp autumn air is here. The time for cooling the house is over. Now’s the time to heat it up. Whether you have a classic forced-air heating system or a popular hydronic heating system, you are going to want to prepare for the coming cold.

Wondering what the difference is between a hydronic heating system and a forced-air heating system? We’ll explain.

Forced air heating systems heat up the air in the furnace. Then, the air travels through the duct system to all the rooms of the house.

Hydronic heating systems heat up the water in the boiler. Then, the hot water is run through a piping system to different rooms in the house.

Both systems do the same thing … heat up the house. But they differ in many ways. Let’s take a look.

Comfort: Hydronic Heating VS Forced Air Heating

The main purpose of both heating systems is to maintain the desired in-home temperature. This is ideal for remaining comfort during cold weather. To be certain, both systems will heat your home to whatever temperature you choose. It’s important to note that the way that each system does this leads to different results.

Hydronic heating systems will heat your house in a perfectly even manner. This is because it doesn’t involve any moving air. On the other hand, a forced-air heating system will always have hot and colds spots where the vents are and are not, respectively. Obviously, it will be much warmer right in front of a hot air vent than across the room from one.

Installation Costs

Forced air heating systems are not as expensive to install. You’ll need a furnace and some kind of duct system to distribute hot air throughout the house. A hydronic heating system requires a boiler and additional heat exchangers in every room. Not to mention the additional plumbing costs to fit every room in the house for this kind of internal heating system.

Energy and Cost Efficiency

While the forced heating system wins in installation cost, it looses in energy efficiency. Water is a much better heat exchanger, which makes the hydronic heating system more cost-effective, even though it’s more expensive to install initially. In addition, newer water-based heating systems can be personalized to only heat specific rooms, so you are never heating the attic or basement if you don’t need to be. Forced air uses principles of gravity, so the hot air naturally goes to the top of the house, even if you aren’t trying to heat that part of the house.

Health & Safety Information

Forced air systems are known to increase dust and other allergens because of the constant air circulation. This may activate allergies randomly. Water-based heating system’s main problems have to do with plumbing. If there are any leaks, you may experience discomfort in house temperatures, but that’s still a negligible health impact.

Contact Hales Corners Heating & AC!

If you’re not sure you’re prepared for the coming cold, give us a call. One of our expert HVAC technicians will come and inspect your home’s heating system. You can rest assured that you and your family will be warm and cozy this fall and winter.