Annual Maintenance Comparisons of Radiant Heat and Other Heating Systems

Year-to-year, radiant heat costs much less to maintain than a forced-air system. There are no filters, no ductwork, and very few external parts. Forced air maintenance can get expensive quickly and require many components.

According to the US Department of Energy, older furnace and boiler system efficiencies only ran between 56% to 70%, while modern, conventional heating systems can now achieve a rating as high as 98.5%. One of the most modern systems is radiant heat, which uses old-school science to warm entire homes and/or specific spaces. Many luxury homes and high-end renovators choose radiant heat because of its low annual maintenance costs in addition to overall energy bill savings.

Annual Forced Air Heating Maintenance

As one of the more popular heating options, homes across the spectrum use forced air. However, many buyers forget the involved annual maintenance of these systems, including:

  • Checking the combustion chamber for cracks
  • Regular carbon monoxide testing
  • Adjusting blower control and supply-air temperature
  • Cleaning and oiling the blower
  • Removing dirt and debris from the furnace or boiler
  • Checking fuel input and flame characteristics
  • Ensuring proper, non-leaking connections between the furnace and main ducts.

That list gets long in a hurry, and most of it requires a professional team. One issue can get expensive, fast, and typically requires intrusive maintenance.

Annual Radiant Heat Maintenance

Beyond radiant heat systems physically using less energy year-to-year, the pumps installed in modern designs are typically maintenance-free. Since water lubricates the pumps and bearings, the mechanisms have a longer, quieter lifespan. Pumps have a general life expectancy of 10 years and require a quick look along with your general planned annual maintenance. A good installer will ensure that your radiant heat system is done right the first time, and you’ll enjoy decades of consistent, energy-efficient heat.


Of course, the first step in embracing radiant heat is to choose a professional and trusted installer that can walk you through the entire process from start to finish. Portland-area homeowners have trusted The Earth Heating for more than a decade for all of their radiant heat flooring needs. Our team takes time and care with every client to ensure all questions are answered, and every installation is perfect. Call (503) 788-7777 to learn more.

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