Radiant Heat vs. Forced Air

Radiant heat and forced air are very different options for home heating. Luxury homeowners often opt for radiant heat because it includes quieter operating sound, temperature consistency, and flexibility in installation. The Earth Heating is a great source for radiant heat flooring in the Portland area.

Luxury homeowners and those doing high-end renovations often consider upgrading their home’s heating and cooling sources as part of the overall project. The decision typically comes down to two options: traditional forced air and innovative radiant heat. In this post, we’ll outline some of the key comparisons and contrasts between the two options.

What to Know About Radiant Heat

When we’re talking about “radiant heat,” we’re talking about the way the heat is distributed rather than its point of production. Radiant heat warms the surfaces of your home (typically, floors) as opposed to forced air, which literally heats the air. Radiant heating often uses boilers to heat up water that circulates through coils installed in the floor.

Even though radiant heat flooring has a higher initial installation cost, the long-term savings through energy efficiency are often worth that initial investment. Because of the way that radiant heat warms surfaces, the general temperature in the area of installation constantly stays warm with no cold gaps.

What to Know About Forced Air Heating

Most commonly known as “HVAC systems”, forced air literally pulls cold air from the outside, runs it through a filter, and warms it to disperse through ducting and vents around your home. Like radiant heat, it’s controlled via a thermostat, and digital options are now more standard than ever.

HVAC systems often combine heating and cooling with a central air conditioning unit. However, because the actual disbursement of heat is dependent upon open vents and ducts, any blockages can cause major inconsistencies in-home temperature from one room to the next. These systems can also be quite noisy compared to radiant heat. There are also certain situations where the installed filtering doesn’t do enough to welcome clean air into a home, and forced air requires regular filter changes or upgrades to keep out allergy-irritating particles.


A good radiant heat system starts with a professional radiant heat installation team. They’ll help you understand the benefits and costs involved and help you determine if radiant heat flooring is right for you. Portland homeowners trust The Earth Heating as their source for reliable, on-time, and on-budget radiant heat installation. Call (503) 788-7777 today to learn more and schedule a free estimate.

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