radiant heat vs .furnaceTo stay comfortable in the frigid winter temperatures in the Indianapolis area, you’ll need a system that can meet your heating demands competently. The options you can choose from can be a little overwhelming. Here’s a radiant heat vs furnace comparison to help you make a better decision.

Nature of Heat Generated

A radiant heating system emits warmth upwards into the floor. The heat is then transferred from the warmed floor to the room’s occupants and objects by conduction and infrared radiation. The heat stays close to the floor and doesn’t collect at the ceiling. Also, less heat escapes to the attic. Therefore, the system provides more even warmth, meaning less fiddling with the thermostat.

With a furnace, the heat released from the vents tends to collect at the ceiling. The bottom and center part of your room stays cooler than the top, meaning you’ll have to turn up the thermostat to get the heat lower. You’ll also need extensive attic insulation to minimize heat loss.

Installation Costs

Forced air systems are considered to be the cheapest home comfort systems to install, particularly in new constructions. The ability to also use the installed ductwork for air conditioning in the summer and the availability of combination furnace/air conditioning units further add to their cost-effectiveness.

The upfront costs of installing a radiant heating system are high, especially if it’s retrofitted to an existing house. It doesn’t work well with all floor coverings. What’s more, not every qualified HVAC contractor is experienced with radiant heating technology.


Air from a furnace travels through a series of ducts, which allow air to leak out wherever there are openings. Ductwork in cold basements and attics also increases chances of heat loss. A radiant system doesn’t experience duct losses, making it more energy-efficient.

Time to Warm Up

A furnace heats your rooms quickly when turned on. Radiant systems usually take a long time to heat your entire home.

As you’ve noticed when comparing radiant heat vs furnace, each system has its perks and weaknesses. If you still need help with choosing a heating system for your Indianapolis home, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for more expert advice.