Cold weather has arrived in New Mexico, which means most homes are turning on their heat. With winter right around the corner, temperatures are bound to drop even more. Whether you use a furnace or radiant heating system, it’s important to understand which option is best for the chilly temperatures ahead. The experts at Affordable Service are here to help you know when to use your furnace vs. radiant heating system.

How you heat your home greatly impacts your energy bill, so it’s important to use your home’s systems as they work most efficiently. Two common heating choices are furnaces (forced air heating) and radiant heating. Forced air heating uses a furnace to blow warm air throughout your home via ventilation. The furnace is typically located in the garage, a central area of the house, or a basement. Furnace heating promotes circulation in your home and improves air quality with a regularly replaced air filter.

Radiant heating, on the other hand, directly warms a surface. The heat is produced by electricity, hot water, or air that directly interacts with the surface where your system is. The heat is then transferred to people and objects in the room via infrared radiation. In New Mexico, radiant heating systems are usually installed beneath the flooring. Radiant heating helps with energy efficiency and is quieter than forced air; however, it is usually installed only during construction or major renovation, and it only provides heat to your home (not cooling).

Some homes have both a furnace and radiant heat. If you have radiant heat and have a furnace, it’s best to set the radiant heat to keep the home at a moderate, consistent level of around 64 to 66°. When it’s especially cold in the mornings, it may be a good idea to turn the furnace on to heat the air within your home.

If you set the radiant heat higher, it will keep that temperature on the floor at all times, but when daytime comes and the sun’s warmth comes through the windows, it may raise the temperature inside to an uncomfortable level. Radiant heating may take a day or two to raise or lower your home’s temperature, so we advise using it to provide a minimum consistent heat. Pairing a smart thermostat with the furnace is also a good idea to ensure your home’s temperature stays consistent and comfortable all winter.

The experts at Affordable Service in Rio Rancho are highly trained in both heating options and are here to provide furnace repairs or work on the radiant heating system’s boiler and valves. For scheduled service to start your forced air or radiant heat system in the Albuquerque area or for 24/7 emergency furnace repair service, contact Affordable Service.