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Schaible's Mechanical Blog

Forced-Air vs. Radiant Heating: Which Is for You?

If you’re a business owner in the area who is looking to outfit their commercial establishment with a heating system that’s ready for winter, you might have come across this conundrum. There are two major types of heating systems that are both equally good but for different reasons. The first is the forced-air heating system, which encompasses things like furnaces and heat pumps. These systems heat the air in your building, which will then heat up everything else and keep people warm. Radiant heating systems radiate heat, through floorboard systems, pipes, and radiators. These units warm through objects and walls, creating a different type of heat.

If you’re wondering which system might be more efficient or effective, then that might be a tricky question to answer. But depending on your situation and the type of building you have, one might be better than the other. Just be sure to call our team for commercial heating in Hampton, NJ!

The Ins and Outs of Radiant Heating

When you think of a radiant heating system, you might picture a warm radiator sitting next to a stairwell in a commercial building. Or perhaps you think of an old boiler, chugging along heating the water that will keep the entire building nice and toasty. While both of these aren’t necessarily wrong, heating has come a long way in the past century to bring us some modern advancements to radiant heating.

Overall, radiant heaters radiate heat much like the sun does. Some people enjoy radiant heat more than forced-air because it heats up the objects, clothes, and even walls around them, keeping things nice and cozy on the coldest days.

Electric or Hydronic?

There are two types of radiant heaters. Electric radiant heating systems use coils to heat up floorboards where the heat can radiate upwards. These systems are extremely efficient and great for establishments that might not want to use gas burners.

Hydronic boilers are the other kind of radiant heating system. Water is exceptionally good at retaining heat, so heated water in pipes throughout a building can do a great job keeping it warm for 20+ years with the right amount of maintenance.

Why Forced-Air Might Be the Right Choice

Radiant heating systems aren’t for everyone. For starters, they’re a lot more involved and if your building already has ductwork installed then you might waste money not using it.

Forced-air systems are also standard units that can deliver outstanding results and efficiency. There are two main types of forced-air heaters used in commercial settings.


Whether powered by natural gas or electricity, furnaces are great. They’re some of the most affordable units on the market, highly efficient, and they’re powerful enough to withstand the coldest days of the year. For a modest purchase with high-yield results, get a furnace.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are perfect for commercial establishments because they use electricity to move heat instead of creating it. This is a big deal because they can run in reverse during the summer and act as air conditioners for your building, which is a huge step up for customers looking to get year-round comfort.

Schaible’s Mechanical is here to help when you need it. Contact us for a new commercial heating investment.

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