How to heat your home, forced air vent vs radiator?

Winters are exciting as well as terrific. From ice skating to snowball fighting, winters bring loads of fun activities with them. But houses with insufficient or no heating system have to suffer. This is why heating your home becomes mandatory in extreme winters. Many people are confused about what to buy, forced air vent or radiator. Are you one of those?

If your answer is affirmative then this article is for you. In this article, we’ll tell you, which one is a better forced-air vent or radiator? But first, let’s know what these heating systems are and how they work.

What is forced air venting and how it works?

  • Forced air vent is a heating system that consists of ductworks, vents, among other things. These use air as its heat transfer medium.
  • The basic way of heating is that they first heat the cool air and then distribute it with the help of ducts.
  • First, the cold air is taken into the ductwork and moved to the furnace (a heating device) which in turn heats this cold air. Now, air vents distribute this hot air into different rooms. A thermostat controls this complete system.
  • This complete process is repeated until the temperature of the home matches the temperature you set at the thermostat.
  • Once the desired temperature is reached, one can switch off the system.

What is a radiator and how it works?

Radiators are the oldest and still most efficient heating system. One long piece of pipe having many U-bends is present inside the radiator. These bends are meant to increase the surface area for the heat exchange to occur. Steel and copper are used as they have high thermal conductivity making them good conductors of heat.

Radiators work on two principles- Radiation and Convection. Radiation is the transfer of energy in a diverging manner and Convection is the transfer of heat in a fluid by the circulation of current.

They are of two types:-

  1. Steam radiator

It is the oldest kind of radiator. A boiler is connected to these which convert water into steam. This steam travels through the pipe releasing thermal energy.

  1. Hot water radiator

These are extremely popular and are commonly used in several households. They use the same principle as a steam radiator. They release heat and make room hotter, the way they achieve this is by pumping hot water through a series of pipes so that heat can dissipate into the surrounding.

Which is better, Radiator or forced air vent?

There has always been a tough competition between the two. They both are popular heating systems but radiators have an upper hand in many ways. Some of the ways are listed below.

Ways radiator is better than a forced-air vent

  1. Proper air circulation

  • The air circulation in forced air vent is dry which can cause several problems to you and your home. Our skin is water majorly and when this dry air comes in contact with skin, it will dry out causing itching and irritation.
  • It can also lead to cracking of skin. Dry air can also damage furniture, wall and ceiling of your home as dry air tries to absorb moisture, it will pull moisture from the structure of your home during cold winters which can cause cracks.
  • There is no such problem in the case of a radiator. They release humid air which feels more comforting and relaxing.

  1. Better air quality

  • A survey released data that showed that more than half of the U.S. population suffers from some sort of allergies. So if you react positive to one or more allergens, then Forced air vent is not the best choice for you.
  • Forced air systems circulate everything present in the air, causing you to breathe them. The air can contain dust, dirt, and allergens. A person with any kind of allergy or respiratory illness, when present in the room would be exposed to these allergens which will lead to an increase in the symptoms. To prevent this, ducts must be cleaned regularly as dust and dirt stuck on these.
  • In case of a radiator, a person with any kind of allergy would not suffer while inhaling. As there is no air movement involved in boilers, the chances of circulation of dirt and dust reduce considerably. Thus, releasing pure air.

  1. No noise

The most troublesome thing about forced air vent is the noise produced by it during delivery of hot air. Noise is produced by the ducts. As soon as fan blows air through the duct, noise occurs; this has been a complaint of many users. 

Reason for this noise might be the size of ducts. The size of ducts usually expands when you turn the heat on. You might have witnessed it if you have a small size duct. Noise occurs due to an increase in pressure.

Since radiators don't use such forced air system components, the noise you'll hear will be a lot quieter or absent in most cases.

  1. More efficient

Radiators save as much as 15% energy compared to forced air vent. This makes radiators more affordable. As they are made of metals, their thermal conductivity is high so they need less water for processing and when once cooled, water can again be used for heating

  1. Environment friendly

Radiators are made of metal and virtually all Radiators are made of recycled metal. Hence, their production doesn’t cause any environmental pollution. Moreover, if the system is about to get to its limit, then it can even be dismantled and metal can be reused.

  1. Uneven heating

  • The temperature might not be even throughout the room or house in case of forced air vent. You might experience different temperatures on different floors of the house. This problem can occur due to uncleaned duct or lack of proper maintenance.
  • Such problems don't occur in radiators and if cared properly they can work the same as new even after years.

Parting Notes

Overall, it is clear that radiators are better than forced air vent. At EastGate Radiators, we provide different type of radiators such as designer radiators and column radiators. They serve the dual purpose of keeping your home warm & aesthetically appealing.

Visit our website to select from a wide range of products (1300+ to be precise) for heating your home. And if you are still confused, consider giving a call to our supportive customer service executive. We’d be happy to help you!


Joven Ruthford

Date 6/10/2021


Date 1/26/2022


Date 3/8/2022


Date 3/23/2022

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