The Contractor’s Comparison: Radiant In-Floor Heat VS Ductless Heating Systems

Comparing apples to oranges usually makes no sense.  But sometimes, you need to compare the opposite ends of the spectrum to gain a wider perspective.  Radiant in-floor heat is a luxurious method of heating that requires a lot of work to install.  On the other end of the gamut, ductless heat systems are easy to install and provide quick, efficient heat.  However, both of them are typically an add-on method of heating only one part of your home.  Let’s take a closer look at when you might want one or the other. 

Radiant In-Floor Heat According to Missoula HVAC Contractors

Stepping out of a warm, cozy bed onto a warm, cozy floor is the quintessential moment people dream of as their Radiant In-Floor Heater is being installed.  As the name describes, heating units are installed under the floor so that the heat radiates through the floor.  This makes the floor warm to the touch as well as heating the rest of the space in a room.  If this installation is happening on a new structure, it will happen before the floorboards are laid down.  If this installation is on a previously existing structure, the floor will need to be torn open to begin the process. 

When it comes to performance, radiant in-floor heat is an efficient option. However, it can require time to heat up a space.  It can require a day to heat up a space. Some choose to use it as an auxiliary heat source, for example, in a bathroom.  In this case, one might need to turn it on an hour or so before heading into the bathroom.  Even still, radiant-in-floor heating is one of the most coveted heating systems for luxury homes.

Missoula HVAC Contractors Weigh-In About Ductless Heat Systems

If you are adding on to your home or tired of doing projects in an unheated garage, this is the quickest way to ensure your space is heated!  You can quickly install a ductless heating system in a semi-separate space.  Because you do not have to run ductwork through an attic or crawlspace, the amount of installation work required is drastically reduced.  An added benefit is that these systems typically have air conditioning capability as well!  For the least amount of installation work, you can have summer and winter climate control in all or part of your home!

Ductless systems are very efficient performers AND they are very quick to provide climate comfort.  They function by heating (or cooling) air and then pumping that air into the space.  This means you can feel the warm air immediately moving throughout the space.  The speed at which you can turn a cold garage into a comfortable workspace is remarkable!

Side-by-Side Comparison by Missoula HVAC Contractors

 Radiant In-Floor HeatDuctless Heat Systems
Efficiency?Save up to 15% on Heating BillSave up to 30% on Heating Bill
Ease of Installation?High ComplexityLow Complexity
Length of Time to Heat Space?Up to a DayNoticeable immediately
Comfort Provided?LuxuriousFunctional
Main Usage?Auxiliary – bedrooms, bathrooms, or kitchensAuxiliary – add-on space or garage
Heats and Cools?Only HeatsHeats and Cools!

Check out these and other Heating Installs by Missoula HVAC Contractors

If you are about to start an addition, it would be a great time to install radiant in-floor heating as the floor is laid down.  If you have already completed an addition and need to heat the space right away, a ductless heat system is a great solution!  If you are looking for other heating systems, such as a boiler or furnace, check out our other services to help you make a decision!  Also, be sure to check out these 31 Terms common among Missoula HVAC Contractors to make sure you are well informed!

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