It’s common in Albuquerque to see completely different heating styles in homes within just blocks of each other. Trends, technology, and economics have all played a role in how common or uncommon each style is. But these varying styles can leave homeowners with questions about their heating. Especially if you find yourself in the home buying process in Albuquerque, you might be wondering which heating system best suits your needs. In this blog, we’ll share the pros and cons of the four main types of heating—forced air heating, hydronic/radiant heating, wall heaters or floor heaters, and electronic baseboard heating and help you determine which one is best for your home.

Forced Air Heat for Albuquerque Homes

Forced air heat is the most common type of heat found in most Albuquerque homes and businesses. Forced air heat is fueled by a blower fan that blows air from your home over a heating source, which is the gas furnace. There are electric furnaces, but these are much less common.

Pros:

The biggest pro to forced air heating is the instant gratification of the heating process! If you return home to a chilly house, you can crank up your thermostat within a short time you’re nice and toasty once again. Also, they’re so popular because they are economical to install, operate, and repair. The parts are common and simple, so repairs are often quick and easy.

Cons: 

There are a few cons to forced air. One of these is that the system really dries out the air in your home. So you might find your skin feels dry and cracks more easily, plus feeling dry hair and sinuses.

Also, forced air heating isn’t as efficient as other home heating methods because when you heat the home, you have to heat the whole home. And unless you have a huge family with people constantly hanging out in every room, often you’re heating rooms that people aren’t using. And lastly, forced air is the noisier heating option as you hear the fan kicking on and off and the heat in the home rises and falls.

Hydronic/Radiant Heating in Albuquerque Homes

Hydronic or radiant heating is a heating system that involves plumbing under the flooring, or in some cases, even in the foundation. Heated water is pushed through the piping, distributing heat through the home in that way. In Albuquerque, we commonly see hydronic heating in homes or businesses that are over 3,000-4,000 square feet since it is the most effective way to heat large spaces. Like every other method of heating, there are pros and cons. Let’s discuss!

Pros:

One of the biggest pros to hydronic heating is that you can efficiently heat a large home or business. Hydronic heating is quieter than forced air since there isn’t the same frequency of cycling on and off. And a significant advantage over forced air is that you can heat a home in zones, so you don’t have to heat the entire house to the same temperature. This is more energy-efficient and is especially nice for homes with people who like to sleep at different temperatures. And, many people like the feeling of a warm floor on their feet on those cold winter days.

Cons: 

Hydronic heating requires infrastructure that is most easily installed during the building phase of a home. Depending on the home it can be costly or challenging to retrofit a home with hydronic heating. That’s not to say that it can’t be done though. So if it’s something you’re interested in, please reach out, and we can have someone from our team do a complimentary consultation to discover what would work best for your home. 

Another con is that it does take a home a long time to heat up and homeowners find they’re often playing catch-up with their heating. This can be especially challenging in our desert falls and winters because it’s common for it to be 70 degrees during the day and drop all the way down into the 30s overnight. It’s best if you can keep your home at a temperature you’re comfortable with and not change the thermostat very much. 

Wall Heaters and Floor Heaters in Albuquerque

Wall heaters and floor heaters are not typical anymore, but because we do have some older neighborhoods in Albuquerque, we see a lot of homes heated with wall and floor heaters in Nob Hill and other similarly aged areas. Wall heaters and floor heaters are little radiant heaters that run on gas.

Pros:

The main advantage of wall and floor heaters are that they don’t require ductwork, so they work in older homes without ducts.

Cons: 

The biggest concern with gas wall and floor heaters is that they get hot to the touch, and it’s easy to be burned just by brushing against them on accident. They also aren’t a very effective heating method.

Electric Baseboard Heating in Albuquerque

Electric baseboard heating is a heating solution found in older homes and homes that don’t have ductwork. They’re a heating unit that can be installed regardless of the infrastructure of the house too.

Pros:

These units are quiet (you don’t hear them kicking on and off), and since they don’t blow around the air like with a duct system, they don’t propel dust and allergens through the home. 

Cons:

One unfortunate thing about electric baseboard heating is that it can be expensive to convert because it doesn’t have any ducting. This is just something to keep in mind if you’re thinking about buying a home and changing the heating after the fact. Electric baseboard heaters are not very efficient and run up the electricity bill too. And they can make it hard to arrange a room because you don’t want to place furniture directly in front of them.

Which Heating System is Right For Me?

Each of the heating systems we listed has pros and cons—meaning none of them are perfect. But unless you’re building a new home, you’re often left with whatever heating your home has, unless you’re considering converting the heating method. In many cases, a conversion is doable, but it can be expensive. It just depends on your desires for heating your home and what you are looking to get out of the conversion. Things people need to keep in mind are:

  • Importance of energy-efficiency
  • Does the home have ductwork?
  • Allergies
  • Aversion to the noise factor of forced air
  • Desire for zones/heating rooms to different temperatures
  • Sensitivity to drier air

If you’re still not sure about what’s best for your home or what is even possible in your home, contact us today! We love to help our customers weigh the pros and cons and find the choice that is best for them.