Last January, during an extreme cold snap, my furnace suddenly quit. When the HVAC contractor looked over the heating system, he told me it wasn’t worth a repair. Since the outside temperature was down in the teens, I couldn’t remain in the house while a new heating system was installed. I ended up moving in with my brother for a few days. My brother’s home is equipped with a hydronic heating system. He has a boiler installed in the basement and a series of pipes concealed beneath the floors. The pipes convey hot water to create a radiant floor heating system. This was my first experience with radiant flooring and it is far superior to a gas furnace. For one thing, the entire system is hidden under the floors, completely out of sight, where it doesn’t detract from aesthetics. There’s no need to arrange furniture around the registers or vents. The heat is spread evenly from corner to corner and rises very slowly, warming all the surfaces in the room. Because there are no cold surfaces, cold spots or drafts, my brother can set his thermostat several degrees lower than I can, and his house is far more comfortable. The heat isn’t blown in, doesn’t rise straight up to the ceiling, and doesn’t introduce a whole bunch of air contaminants, such as dust, mold, and dander. A hydronic heating system is exceptionally quiet, reliable, safe and long-lasting, and it allows the easy set up of zoned control. My brother can choose which rooms to heat and customize the temperature to personal preference. Walking barefoot across heated floors on a cold and snowy morning is a true luxury. I didn’t want to move back home.