Last November, during an extreme cold snap, my heating system hastily quit without warning. When the HVAC contractor looked over the heating system, he told me that it wasn’t worth fixing it at all. Since the outside temperature was down in the low twenties, I couldn’t imagine remaining in the condo while a newer heating system was installed. So instead, I ended up moving in with my brother for a few days. My brother’s home is equipped with a hydronic heating system instead of the older system. He has a boiler installed in the basement and a series of pipes concealed beneath the floors. The pipes transfer hot water to create a radiant floor heating system. This was my first experience with radiant flooring and I think it is far superior to a gas heating system. The most apparent benefit is the entire system is hidden under the floors, completely out of sight, where it doesn’t interfere with the home’s aesthetics. There’s no need to keep the furniture from around the registers or vents. The heat is spread evenly from corner to corner and rises slowly, warming all the surfaces in the room. Because there are no chilly surfaces, chilly spots or drafts, my brother can set his temperature control many degrees lower than I can, and his condo feels much more comfortable. The heat isn’t blown in, doesn’t go straight up to the ceiling, and doesn’t introduce a whole bunch of air contaminants, such as dust, mold, and dander. Some of the benefits of a hydronic heating system is that it is exceptionally quiet, reliable, safe and long-lasting, and it allows the simple set up of zoned control. My brother can choose which rooms to heat and customize the temperature to everyone’s personal preferences. Walking barefoot across radiant floors on a chilly and snowy day is a true joy. I didn’t want to think about going back home.