Last year, the cold weather arrived much earlier than usual and was especially brutal.
- My very ancient furnace malfunctioned while I was away for the weekend and my water pipes froze.
I came home to a huge mess and big problem. I needed to hire a professional plumber and licensed HVAC contractor to handle the installation of new pipes, furnace and ductwork repairs. While the job was completed, there was no heat in the house. Since the outdoor temperature was down to fifteen degrees, I moved in with my brother for a couple of weeks. My brother’s house is equipped with a hydronic heating system. He has a boiler situated in the basement that connects to pipes concealed beneath the floor. The boiler heats water that travels through the series of looping pipes in a radiant heating system. Rather than the hot air getting blown in through vents up high in the walls, the heat is infused into the air at floor level. I was absolutely amazed at the comfort level of his house. He can set his thermostat several degrees lower than mine, and yet I felt perfectly warm at all times. There were no drafts, no temperature fluctuation or cold spots, and I could walk barefoot on his heated floors. The heat is spread evenly across the floor and warms up everything that touches it. The system operates silently, doesn’t introduce air contaminants and is exceptionally energy efficient. My brother pays a lot lower heating bills than I do. He also has the added benefit of zone control. There’s an independent thermostat located in each room. I wish I could tear out my whole forced air furnace and replace it with heated floors.