Last winter, I had a problem with my gas furnace. My heating system is extremely outdated and no longer operating at its best. Despite setting my thermostat as low as I can tolerate it, the heater seems to run all the time. It makes a tremendous amount of noise, blows dust into every room, and smells unpleasant. Plus, it costs me a fortune to run and has a lot of trouble keeping up with super cold temperatures. When the furnace quit at the end of November, I had no choice but to hire a licensed HVAC company to take a look. They felt that with some major updates to various parts, the furnace was salvageable. While the repairs were completed, I was without heat. Since the outside temperature was down to fifteen degrees, with a brutal wind chill and constant snowfall, I couldn’t remain in my home. My brother, Todd, was kind enough to invite me to stay with him. I was only supposed to be there for a week. I never wanted to leave. Todd’s house is outfitted with radiant floor heating in every single room. No matter how nasty the weather, his house is perfectly warm and cozy. I often wore shorts and went barefoot, and I was always comfortable. The entire heating system is concealed. There’s a boiler installed in the basement and a series of pipes hidden under the floors. Todd doesn’t need to arrange his furniture around a bunch of ugly vents. Plus, the radiant system is completely silent. There’s no rattling ductwork or whoosh of air. It doesn’t introduce contaminants into the home or blow dust around every time it starts up. The warmest temperature is down near the floor, where it provides maximum benefit. By comparison, the highest temperature in my house is always right up by the ceiling. It aggravates me that Todd pays lower energy bills than I do, yet enjoys a cleaner, healthier and far more comfortable home.