Radiant Hot Water Systems Versus Forced-Air Heat
Radiant hot-water-heat has made somewhat of a comeback recently. Many who have installed this form of heat consider it to be the most comfortable and efficient on the market. Radiant floor heat, another form of hot-water-heat, is remarkably comfortable and may even allow you to dial the thermostat down a bit.
The biggest disadvantage of radiant heat is probably the difficulty in adding air conditioning to your home. So before you decide on the type of heat you would like to install it would be a good idea to consider whether or not you plan on installing A/C. A/C will most likely be possible for homes with radiant heat; however, the expense of an A/C installation will be considerable. If your goal is to have the most comfortable heat available I suggest radiant. If your budget ultimately determines the type of heat your home ends up with then forced air or even a wood-burning stove may be the choice.
Consider this other aspect of radiant heat. Boiler manufactures have produced high efficiency condensing boilers for some time now. With efficiency ratings of 95% and more, consumers have a great opportunity to choose a heat that is not only very comfortable but also now very efficient. Added to this, is the comfort level of radiant heat that quite often allows a homeowner to lower their thermostat setting; providing for even greater savings on their home heating bill.
So if you are in the market for a new heating system, make sure you give radiant heat a second glance. You just might find that boiler downstairs a warm friend for those cold northern nights.