Last winter, I stayed with my brother for a month while renovations were being done on my house. I needed to tear down the old plaster walls and ceilings in order to replace plumbing lines, run new electrical wire and properly insulate. While the house was torn down to the studs, I also had repairs made on the duct system and furnace. The project was extensive, messy and time-consuming. The only time I could get the contractors I needed was during the month of January. At that time, our local weather was extremely nasty. This past year, the temperature dropped down to negative twenty-five degrees for three week. In my own house, when we experience such challenging weather, my furnace struggles to keep up. I am forced to raise the thermostat and the heater seems to be running constantly. There are cold spots, drafts and the air becomes unpleasantly dry and stuffy. My brother has none of these complaints. His house was perfectly warm and comfortable. Every single room was always the perfect temperature and there were no issues with insufficient humidity. This is because my brother’s house is outfitted with a hydronic rather than a forced air heating system. He has a boiler installed in the basement that heats up water and pumps it through a series of pipes hidden beneath the floor. The radiant floor heating system ensures that the heat is spread evenly from corner to corner and rises very slow. He also has a thermostat mounted in each room that allows for zoned control. He’s able to save money by not heating empty rooms and can cater to personal preference. Plus, his system is more energy efficient than mine so he spends less on his heating bills.