Because of the demands of my job, I’ve lived in nearly a dozen different cities along the northern border of the country. Since I don’t like being cramped in an apartment, I typically rent a house. I usually stay in one place for a year or two. I’ve come to be quite picky over the heating system in the home I rent. The northern part of the country experiences extremely long and cold winters. Because of temperatures below freezing and bitter wind chill, a powerful heating system is a priority. I am normally responsible for the monthly utility bills, and the energy efficiency of the heating system makes a huge impact on my budget. I’ve found that I’m not all that satisfied with a forced air gas furnace. This type of heating system relies on ductwork, which circulates hot air throughout the home. The ducts are noisy and tend to be dirty. Every time the heated air passes through, it picks up contaminants, which are then spread into every room. Plus, hot air rises straight up to the ceiling, leaving the area closer to the floor much colder. This leads to much higher thermostat settings and higher monthly bills. My favorite type of heating system is radiant flooring. A looping system of pipes is entirely concealed beneath the floor, taking up none of the living space and never detractive from aesthetics. A boiler provides hot water, which circulates through these pipes and spreads the heat evenly across the floor. The heat is gently infused into the air and rises very slowly, keeping the highest temperatures closer to the floor. Radiant floors are totally silent, perfectly clean, and allow for lower thermostat settings.