My local area is known for our brutal winter weather.
It’s not unusual for us to run the heater for eight months.
We see temperatures down to twenty-five below zero and our weather forecast often mentions lake-effect snow, freezing rain, white-outs, wind chill and snow squalls. Blizzard conditions are common. I am fortunate that my house is heated by a boiler and radiant flooring. The boiler heats water and sends it through a series of pipes that are hidden beneath the floor. No matter how cold it gets outside, every room is perfectly warm and comfortable. The radiant system spreads heat across the surface of the floor and it rises slowly upward. The temperature between floor and ceiling never varies more than a couple degrees from the thermostat setting. There are no drafts or cold spots. Plus, radiant flooring is especially quiet, clean and energy efficient. Along with very cold temperatures, we also get a great deal of snow. Nearly every day throughout the winter, at least a few more inches fall and accumulate on the ground. This requires constant shoveling and plowing and it’s difficult to find a place to pile all that snow. Another benefit of the boiler is that it also connects to a snowmelt system. Just like inside the house, we have a series of pipes installed under the pavement of the walkways and driveway. The system reacts to temperature drop and moisture, automatically starts up and spreads heat across the surface. The snow and ice melts away, eliminating the labor-intensive job of shoveling. We don’t need to worry about slipping and falling on icy pavement. We don’t need to spread harmful snowmelt chemicals or deal with huge drifts.