While forced air gas furnaces are the most popular type of heating system in my local area, I don’t think they are the best option.
I live in the northeastern part of the country, where the weather is wet, windy and chilly for most of the year.
We run the heating system for about eight months and centralized cooling isn’t really necessary. We need a heater that can handle sub zero temperatures and bitter wind chills. Although furnaces are both powerful and energy efficient, they have some drawbacks. The blast of hot air tends to cause problems with insufficient humidity. When the indoor air becomes overly dry, it feels cooler and leads to higher thermostat settings. Insufficient moisture in the air can be blamed for dry skin, coughing, sneezing, congestion, headaches and longer recovery times from cold and flu. Another problem with furnaces is that the heat rises straight up to the ceiling and only drops down to floor level as it cools off. The boiler relies on a duct system that can leak up to thirty percent of conditioned air. Ductwork is noisy and often responsible for issues with indoor air quality. The heat enters the room by way of vents that require furniture to be arranged around them. In comparison, a boiler uses water to move heat energy through a closed loop system. Hydronic heating is often recommended for anyone who suffers from allergies, asthma or respiratory infection because it is especially clean. It doesn’t create concerns with low humidity or make any noise. Water heats up faster than air, retains heat longer and provides a more gentle comfort. Boilers can link to any combination of under-the-floor heating, radiators or baseboard heaters that radiate heat into the air. The process ensures a very consistent temperature from floor to ceiling. There are no cold pockets or stratification. Another benefit of boilers is that they accommodate zone control, which helps to personalize comfort and further trim costs.