I live in an area that is well-known because of the severity of our winter seasons.
- We often survive eight months of temperatures below freezing.
It’s not unusual for the outside temperature to drop down to twenty-five below zero. The wind chill can be downright dangerous and schools are often closed due to the cold and snow. We expect to accumulate around fifteen feet of snow every winter. Our summers are never all that long or hot. There’s no reason to bother with central air conditioning. I’m happy opening the windows and getting some fresh air. I think it’s important to use natural ventilation after such a long winter. Because we run the heater for the majority of the year, a powerful, reliable and energy efficient system is a priority. I feel fortunate that my home is equipped with a hydronic heating system. We have a condensing boiler installed in the basement that’s linked to baseboard heaters installed around the perimeter of the various rooms. The baseboards are streamlined and unobtrusive. I don’t need to arrange the furniture to accommodate them. They supply a steady stream of heat down near the floor level that then rises very gradually. Because of this, there is very little stratification, no cold spots and no drafts. We enjoy a very consistent temperature from corner to corner and floor to ceiling. The boiler and baseboards operate silently and require only annual maintenance. It is a closed system, heating up the same water to pump through the pipes, which avoids bringing in any outside contaminants. The house remains very clean. Plus, a hydronic system doesn’t overly dry out the air, eliminating the need for a humidifier. With independent thermostats in each room, we’re able to avoid heating unoccupied spaces and cater to our preferences and needs.