Decades ago, in the wake of World War II, forced air emerged as the most popular residential heating system in America. Even today, despite a range of performance drawbacks, forced air remains the dominant choice. But it’s definitely not the only the option out there, and in growing numbers, savvy homeowners are opting instead for radiant heat, for a range of reasons. For one, radiant heat eliminates the need for ductwork, notorious not only for hogging space and collecting dust, but also for leaking air and compromising system efficiency. As they don't involve ducts, radiant systems operate at least 25 percent more efficiently, with some products—for instance, Warmboard—able to deliver even more dramatic monthly savings. An even more compelling advantage: In stark contrast to the uncomfortably uneven heating that characterizes forced air, radiant systems deliver consistent, “everywhere” warmth. It’s a qualitatively different experience. Indeed, as you move about a room, or go from one room to the next, the temperature never varies. After a while—particularly because radiant heating systems operate invisibly and silently—you simply stop noticing that the heat's on. You notice only that you’re perfectly comfortable. All signs indicate that radiant heating, which is already widespread in Europe and Asia, could be the next big thing in heating here at home.