My husband and me are building a house this year and I'm trying to get the last stuff figured out before we have a friend that is an architect do the plans up. I am stumped on what type of heating system to use. We want something that isn't extremely expensive to install and doesn't really need a backup heating source. We aren't worried about system that does a/c also. Just mainly need heat. I need something that will keep the house warm when it gets down to -20 degrees during the winter. The house will have a high cathedral ceiling and large windows (prow front). I would like to avoid using gas/fuel due to the possible safety risks and the costs are going up around here. I don't really want to go with ducts due to allergies but will if I can't find a good option. So far from the research that I've done I would love to have hydronic radiant floor heating at least on the main floor. I like that it is ductless, the water boiler uses little electricity, and will keep the heat more even. Two worries I have is the cost of installation and possible leaks or freezing. I've heard that the PEX tubing is better than it use to be to help avoid leaks. Around here we have a lot of power outages due to ice storms. I am a little bit worried about if the power goes out if the tubing would freeze. It would be on the second floor so I'm assuming that would help some. We would probably have a couple backup generators that we could probably hook the boiler to. Does anyone have any experience with this type of heating or know of a better system that might work for us? Is it something we could possibly install the tubing in the floor ourselves and have someone from the company we order the parts from hook the boiler up with the tubing while checking for leaks? I've pretty much looked up all the other heating systems but this one seemed the best especially the cutting back on the costs of running it. Most of the other systems I read about seemed like they needed a backup for sure or were costly to run. We are going to install reversible fans in the cathedral to help with heating and cooling. I'm also stumped on what lights to install in the cathedral area. We won't be having any beams showing. I like the looks of the recessed lights but I'm worried about possible extra heat loss. I have been thinking of the tracking lights even though they aren't as nice. I do like that they aren't build into the ceiling and can be moved to where we need the light pointed. I will probably have some pendant lights in part of the kitchen under the loft for the sitting area.