Question for US GOGgers:
Why is hot air based central heating so popular in the US?
My mum recently moved house, and unusually for the UK it had air ducts rather than the usual low-pressure water radiators.
She's in the process of having water central heating fitted as we all agreed the hot air system was really unpleasant. Apart from being noisy, it tended to make everyone's throats dry, somewhat like an electric-fan space heater.
Any American GOGgers who've experienced both types, do you have a preference?
The weather in the parts of the US where I have lived is pretty humid, whether it is winter or summer. A forced-air HVAC system has the advantage of dehumidifying the air that passes through it whether it is in air conditioning or heating mode. Also, one unit acts as both air conditioner and heater, reducing the need for two separate systems and the associated maintenance costs. Not to mention that forced-air central HVAC seems to be easier to maintain (at least in my experience) from a single digital thermostat, thereby saving on energy costs.
Also, in my personal experience, steam radiators are just troublesome. Every place I've lived with them had a problem with mold/mildew because it seems like they always leak steam/moisture/condensation/what have you, and add water to already humid, water-laden air. Not to mention the creaks, groans, pops, rattles, and weird noises they make at all hours of the day and night. I'll never go back to radiators again, that's for sure.