Here in Sacramento, it is my understanding that most -- if not all -- of the original radiant heating systems with galvanized pipes are no longer operable. If you are one of the lucky neighbors that has a system that still works, I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below this post!
I ran across some information today via Ideal Bite (a blog devoted to "green living") that struck me as worth sharing here. Per Ideal Bite:
* ... Depending on the size of your house and how high your ceilings are, radiant heating can save 30% on your heating bills (and might help you snag a tax rebate).Go to Ideal Bite's post directly for further information and links.
* Since it doesn't involve vents, forced air, or ducts, radiant floor heating can reduce dust mites by 80% - good news if you or your fam have bad allergies.
* You'll get more-even heat distribution throughout rooms - so you won't have to hang out near vents to feel warm.
If you are interested in exploring "green" options for replacing your original radiant heating system in your Eichler Home, I recommend consulting with Matthew Piner of Piner Works Architecture and Building Group here in town, located within the Green Living Center. Per my conversation with Mr. Piner, there are a number of viable solutions for Eichler Home owners. Mr. Piner would assess your particular needs and situation and route you to the very best solution and an installer. Per a recent Sacramento Press article, "radiant systems offered by the Green Living Center ... employ sunlight and other natural environmental features to provide comfortable home temperatures."