Hydronic Heating – A Basic Understanding of How It Works

By Adam P Lancaster

So you’ve heard of hydronic heating but not sure what the fuss is about. And you might still be trying to get your head around how hydronic heating is the most efficient & affordable way of heating your home. Read on but be careful, you could learn something

‘Hydronic’ is a fancy word for water, so yes we are using water that is heated to heat the home. Water is a great conductor of heat, so heat loss is minimal through the pipes which are also insulated. This also means it costs less to keep it up to temperature. The Water is heated with a boiler, and choosing a gas boiler will also ensure you’re choosing the most efficient heating method. Burning Gas as a source of heat is far more efficient that using an electric element.

A Hydronic Heating System is a circuit of pipe that runs around the home and back to a boiler similar to what we use to heat water for house-hold hot water. The boiler keeps the water at temperature and a pump keeps the water circulating around the pipe circuit and though the boiler. For radiators the pipe runs around the home to each panel in turn and for slab heating many coils spaced closely together run within the concrete slab.

A massive advantage with a Hydronic Heating Systems is that each panel can be controlled for a panel installation, and you can discuss with your installer any rooms or areas of the home you may want to individually control for slab heating. No more roasting living rooms and cold bedrooms at the same time!

New technology has brought even greater efficiency to slab heating. Old systems were designed to heat up the whole slab, and therefore lost a lot of heat to the earth the slab sits on. New systems only heat a small part of the top of the slab and are insulated to heat loss downwards. So now slabs heat up and cool down far quicker using less energy than previously.

The other major reason Hydronic Heating is more efficient at heating your home than other heating systems is because the heat radiates and therefore heats the objects in the room. Heated air systems simply heat the air which is cooled by the objects in the room quickly and is why they are constantly turning on and cost more to run.

A real plus when compared to air systems is that there is no air being blown around, so those with allergies or who just hate dusting all the time will be very happy and healthy in a hydronic heated home.

I hope this introduction gives you a better understanding of hydronic heating and why it really is the best choice in heating your home from a health, financial and green perspective.

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