Winters are pretty cold in North America and in other places in the northern sphere. But difficulty never stopped the human race from stop living. When I say living, I mean happy and comfortable living. Hydronic heating systems can provide that happy and comfy life during the colds of the winter. Let’s find out about Hydronic Heating System and its benefits.
Yes, there are other different types of heating systems. But, if you are looking for a clean and energy-efficient way to keep your home clean, then you need to choose hydronic heating systems.
However, this heating system has its pros and cons, so you need to watch out for any signs that make you reconsider. But, once you go through this article, you will completely understand this technology.
What Is A Hydronic Heating System?
The meaning is simple – the hydronic heating system uses sweaters and other liquids to heat your home. The technology uses a heat source like a gas boiler and a pump to circulate the water in different rooms of your home through pipes.
When using hydronic pumps, the pipes, and the tubes are installed in concrete slabs or in secondary slabs. They also install the pipes in radiator panels and hydronic towel rails. The technology can be diversified and used as radiant flood hearing, wall heating, and as radiant baseboard heaters or towel warmers.
The hydronic heating system is widely used in larger buildings and small homes in colder regions. Especially people who live in regions that have smaller warm seasons use this technology.
How Does a Hydronic Heating System Work?
The process is simple. The technology has a boiler that heats the water. The heated water is then transmitted around the house instantly using pipes. The room’s walls and floors have panels and radiators installed in them. These panels absorb the temperature transmitted through heated water and release them into the room.
Hydronic heating uses the coils of pipes beneath the concrete slabs if used as radiant floor heating systems. When the heated water is transmitted into those coils, it warms the floor.
Now for the boilers, different sources of energy can be used. Gas, biofuels, electricity, and wood are sources of fuel for heating water for the hydronic heating system.
The hydronic heating system combines a boiler, pipes for distributing water, and radiator panels. For the panels also, there are different options. You will find a versatile range of materials and styles. You can opt for traditional steel panels, aluminum panels, or cast iron designer panels.
Advantages Of Using Hydronic Heating Systems
There are both advantages and disadvantages of hydronic heating systems. The heating system is efficient and works perfectly for homes and larger buildings. Here are some advantages of the technology you need to know about –
1. Create Temperature Zones
You may want to have a different temperature in all the places at home. This can be because of personal preferences, due to reducing the cost of heating systems, or you might be living with someone with other preferences.
This calls for creating your own temperature zone to suit your needs. Hydronic heating systems let you create temperature zones that enhance your comfort based on your needs. That is why you can have two thermostats at home instead of one. This will help you vary the temperature in different rooms based on your needs.
2. Maintain Humidity Levels
You can opt for other heating systems like forced air heating systems. But, when heating the room, the forced air system can suck the moisture out of the air. So, you end up having a dry but warm temperature at home.
On the other hand, a hydronic heating system uses liquid trapped inside a closed system, so it does not dry the atmosphere inside your home.
3. Clean And Smart Heating System
The forced air heating system displaces air to warm the house. In this case, you have to keep listening to the annoying sound of air rushing when it passes through the system. Much noise is also created when the warm air passes through the cold ducts or the furnace is fired up.
But, if you have a hydronic heating system installed, it will take all of these disturbances out of the process. It is smart; it is silent and efficient.
4. Radiant Floor Heating System
You can also use the hydronic heating system to heat up the floors of your home. During the cold season, the floors of your home get colder, and walking on them on bare feet is difficult. But you can use radiant floor heating systems to heat the floors. In this case, the floors or the slabs of the floors will have coils of tubes installed underneath. The floor here works like a conductor to keep itself warm.
5. Free From Pollens, Dust, Or Allergens
Forced air heating works by pushing air inside the room and circulating the temperature through the air. This process can often bring in pollen, allergens, and other pollutants inside your home. The situation will get more difficult if you do not change your air filters on a regular basis or maintain the ducts.
Since the hydronic heating system does not depend on ducts, you will not have to worry about these situations. The air remains cleaner while the rooms also stay warm.
6. Save Some Space
Forced air heating requires duct installation. This will take up some space inside your home (both in the ceiling and the walls). They are also hard to maintain and are expensive. Instead, hydronic heating systems can be installed on the wall or the floors.
You can also get the pipework routed around your existing pipework at home. With the radiant or hydronic heating system, you will be saving lots of space at home.
7. More Durable Heating System
With the hydronic heating system, you can save up a lot on maintenance because the HVAC systems include many mechanical parts that often require maintenance. But the hydronic heating system has fewer parts, and they don’t require maintenance too often. Also, they last longer and are more durable.
8. Energy Efficient
You need to use the best conductor when you want to transmit heat. Unfortunately, the air is not the best regarding transmitting heat. It can lose its energy while moving through the ducts. The air can also leak through the gaps. So, in the process, it will lose the heat.
However, on the other hand, water is a better heat conductor. It requires less time to heat and can retain it for a longer period of time. So, you will save a lot in terms of energy efficiency. Statistically, the hydronic radiant heating system is 25% more efficient than forced air heating.
9. Warmer Where You Need It
When using a forced air heating system works from a distance, and it tries to warm up the whole room. So, it takes lots of time and energy for the system to heat the place you want to heat.
But, using the hydronic heating method, you can easily heat up the place you want to heat up. You can choose to heat the wall close to you. Since the tubes get installed close to the ground, they will warm quickly.
10. Even Out The Heat With Hydronic Heating Systems
Hydronic heaters let you heat the room evenly compared to the forced air heating system. Forced air heating uses an air displacement process and keeps the room warm. However, air moves briskly in these heating systems. Also, breezes might interrupt the process of warming up the room using air. As a result, you face uneven transmission of heat throughout the room.
On the other hand, a hydronic heater uses better radiators than heated air. The hydronic heaters are also better in this respect.
Disadvantages Or Cons Of Hydronic Heating System
I know that I have described the good things about hydronic heaters. But there are also some downsides to using hydronic heating systems. Go through these points to learn about them –
1. Takes A Long Time To Heat
Water is a better heat conductor and better heat retainer compared to air, which is true. Since water is a better heat retainer, it takes some time before transmitting the heat to the different parts of the room. The water also has to travel through the pipe, which takes some time as well.
Yes, you will have a consistent temperature at home. But you cannot expect to heat up the room instantly. If you live in an area with a moderate climate, you can use this heating system.
2. Space Requirements
If you are using the baseboard hydronic heating, it will take up some space on your walls. This will interrupt the space of your interior. Also, the system needs a network of pipes for transmitting water through the different parts of the room. These pipes also take up some space inside your room.
But, if you compare it to the amount of space ducts required, then it is comparatively better. The pipes will take only half an inch of space inside the wall, less than the space needed for the ducts. If you plan to install the pipes during your home’s construction, then it is fine. But, if you want to install pipes on finished homes, then you must tear down the walls and install pipes.
Closed Loop heating systems require expansion tanks for safety measures. You also need to drain completely for the heating system to work properly. It is the only maintenance process the hydronic heating systems require.
4. Difficult Repair Process
Hydronic heating systems are great until one of the pipes leaks; these leaks are hard to pinpoint since the pipes are installed beneath the walls and the floors. This makes the repair process difficult and more expensive.
5. No Room For Air Conditioning
You cannot have an air cooling system and a hydronic heating system at the same time. The hydronic cooling system is not something widely used, so if you need cooling, you have to opt for central air conditioning. But this is not possible when you already have a hydronic heating system installed. Also, installing two different systems requires lots of spending.
6. Water May Freeze Due To A Power Outage
If you live in places where the temperature reaches below freezing point, the water in the pipe network might freeze during a power outage. When the water freezes inside the pipe, it could possibly damage the equipment. You can use the smart AC controllers and a mini split to prevent this issue.
7. Requires Extensive Planning
Installation of a hydronic heating system requires extensive planning. Because you want the network of pipes under the place where people usually stay. There is no point in creating a network in places that people do not access. So, you need to do lots of planning before installing the pipes.
8. Lack Of Ventilation Might Cause A Problem
When installing hydronic heating systems, you will also need a proper ventilation system added. Because lack of ventilation can make the indoor air stagnant, creating pent-up pollutants and unbearable odors. This is why you need to keep the windows and doors open for adequate ventilation at home.
9. Furniture Can Get In The Way
The furniture indoors usually gets in the way if you have hydronic heaters installed. If a cupboard is pulled up against one of the walls or a thick carpet is placed on the roof, the radiant heating system is useless.
10. Higher Installation
The installation process will cost you excessive money if you install the pipes in previously constructed walls. You might have to remove the entire wall or floor surface to install the pipe, which will cost you significantly.
Components Of The Hydronic Heating Systems
The hydronic heating systems have different components that work together to warm your rooms. All of these components have different variations, and you can customize them according to your needs.
Here are the different components –
- Boiler: the system will require a boiler to heat the liquid.
- Liquid: you need to choose a proper liquid medium for the transmission of heat. Most people use water or other anti-freezing transmitters.
- Thermostat: the thermostat of the hydronic heating system controls the temperature and turns the system on and off when necessary.
- Tubing: the tubing does not use Copper or other different types of rigid tubing materials. It usually uses PEX or other types of plastics.
- Heat Exchangers: the heating system also uses heat exchangers that transfer the heat from the pipe to the house.
- Pump: the use of a pump controls and regulates the flow of water inside the pipes hence helping in the transmission of water and its temperature in the house.
You can opt for hydronic heating systems if you are from a colder region with a temperature above the freezing point. Using the heating systems in a region with freezing temperatures might not be the best idea. Also, it is cost-effective to install the system during the construction of the house. Once you go through the pros and cons of the system, you will know if it is worth investing in or not.
I hope you have found the required information on this heating system. If you need answers to more queries, you can let me know through the comment section. We will get in touch as soon as we spot your query.