Is Hydronic Heating the Best for Your Building? Learn the Benefits
Hydronic heating provides a practical, efficient, and effective alternative to more traditional heating systems such as heat pumps and gas or electric furnaces. In commercial settings, it can give you excellent heating directed exactly where you want it, at a lower cost and frequently with fewer difficulties than other systems. The following information will give you a brief introduction to hydronic heating basics and the many benefits you can expect from using a hydronic system.
Hydronic Heating Basics
Hydronic heating gets its name from the fact that water is the major component for absorbing, moving, and releasing heat. Hot water is circulated through a system of pipes that can be installed beneath the surface of the floor, in walls, or in other inconspicuous locations. Hydronic systems use a boiler attached to a system of pipes or tubing. The boiler, usually a gas-type model, heats water to the desired temperature. The water then circulates through the pipe system, which can be extensive enough to provide heating for all areas inside the building.
If the pipes are installed in the floor, heat radiates from the pipes and rises, providing heating from the floor of the room upward. Other configurations could include a heat emitter such as a radiator or other device that disperses the heat. Hydronic heating can be used not only for indoor comfort applications, but for processes such as swimming pool heating, melting snow on driveways, or generating hot water for a building’s tenants and residents.
The Benefits of Hydronic Heating
Hydronic heating provides building owners, apartment dwellers, and building tenants with an excellent range of benefits that improve comfort, boost energy efficiency, and reduce overall heating costs.
- Better indoor comfort: Hydronic radiant heating does not rely on heated air to provide indoor comfort. Instead, the heat is provided directly from the hot water that circulates through the system. As this heat radiates outward, it provides a more even level of heat with a more consistent area of coverage. Radiant heating from a hydronic system provides a two-tiered effect: it heats the surface of the floor or wall where the heat is coming from and, at the same time, heats the air within the room. This results in more heating from the same source.
- Reduced heating costs: Hydronic systems can reduce the costs of providing heating to an entire building or to individual offices, suites, or areas. Hydronic heat systems can still produce effective heating at lower thermostat settings, so it’s possible to reduce the amount of energy used to heat the water. Hydronic systems do not affect the air pressure in a room the way forced-air heating equipment does, which means there is less chance that heat will be forced out of the room through doors, windows, or hidden cracks and openings. Less new heat is needed to compensate for these types of losses.
- Improved design options and overall visual aesthetics: Since hydronic components are installed in the walls or floors, you have better design options for rooms using these types of heating systems. There are no ducts, vents, or registers that can restrict how a room is designed or what it is used for. There is more floor and wall space available for practical or design-related features.
- Clean, quiet operation: In general, hydronic heating systems operate cleanly and quietly. Fuel-burning boilers are usually very efficient and waste less energy. Since there is no forced-air circulation, there is less chance for dust, dirt, pollen, fibers, or other contaminants to be introduced into your indoor air. Hydronic systems do not contain fans, air handlers or blowers, or other components that could generate noise and annoying sounds.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on hydronic heating and the benefits it can provide, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!