Clean and Efficient Hydronic Heating

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Back in September, I did a post about radiant floor heating, a wonderfully warm and efficient way to heat a home or other building.  Hydronic heating is one type of radiant floor heating that uses water as the heat conductor.  Radiators, baseboards, hydro-air, and mini-duct heat/AC systems are varieties of hydronic heating. It can even be used as a towel warmer in a luxurious bathroom, or be located under exterior walkways, patios, and driveways to act as a snow melter–perfect for those who have a hard time shoveling snow.

How it works:  Heated water from the boiler is circulated through small piping (PEX tubing is best) to areas requiring heat.  This results in an evenly-released heat that is the most comfortable, dust-free, and quiet type of heating system.  It can be zoned to provide the utmost efficiency in a home.

Hydronic radiant floor heating can be installed under basement joists, integrated into a concrete floor, or sandwiched between a subfloor and finished floor.  Finished floors that most efficiently radiate heat from the hydronic system are:  concrete and tile, but hardwood flooring or even some carpeting can be used.

With conventional forced air systems, ducts leak air which makes them inefficient, filters have to be changed frequently, dust is blown out of vents, and it is generally an uncomfortable way to heat a building for its occupants.

The Hydronic Heating Association was founded by Richard Trethewey (the heating and plumbing expert on This Old House).  On its website, you can find a qualified hydronic heating contractor in your area and a list of the best manufacturers of hydronic heating components.

photo courtesy of Viega ProRadiant Flooring

Tag(s): Energy, Kitchens And Baths, Water


One Response to “Clean and Efficient Hydronic Heating”

  1. Hydronic Heating on June 8th, 2009 11:33 am

    Hydronic heating is a great source for quickly defrosting or simply keeping the ground/service warm.
    thanks for the great write up, very informative.

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