Updated September 30, 2020
With a hydronic system, almost endless hot water can be supplied from the boiler all year round with an indirect fired water heater or a tankless heater. Indirect-fired water heaters do not have a separate fuel supply, such as a gas pilot light, but rather use the hot water generated by a boiler to heat domestic water. Our tank-within-a-tank design allows hot water produced by the boiler to circulate in a steel outer tank which wraps around an inner stainless steel tank, radiating heat through the walls of the inner tank, keeping a steady supply of hot water on hand.
If there are space constraints, a tankless heater, which is simply a coil through which tap water is circulated, can be installed in your boiler. In both cases, during the summer months when the heat in your home is shut off, the boiler operates at a low fuel level, about the same as an ordinary water heater.
A hydronic heating system also permits the installation of a snow-melt system. Tubing may be installed under sidewalks and driveways. Hot water is circulated through them and snow is melted as fast as it falls. Hydronic systems can also be easily adaptable to heating swimming pools, greenhouses and separate garages.
Hydronic Heating Systems are Cleaner
Heating systems, in themselves, do not create dirt. Dirt results from cooking, air infiltration and tracking it in from the outside. However, warm-air heating systems create turbulence because they operate with a blower. Rapid agitation of the air causes dirt particles to be deposited on walls, furnishings, curtains and drapes. Even filters cannot effectively control this situation, inasmuch as they trap only larger particles of dirt.
With a hydronic system, heat is gently circulated uniformly and without sudden on-and-off cycles that create turbulence. This fact, plus the fact that a hydronic system operates at relatively low temperatures, allows you to keep a cleaner home.
Hydronic Systems are Quiet
With a warm-air system, heated air is conducted through sheet metal ducts that expand and contract as the air temperature rises and falls. This results in noise from the heating ducts. Another major noise factor with a warm air system is the sound of the blower when the furnace is operating. Hydronic systems are generally quieter than warm-air furnaces.
Hydronic Systems are More Durable
A cast-iron hydronic system will ordinarily serve 25 years or more, both because of the material used and the small number of moving parts. A warm-air furnace, which has far more moving parts and requires frequent changing of air filters, will normally last 10 to 15 years, with major repair a possibility at some point before maximum life is reached.
Hydronic Systems are More Efficient
Hydronic systems can be up to 70 percent less more efficient than other methods, like electricity-dependent systems. That’s, in large part, because water conducts heat better than air. The systems are also sealed, resulting in low emissions. In addition, forced air increases pressure and can push heat through the gaps in walls, windows and insulation. With hydronic, warmer air is instead pushed into the nooks and crannies.
Hydronic Systems Control Humidity Better
Radiant hydronic heat doesn’t dry out your home as much as forced air, because the heat is not moving briskly or suddenly, which ultimately sucks moisture out of the air.
Hydronic Systems are Cleaner and Healthier
Hydronic heating provides warmth using natural convection and radiation, eliminating drafts or hot spots. It’s also powered by water and natural gas and is dust/allergen free. For these reasons, it’s preferred by medical facilities and homeowners with allergies.
Hydronic Systems are Safer
There are no exposed flames or electrical connections for fire hazards with hydronic heating systems.
Hydronic Systems are Cost effective
While upfront cost may be a bit more, hydronic heating system will cost around 20 percent less to operate than a ducted system in a house with average ceiling heights. The larger the homes and higher the ceilings the more the savings.
Hydronic Systems are More Adaptable
There are no sudden pushes of warmth from one area to another, eliminating the need to keep certain doors open or closed. Even more importantly, temperature can easily be adjusted specifically to multiple zones.
Hydronic Systems can be Used for More Purposes
Radiant heating can be run under floors and tiles are warm on your feet—and your pets’—in the heart of winter. These systems can also be designed to act as towel warmers.
Hydronic Systems Allow for More Versatile Installation
Hydronic heating allows homeowners to design a system around their needs. No matter the fuel source, there is a hydronic boiler that works. Piping can be placed in the walls and easily routed around the home, unlike traditional systems that require extensive ductwork and return air systems with large chases.