Hydronic Radiant Heating Services
Also called Radiant Heating, hydronic heating has become a popular source of alternative heat for families looking to increase comfort and efficiency while reducing costs and carbon footprints. At its most basic level, hydronic heat works by running a hot liquid through piping under a home’s floor, baseboard heaters and radiators. Whereas traditional heating systems work by routing warm air through a series of pipes before blowing the air into a home through one or two vents in any given room, hydronic heating systems heat the entire base of a house.
How Hydronic or Radiant Heat Works
A closed circuit of looped pipes circulates the hot water or heating liquid throughout the home. These pipes are generally installed within a home’s floor joist system and give the radiant heat the ability to evenly heat the entire home at a consistent, comfortable temperature.
With Hydronic Heating, the heating process begins within a home’s energy efficient boiler. The liquid being used as the heating element is heated in the boiler before being routed to the system’s manifold center that acts as the control center for the system. This manifold center is connected to the house’s thermostat and directs water to the desired areas at the desired temperature (as set by the homeowner). Pumps are utilized to consistently circulate newly heated water through the piping system as cooled water is returned to the boiler to be heated again before being recycled.
Key Components of A Hydronic Heating System
All hydronic heating systems require a few basic components for installation and operation. These key components are as follows.
- Outside Boiler: The outside boiler is what is used to heat the liquid (water or alternative heating liquid).
- Liquid Medium: This is the element that is heated by the boiler and sent into the floor piping. Usually this medium is water, but some systems will allow for a water and antifreeze mixture.
- Manifold (or Thermostat): Essentially, this is the hydronic heating system’s control center. It sends properly heated liquid to the desired areas of a home. The manifold is connected to the thermostat and, together, they control the flow of warm air.
- Tubing: Plastic tubing is most commonly used to course heated liquid through the house.
- Heat Exchanger: This is the element responsible for transferring the heat from the underground tubing to your home. Radiators and baseboard heating units are most commonly used as the heating exchangers.
- Pump: The pump’s job is to keep air circulating to maintain consistent warmth throughout the home.
Advantages of Hydronic Heat Systems
While once uncommon, radiant heat systems have seen a significant increase in popularity over the last few years. This increase is due, in large part, to the increased customization and efficiency that homeowners experience with hydronic heat systems. Additionally, hydronic heat systems are more eco-friendly than traditional forced air systems – a fact that appeals to many homeowners as the country grows in eco-consciousness. Other advantages of radiant heat include the following.
- Complete customization of temperature and heat distribution
- Less expensive
- Highest level of energy efficiency available
- The fact that the entire floor is heated gives homeowners a higher level of heat consistency and reduces the problem of cool air pockets in room
Disadvantages of Hydronic Heat Systems
As with any heating system, there are a number of drawbacks to consider before converting to radiant heat. The primary disadvantages of hydronic heat systems include the following.
- Hydronic heat systems are unable to provide cooling, filtration or humidification. Their only function is heat. Due to this limitation, homeowners are forced to purchase a separate unit for air conditioning.
- Baseboards used in hydronic heating must remain unobstructed and can pose furniture placement problems for families.
- Hydronic heat is a slow process. Unlike forced air systems, the floorboards can take time to heat up on especially cold days.
- Heat pockets created by the sun (or other external heating elements) cannot be easily transferred to other parts of the room.
- Possible leakage of piping under the home.
Installing Hydronic Heating Systems In Your Home
Installing a hydronic (radiant) heating system requires an experienced home heat and air conditioning specialist. Given the nature of the piping requirements, finding a New Jersey technician with experience in hydronic heat system installation is critical. Call Argent Plumbing at 908-286-1920 to speak with an experienced hydronic heat installation specialist today.