Archive for the ‘Hydronic Heating’ Category
The hydronic heating system design is one of the most common types of central heating system found in a majority of homes in the US. However, only a few people are aware of its functioning and the stages involved in hydrnoic heating. You can get a better idea about this system by understanding its working principle. Older models of hydronic systems depended solely on the fundamental property of hot water being lighter than cold water and thereby rising to the surface from where the radiators dissipated the heat.
On the other hand, modern models of hydronic heaters use a pump to aid in the circulation of water and offer quicker heating. While this is the gist of how a hydronic heating system works, a more detailed explanation of the entire process has been provided in the paragraphs below. But before discussing the various stages of heating involved in this system, you need to know about its main components. These include a feed and expansion tank from where water from the mains enters the heating system, a boiler that heats the water, a pump that circulates heated water through the distribution and return pipes, and radiators that dissipate the heat.
Stages of Hydronic Heating Systems
The heating process begins with water entering the system though the feed. This feed also serves as an expansion tank that accommodates increased volume of heated water. There is a ball float and ball cock present in the system that is designed to control the level of water in the system. Once an adequate amount of water collects in the heater, it travels down to the boiler via the feed pipe and is heated. Once the water present in the boiler reaches the proper temperature, it is pumped to the radiators through the feed pipe.
Slowly, the water in the radiator cools down and returns to the boiler by traveling through return pipes present in the heater. Once in the boiler, water is reheated so that it can be pumped back to the radiators when it reaches a certain temperature. Sometimes, the boiler overheats the water present and it expands in volume. The additional volume of water is accommodated in the expansion tank and it travels there through expansion pipes and reenters the boiler after cooling down. You can use the drain cock present on the return pipe of a hydronic heating system design to drain the system for cleaning or repairing it. This sums up all the stages involved in a common design of hydronic heating systems.
When used separately, hydronic and geothermal heating systems are some of the most efficient systems available to the public. Integrating them can help boost energy efficiency to new levels, especially when heating a large home or more than one area on the property. While the initial investment is expensive, the money saved through less energy expenditure will quickly repay the money spent on installing the system.
Before installation, there are a number of aspects that all potential users should understand about the system integration. For the majority of homeowners who have large energy bills, the integration can help save money and reduce harmful emissions, making it a worthwhile investment that will repay itself quickly.
Benefits of Combining Geothermal and Hydronic Heat
One of the biggest perks of a combined hydronics and geothermal heating system is that it combines space heating with water heating, which removes the necessity of maintaining an entirely separate water heater unit. These systems can save an enormous amount of money on electricity bills by removing the need to use electric heat for keeping the home warm, doing laundry or running a hot shower.
During the summer season the system is especially efficient since it uses extraneous heat to produce hot water with no extra expenditure of energy. The initial cost can run several thousand dollars for installation, since it is not recommended for the layman homeowner to install their own system. However, the user pays a fraction of their previous costs in energy bills, which makes it easy to recoup the expense over time.
Save Space as well as Energy
Another advantage to combining geothermal with hydronic heating is that using a combination of systems still takes up very little space. Since the systems are installed largely underground and/or in-floor, using both systems is not noticeably more cluttered than using just one. Each system has a separate pump unit that exists in the house, usually in the basement or a laundry room or another convenient location for the homeowner. Additionally, the hydronic and geothermal heating units are as quiet as the average central air unit and do not disrupt the home with inconvenient noise.
The systems are long-lasting and durable with very few moving components to damage or malfunction, and there are no vital components located outdoors that could be damaged from environmental conditions. Some geothermal heating units carry a 50 year warranty from the manufacturer, while hydronic units may carry a warranty of rivaling length. Since they will not usually require replacement in the life of the homeowner, they make an ideal one-time investment that can help boost home values and save money on energy costs for years.
There are many reasons why homeowners may want to use hydronic radiators. They can be efficient and will definitely make any room comfortable. The devices work by heating water within a closed system without the need for noisy fans and without drying the air like a forced air heater will.
Some potential owners may be scared off by the idea of a massive home improvement project where walls and floors have to be torn up and redone just to enjoy the benefits of hydronic heating. That doesn’t have to be the case though, as there are a wide range of portable and self contained hydronic heaters available to choose from.
Some permanently installed devices can be incorporated into a home’s boiler system. Other types of portable installations involves tying in the combination boiler/radiator to the electrical system while using a thermostat to control temperature. There are many portable devices that simply plug into the wall. The electric and portable devices are not attached to a central system so the liquid used for heating remains enclosed within the device.
The use of heated liquid to warm a room is efficient. Though electric models do use energy it is far less than typical electric baseboard devices. Hydronic radiators come in many sizes and shapes. Some styles are designed specifically for wall mounting. Wall mount devices are usually more decorative and tend to blend nicely with a room’s decor.
Baseboard devices are probably the most common. Many are designed so that they do not stand out too far beyond the baseboards. They come in different capacities that are usually chosen according to room size or square footage of the space to be heated. Capacity of such products can range from 400 watts to 1500 watts. The items are also available in different lengths from 2 feet to 7 feet.
Some models are designed for baseboard use or for wall mount use. They may also be installed on the ceiling. Ceiling mounted products are usually wired to the electrical system and are a great way to keep heating devices from interfering with the home’s decor. Hydronic radiators can range in price from $75 to $400, depending on size and style. Portable units will cost up to $100, depending on the model chosen.