Types of Hydronic Heating Systems
There are a few types of hydronic heating systems that can be used to heat your home. There are underfloor radiant loops, baseboard heaters or radiators, wall and ceiling options and outdoor options that provide heat as well as hot water for cooking, washing and other household tasks. Many people are looking into hydronic systems as a more efficient and cost effective means of creating heat. When trying to decide the best one, it is important to look at why you need the system as well as other factors such as cost.
For instance, the underfloor radiant loop is one of the most common kinds of hydronic systems used. The system is installed within the floors, so they are much easier to install when you are building a new home or remodeling. The advantage is that it can provide even and consistent heat throughout the home. However, it is important to have the right kind of flooring material such as ceramic to accommodate the system.
Baseboard heaters and radiators are typically easy to install since they do not require as much tubing to be installed under the floor. It is easier to install them when remodeling, but it is also possible to install them inconspicuously along a wall so that they do not interrupt your home décor. However, you must be sure that the tubes are not blocked by furniture or other structures so that the heat can flow easily throughout the room.
If you still prefer a system that remains out of sight, you can install radiant panels behind the walls and in the ceiling. However, these systems tend to be run with electric radiant heat rather than water because there is a potential for water damage, especially if a pipe bursts or freezes. Still, they just may be good for areas such as kitchens or other areas in which the floors are covered with lots of cabinetry.
One other option is an outdoor hydronic system. These are typically wood boilers. As the name implies, wood is used to heat these systems, so they are ideal for those who can get wood for free or relatively cheaply. This is also an underfloor system that uses insulated hot water to distribute heat through a conductive floor. These kinds of systems are also good for those who need to prevent ice or snow buildup on sidewalks and driveways as well as those who heat pools.