1. Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort equipment?
It is important to have regular inspections of your home comfort equipment by a qualified technician. Preventing problems before they start is one of the best ways to avoid and prevent more serious problems in the future.
2. What is radiant heat?
Radiant heating systems heat people and objects throughout the room, so you can feel the difference. It eliminates cold drafts and keeps the heat warming you and objects around you, not the air.
3. How does hydronic heating work?
A hydronic heating system consists of five components:
- The boiler heats water to a thermostatically controlled temperature. Boilers can use natural gas, LPG, off peak electricity or can be wood fired.
- The piping, usually made of copper/plastic or multi-layer and carries the heated water from the boiler to the radiators/convectors, and back again for re-heating.
- A pump circulates the water through the piping.
- Radiators or convectors transfer the heat into the room.
- A programmable wall thermostat ideally controls the heat levels (room temperatures) to optimize comfort throughout the house.
4. Is hydronic heating safe?
Hydronic heating is very safe, especially for the elderly because it is the best heating solution for people that may have restricted mobility. It is a great option for households with children and pets, because there is no forced air to blow dust or allergens around the house. There is no danger of burns or scalding, as the system is fully enclosed with radiator temperatures well below boiling point. The surface temperature of a radiator can be quite hot to the touch, so care should be taken with any individual who may not be able to adequately feel surface temperatures and react when coming into contact with the radiator. The surface temperature of natural convectors is pleasantly warm to the touch, never reaching the higher temperature of a radiator, and is a safe alternative if required.
5. What makes hydronic heating so economical to operate?
A high efficiency boiler is used to heat water which is then circulated throughout the system by a small pump. Each area can be individually controlled, so only the amount of heat needed is used.
Also, radiators are rated to industry standard according to the area they are placed in:
- Bedrooms are set to 18ºC
- Hallways are set to 20ºC
- Bathrooms are set to 23ºC
- Living areas are set to 21ºC
This ensures a much more comfortable and even spread of temperatures over the house and saves energy by not heating up the whole house unnecessarily to one temperature.
6. What makes hydronic heating so much better than ducted heating?
Panel radiators are draft free, clean and silent. They do not rely on noisy fans cycling on and off to provide you with the ultimate in home heating. Radiant and natural convection combine to produce a heating system that will astound you, both in the quality of the heat and its ability to provide uniform temperatures at the lowest possible relative humidity. The electrical components in a hydronic system are minimal, with wall hung boilers having electronic ignition on start up and small economical pumps, using very low amounts of electricity to operate.
Ducted heating circulates and re-circulates warm air using large electric fans. The air is scorched over burners then blown via ducts around your home, bringing in with it airborne particles, dust and other undesirable pollutants, all of which can be trigger factors for asthma and other breathing allergies.
7. I have an existing house, is it possible to add hydronic heating?
Yes, most homes can have hydronic heating at any time, however, houses on a concrete slab are more difficult to install due to lack of access for pipe work.
8. How does hydronic heating compare to ducted heating, price wise?
Traditionally hydronic heating costs between two and three times more to install vs. ducted heating, however, the cost can be quickly recovered over time by using the system efficiently. Hydronic heating costs on average two thirds less to run vs. ducted heating over its lifetime.