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What are Hydronic Heating Systems?

As we continue to seek ways to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our quality of life, energy-efficient heating systems have become a hot topic. 

As always, scientists and engineers have risen to the task, creating a new array of heating solutions. Among the various options available, hydronic heating systems stand out for their efficiency and versatility. 

But what are hydronic heating systems and what benefits do they offer? 

Let’s take a look at how these systems differ from conventional forced-air furnaces and heating, as well as explore the three main types of hydronic heating: slab heating, beneath the floor (also called radiant floor) heating, and central heating.

How is Hydronic Heating Different from Conventional Heating?

When compared to conventional heating systems, hydronic heating systems stand out for their superior comfort and efficiency. 

While forced-air systems can cause hot and cold spots, stir up dust, and create overly dry, uncomfortable air, hydronic systems provide even, comfortable heat and promote better indoor air quality throughout the entire building. 

Moreover, the energy efficiency of hydronic systems can lead to lower utility bills, making them a smart choice for your business or facility.

But how do commercial hydronic heating systems do their work? We’re glad you asked…

Slab Heating: Warmth from the Ground Up

Slab heating is a type of radiant heating system where hot water circulates through pipes embedded in the concrete slab of the building. 

The heat from the water radiates upwards, providing a comfortable and even heat distribution. This method eliminates the need for a centralized heating system, reducing energy consumption and costs. 

Moreover, it provides a gentle, natural warmth, unlike the dry heat produced by a forced-air furnace.

Beneath the Floor Heating: Invisible Comfort

Beneath the floor heating, also known as underfloor heating or radiant floor heating, is another type of radiant heating system. 

Like slab heating, it uses hot water circulating through pipes to provide even warmth, but these pipes are installed beneath the floor covering instead of within the concrete slab. 

This system allows for a more flexible installation than slab heating and can be used with various types of flooring. It’s an excellent choice for retrofitting existing buildings or for sections where slab heating isn’t feasible.

Central Heating: Efficient and Reliable

Lastly, let’s talk about central heating

This system uses a hydronic system to distribute heat throughout the building via a network of pipes connected to radiators or baseboard heaters. The heat source is typically a boiler fueled by natural gas or oil, but heat pumps and wood furnaces are also common. 

Central heating systems are known for their reliability and can provide a consistent level of comfort throughout the building or facility.

The Benefits of Hydronic Heating Systems

You might still be wondering if hydronic heating systems are really that much better than conventional heating systems. So, let’s look at the benefits, which are numerous. 

Here are a few key advantages:

Energy Efficiency: Hydronic systems use water, an excellent heat conductor, to transfer heat. This results in less energy loss compared to air-based systems, making hydronic heating more energy-efficient.

Comfort: Hydronic heating provides consistent and even heat distribution, eliminating cold spots often found in structures with forced-air systems. The radiant heat produced feels more natural and comfortable, too – it accomplishes warmth without drying out the air and making it feel stuffy.

Quiet Operation: Unlike forced-air systems that can produce noticeable noise, hydronic systems operate silently, contributing to a peaceful work environment. 

Improved Air Quality: Hydronic systems don’t circulate air, reducing the spread of dust and allergens. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues.

Versatility: With options like slab heating, beneath the floor heating, and central heating, commercial hydronic systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business or facility.

The Future is Here with Hydronic Heating

Whether you’re having a new building or facility built, or looking to upgrade your existing heating system, consider the benefits of commercial hydronic heating. 

With options like slab heating, beneath the floor heating, and central heating, you can find a solution that fits your needs and helps you reduce your environmental impact. 

Remember, an energy-efficient facility is not only good for the planet but also for your wallet!

Have questions? At Lockwood Products, we offer a wide variety of hydronic packages and applications. Give us a call at (888) 813-1170 today to learn more!