There are several ways to heat the interior space of a home. You can build a fire and heat the air directly or you can heat the air somewhere else and use a fan to push it into the space. Alternatively, you can heat a liquid, usually water, and send the liquid into the space to provide heat convectively through a radiator of some sort.
Now a new method of heating residential and commercial spaces, both interior and exterior, is available, hydronic heating. Hydronic or radiant heating, typically, sends the fluid through pipes that are located underneath the flooring of a room. The pipes do not heat the air directly but, instead, heat the floorboards. The floor boards in turn slowly release the heat to the space.
For this reason, air currents and the tendency of warmed air to rise do not immediately dissipate the effects of the warmed air and occupants remain more comfortable for longer periods of time.
- Hydronic heating systems also have other advantages over traditional forced air ones. In general, they are:
- More efficient and, thus, better for the environment
- More economical regardless of power source
- Smaller and, therefore, are less intrusive in the living space
- Less dehumidifying
- Cleaner running and leave fewer contaminants in the air
In short, hydronic heating systems offer an economical, reliable and safe alternative to traditional furnaces. In many instances, they can serve double duty as a water heater as well. They have been in use in Europe for decades and are the de facto choice there for all heating needs.
Newer technologies always take some time to develop a following. Companies that install hydronic systems are looking to develop their business as well. Sometimes being the first on your block to try something can lead to a spectacularly affordable deal. In any event, a hydronic system should be considered by any home or business owner looking for the maximum in comfort at the minimum cost.