Hydronic heating is a simple method of moving heat around using liquids. Water is the most commonly used fluid but steam, oil or propylene glycol are also employed under certain circumstances. Heat or cooling is spread around a property using the process of radiation, from a source such as a radiator or pipework in a trench or under the floor. Hydronic heating differs from forced air heating systems in several respects and is generally regarded as the most comfortable and non-allergenic form of heating available.
With forced air systems, the air inside the space is drawn into a return air duct and passes through a central heat exchanger where it is heated then blown back into the room via vents in the floor or ceiling. During this process, the air becomes drier and dust accumulated in the ductwork can be circulated in the room. Hydronic heating, on the other hand, uses hydronic terminal units in each room to act as the heat exchanger and relies on radiation and convection to gently circulate the thermal energy.
Hydronic Terminal Units
Hydronic terminal units include a variety of heat exchange devices, including radiators which are the most familiar sign of hydronic heating. Other types of terminal units include trench heaters and heated towel rails. As the name would suggest, these heaters are recessed into the floor, often where a radiator would be impractical such as in front of windows or doors.
Valves and Actuators
Thermostatically controlled radiator valves can produce significant improvements in the efficiency of the overall system by limiting the throughput of heated water when a predetermined temperature is achieved which avoids heat spikes and wastage.
The scope of hydronic heating equipment supplied by Automatic Heating includes the primary heating systems. We do not supply hydronic terminal units.