Is hydronic heating expensive to run?

There’s no doubt that as the temperature drops, energy bills start to rise as everyone turns the heating up. As Australians look to lower costs and improve efficiencies, hydronic heating systems are becoming a popular alternative over traditional heating solutions.

If you’re considering hydronic systems in your home or commercial building but are unsure about the running costs, this solution offers numerous benefits making it a great investment.

How it works

Water is heated through a boiler or air-to-water heat pump then circulated through piping, which radiates heat.

Hydronic heating works as a closed-loop system, with the water returning to the boiler to be reheated once it has moved through the circuit. This makes it a very efficient solution.

Using water rather than air to produce heat also means hydronic systems maintain temperature with greater efficiency.

Hydronic solutions are cost-effective and flexible. These systems can be installed as underfloor or underfloor trench heating, or as hydronic heating panels, making it suitable for a variety of designs.

Cost of hydronic heating

Running a heating system can be expensive, especially for a larger space. Hydronic systems offer a more cost-effective solution, which compared with gas ducted or centralised heating systems, reduces your energy bills by up to 35 per cent.

Hydronic systems provide room-by-room temperature control, which results in a reduction of energy usage and cost savings. This allows you to direct heat only to the rooms being used rather than wasting it throughout the whole home. This system also enables thermostatic control, so when the desired temperature is reached, the heating turns off, only to restart when the temperature drops.

Hydronic systems run at great efficiency, by utilising condensing boilers rather than traditional gas-fueled boilers. This means less warmth and energy is lost through windows and doors compared with conventional systems.

As well as the long-term savings you gain from running a hydronic heating system, it also saves you money in other ways, as it is low maintenance and requires minimum repairs.

Installation costs

As well as running costs, installation costs also need to be considered. There are numerous factors that impact the cost of installation, and it can differ greatly from building to building.

Installation costs will vary depending on whether the hydronic system is installed in a new construction or an existing building. It can be more expensive to install hydronic heating in an existing home, as it may require removal and restoration of certain areas of the floors or walls.

There are different types of hydronic heating systems, including radiators and underfloor heating, which themselves are available in numerous different types. Radiators range from classic steel panel radiators to designer styles, with the price varying depending on the design, size and materials. For underfloor heating systems, installation costs can vary greatly from in-slab to in-screed underfloor systems.

The size of the space you are heating will also affect installation cost. Radiators can be more affordable than underfloor heating to install, but if you need to warm up a large area you may need to install more than one radiator.

The bigger the area the more expensive it can be to install a heating system, but it’s important to remember hydronic systems provide better long-term savings due to its energy efficiency.

Benefits of a hydronic system

Hydronic heating systems provide numerous benefits for homes and commercial buildings.

Home-owners and businesses can reduce their carbon footprint with hydronic heating, as these systems use less fuel resulting in a lower impact on the environment. Hydronic heating panels can even work alongside solar energy as their power source, by being integrated with solar PV panels. This means your system can be run on renewable energy.

Hydronic systems are considered to be healthier and less disruptive for homes, as they don’t distribute un-filtered air and are virtually silent. This can make them a more appealing option than traditional systems, for those seeking a more enjoyable home environment.

An additional cost efficiency benefit of choosing hydronic systems is they can also be used for cooling, thanks to their reverse cycle air-to-water heat pump. This means you don’t have to spend money on a separate air conditioning system.

A cost effective solution

With numerous advantages, hydronic systems are a highly efficient option for both homes and commercial spaces and are estimated to be up to 35 per cent more cost effective than a conventional system, such as central ducted heating.

While hydronic heating systems require an expensive up-front cost, they provide significant running cost savings, making it a worthwhile investment.

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