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Hydronic Heat and How It Works: A Reading, MA Heating Guide

While many people in Reading, MA enjoy the reliable and comfortable heat provided by their boiler, few actually know how they work. At Basnett Plumbing & Heating, our heating technicians have been providing boiler services throughout the Reading, MA area for many years. We thought it would be helpful if we put together a quick explanation of what hydronic heat is and how boilers work.

Hydronic Heat

Put simply, hydronic heating is the use of water or steam to transfer heat into a space. Some of the most common types of hydronic heating systems are hot water radiators and radiant floor heaters.

How Hydronic Systems Work

Hydronic heating systems are pretty simple. Here are their essential parts:

  • Boiler or heating tank – A large tank where the water is heated or vaporized.
  • Piping – In modern systems this is almost always PEX tubing. In older systems you’ll likely find steel or copper pipes.
  • Pump – The pump keeps the water circulating through the system so that it is always hot.
  • Heat exchanger – This can be the radiator in each room, the floor or wall piping or some other element that transfers heat into the room.

Types of Hydronic Systems

There are many different types of hydronic heating systems available on the market.

  • Hot water radiators – While their name might imply that they provide radiant heat, they actually form a hot air convection current in the room. The radiators are fed hot water by a boiler.
  • Steam boilers – These are some of the oldest hydronic systems. They are almost identical to hot water radiators.
  • Under floor and wall radiant heating – These systems actually do provide radiant heat. A series of coils are installed in the floor or wall. Hot water or steam is circulated through them that provides comfortable heat to the home.

If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of hydronic heating, call the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. Our plumbers have years of experience working with all types and brands of heating systems. We would love to talk with you about any issues that you’re having or new installations that you’d like to do. Give us a call today!

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