NewsYour Guide to Hydronic Heating

If you’ve never heard of hydronic heating systems, you’ve probably been in buildings that use them. The radiators used to heat older homes and buildings, including schools, are a form of hydronic heating.

What is Hydronic Heating?

Its name gives it away. “Hydro” means water. So modern hydronic systems circulate water through a boiler system before pumping the hot water through a radiator or series of radiators.

Radiators are either located in a visible radiator along outside walls or hidden in floors, walls and/or ceilings. The radiant heat from the water warms the space and the cooler water is pumped back through the boiler.  

Perhaps the biggest difference between modern Hydronics technology and older radiator heating is that the water in a hydroponics system is pumped back to the boiler and older radiator systems depend on gravity to accomplish the same thing. 

How Does Hydronic Heating Compare to Forced Air Systems?

For anyone sitting in a room, the main difference they will notice between forced-air heating and hydronic is there’s no sound of a furnace or air blowing through ducts. Here are the Pros and Cons of a hydronic system compared to a forced-air system


  • Quieter
  • More energy efficient – can be 20% or 30% less expensive to run
  • May be completely invisible if radiators are located inside walls, floors and ceilings
  • Less maintenance required – no air filters to replace
  • The same system can be used for both hydronic heating and cooling
  • Cleaner and safer, with dust and allergen-free heating, and all components are only warm to the touch
  • The heat is more consistent throughout a space, with no cold spots


  • More costly to install
  • Indoor air quality or air circulation systems may be needed due to stagnant air 
  • It can take longer to heat a cold room 

Contact us here at Hargrave Heating to learn more about hydronic heating for your home or workplace.

For more info on energy-efficient heating, check out our article “3 Ways to Make Your HVAC System More Eco Friendly”.