Heat Pump Hydronic Heating

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Most Comfortable Heating

Heat pump hydronic heating is the most comfortable form of heating because it is radiant. It is also capable of cooling in summer.

Feel the difference between radiant heat and hot air blown at you. Radiant heat is also ideal for people with asthma or respiratory issues.

A heat pump can also cool in summer with cool water through underfloor hydronic circuits or chilled water through fan coil convectors. Underfloor cooling is a good option in a southern climate and doesn’t overly dry the air.

Water is 3,300 times more effective at transferring heat than air, so thin water lines can replace large air ducts. This provides architectural advantages.

Your heat pump hydronic heating and cooling system may include a combination of underfloor circuits, radiators, hydronic towel rails and convectors. 

Whilst heat pump hydronic heating is more expensive to install than air conditioning, it is the most comfortable form of heating and can provide cooling as well.

Reduce Greenhouse Emissions

With over 9 million homes in Australia and over 2 million with solar power, the opportunity is huge. 

Heating, cooling and domestic hot water typically represent around two thirds of your home’s power consumption. Heating is the largest demand for power consumption in southern and inland Australia. Therefore, power your heat pump with solar panels.

Furthermore, with good home design, you can reduce your heat load. This enables you to reduce the size of your heat pump and this reduces capital and operating costs. 

Hydrosol image showing hydronic underfloor heating circuits laid prior to the concrete pour.

Hydronic Heating Methods

Underfloor Hydronic Circuits

Underfloor hydronic heating using a heat pump allows you to reverse cycle in summer for area cooling.

  • Effective with cool water above the dew point because of the large floor area
  • Fans providing air movement will improve area cooling through convection
Hydrosol image of underfloor hydronic circuits laid prior to the concrete screed layer with heat pump for heating and reverse cycle cooling.
Underfloor Hydronic Circuits
Image of hydronic classic radiator
Hydronic Classic Radiator

Radiator Panels

    • Best in cold climates needing heating mainly
    • Efficient, 1kW of power yields up to 4kW of heating
    • Silent and does not blow allergens around
    • Ideal for retrofitting hydronic heating
    • Ideal for houses with suspended floors, running hydronic pipes underneath

Hydronic Towel Rails

  • Used to warm and dry towels
  • Will heat a small bathroom
  • Designed for the humidity of a bathroom
  • Efficient, 1kW of power yields up to 4kW of heating
  • Available in many styles and sizes to suit
  • Black radiates better than white
  • White radiates better than chrome
  • Cannot be used for hydronic cooling
  • An electric element can be used for towel drying in summer if the main hydronic system is switched to cooling mode
Hydrosol image of hydronic towel rail installation
Hydronic Towel Rail Installation
Hydrosol Image of Trench Hydronic Fan Coil Convector Installation
Trench Hydronic Fan Coil Convector installation, Heating and Cooling

Floor Trench Convectors

  • Can be installed in addition to radiators
  • Designed for cooling in reverse cycle with chilled water absorbing room heat and moisture
  • Efficient, 1kW of power yields up to 4kW of heating and cooling
  • Match trench grills to your floor
  • Ideal for family rooms with lots of glass windows and doors
  • Designed for foot traffic
  • Ideal for suspended floors
  • For retrofitting to suspended floors, the trench should run parallel to floor joists
  • For slab construction, the trench space needs to be provided in the slab plan

Wall Mounted Fan Coil Convectors

    • Fan assisted convectors draw air across the hydronic coils so are very effective for summer cooling
    • Can be installed in addition to radiators
    • Designed for cooling in reverse cycle with chilled water absorbing room heat and moisture
    • Concealed fan coil options available for above ceilings, in walls or kickboards.
Example of an Galletti ART-U fan coil convector, which provides hydronic heating and effective cooling with chilled water below they dew point.
Galletti ART-U fan coil convector for hydronic heating and cooling

Other points

  • A heat pump can both heat and cool whereas a gas or wood boiler can only heat
  • Air conditioners are better at cooling because air movement assists the cooling process
  • Heat pumps are better at heating because radiant heat is more efficient and comfortable
  • Air movement in heating mode creates air chill which works against the heating process

Operating Tips

  • Adjust your inside set temperature up and down with the seasons
  • Some adjustment with the seasons improves your body’s ability to adapt to changing weather
  • Clean filters of your equipment, at least prior to each heating and cooling season

Design Tips

  • Your home design should work in with your heating and cooling systems
  • Consider insulation, heat load and air tightness
  • Consider the sun’s path and prevailing wind
  • If your budget is tight, consider hydronic systems in family rooms and air conditioning in bedrooms
  • Install ceiling fans to reduce the effective temperature you feel by around 4 degrees
  • Zone rooms because you don’t need to heat or cool your whole house all of the time

Two Storey Homes

  • In summer, cool air from a/c falls to the ground floor helping hydronic cooling
  • In winter, warm air from hydronic heating rises up helping reverse cycle air conditioning