Why Hydronics Technology – and Why Hybritherm?
Question: I want to heat my house and save money. I’ve heard about hydronics technology and condensing boilers. What is hydronics technology? Is a condensing boiler really all that different from a furnace?
Answer: “Hydronics technology” just means we are using water in heat transfer in a closed loop with a boiler to create energy to heat a home and provide domestic hot water. Condensing boilers use hydronics technology. Because water has a higher thermal mass than air, more heat is transferred through hot water than hot air from a furnace. Condensing boilers are more energy-efficient than forced-air furnaces. Simply, the exchange of energy using water versus air is a more efficient way of heat creation and transfer. Forced-air furnaces are still being installed; however, hydronics technology is the wave of the future and increasing in popularity due to more reliable comfort, significant energy savings, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Compared to a furnace, a well-chosen hydronics technology can give you constant comfort and something homeowners love – seemingly endless hot water. So, now you can shower and wash clothes while running your dishwasher – without running out of the hot water you want.
Question: I would love more hot water! I’m all for helping the planet, but how does this give me more hot water than I have now? How does “constant comfort” really work?
Answer: Well, it comes down to what condensing boilers do. Condensing boilers can control temperatures for up to three applications, usually
- forced air heating
- domestic hot water on demand and
- in-floor radiant heating.
Most condensing boilers available today control the temperatures for these applications – one application at a time. These condensing boilers can automatically switch back and forth in controlling applications, but they can’t do three applications simultaneously. And, they will lose some energy in switching back and forth. So while you can still save energy costs, your level of comfort may have some fluctuations.
Only Hybritherm condensing boilers control up to three applications at the same time, using our intelligent technology – with the absolute minimum heat loss. We create and heat water in the condensing boiler, then use an intelligent system to move that energy around to maximize comfort and energy efficiency. This is what gives you the constant comfort. Some of our customers have told us they have temperature variations of no more than two degrees in the same room, even with a 20-foot ceiling. And, we give you more hot water because we’re keeping the hot water in the hydronics system at maximum levels with the lowest possible hydronics system heat loss in the industry.
How do we do this?
It’s a bit technical but fairly easy to understand. Our hydronics energy management system consists of a Hybritherm SOL condensing boiler, a fan coil, an in-direct hot water tank, and when built –in, in-floor or other radiant heating. We also measure the air temperature outside the house through an outdoor sensor.
Essentially, our intelligent controls are constantly modulating and adjusting temperatures for forced air heating, domestic hot water production, and in-floor heating. We look at the amount of energy being used inside the indirect hot water tank while we’re simultaneously adding energy to the tank; the amount of energy being used and transferred within the fan coil, and the amount of energy transferred to the in-floor radiant heating system.
The intelligent controls in the Hybritherm boiler measure the return water temperature as it circles back to the boiler. When the Hybritherm boiler senses the in room air temperature changing from what has been programmed with a thermostat, the Hybritherm boiler sends hot water to the fan coil to compensate for the temperature change. Effectively the Hybritherm intelligent management system provides energy in the form of heated hot water to allow for the maximum comfort in the home environment. The Hybritherm boiler automatically compensates for any passive energy gain or loss, such as heat from windows, stored hot water from solar panels, or even cooking appliances.
Doing all of this together at the same time enables us to provide, seemingly endless hot water, constant room temperature, significant greenhouse gas reductions that help the environment – all while saving energy costs.
Question: OK, I get it. So how does a Hybritherm SOL solution save my energy costs?
Answer: We typically see a minimum of 25 percent savings in gas energy costs when a Hybritherm SOL boiler is installed to replace a forced air furnace, and sometimes we see significantly higher savings. We can’t promise what your savings would be, but an energy audit of your home from a local company may help you understand what your energy savings could be. Hybritherm condensing boilers are unique in that they reduce electricity costs as well as save gas costs, so you could save even more.