Building An Addition: A Homeowner's Guide

Tips for Installing Custom Hot Water Heating Systems In Your Home

by Toni Richards

There are a lot of different kinds of heating systems on the market and some are more efficient than others. When it comes time to update your heating system, one of the most efficient systems available uses hot water to heat your home and with the right boiler, you can replace the hot water tank and provide hot water to the house as well. While most plumbers can deal with this kind of work, there are some that handle heating systems exclusively.

Select the Right System for Your Home

You will need to decide what you need for your home. If you are only looking for a basic heating system, that will be cheaper but if you want to add a boiler that can handle the hot water and maybe set up heating zone in your home, you need to make that decision early in the planning. Talk to the plumber or heating contractor about your needs and let them show you what is available and what they recommend for your home. It is best to get several quotes for the work to ensure that you are getting a fair price for the work.

Decide on Whether or Not to Zone

One of the most important things to decide before the work starts is if you want to have heating zones set up in your home. The plumbing is a little more complicated because it involves multiple circulator pumps and lines out of the boiler but if you want total control over the temperature in your home, zones will give you that. Ideally, a home with more than one floor should be set up with one zone on the main floor and one on the second floor.

The idea is that you can keep the thermostat lower on the second floor because the heat from the lower floor will rise, heating the space when it does. The boiler will run less, not work as hard when it does run, and the house will be much more comfortable when you are on that upper floor.

Heating Hot Water With The Boiler

Replacing the water heater with a hot water boiler will save you money in most cases because you are not heating 35 gallons of water than keeping it warm all day. The boiler heats the water in smaller amounts and is very efficient. There are models that heat the water so fast that even multiple showers running can't run it out. And since the heating system is a closed loop, the water in it is never affected by the domestic hot water usage.

Picking a Heater Style

The baseboards used in the hot water heating system are typically just that, white baseboard units that are mounted near the floor. There are other options, though. In an older home that once had steam radiators, you could install what looks like old radiators but are really heaters for the hot water system. How about adding a radiant loop under the bathroom floor of your home? It is possible with forced hot water heat and means never stepping onto that cold tile floor in the winter ever again.

There are a lot of options to consider so sit down with the heating contractor like Able Plumbing-Pumps & Well Service and see what is possible in your home.