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Hydronic heat is basically heated water pumped through pipes into baseboard radiators, free standing radiators, or tubing in cement floors.  The same water is reheated and circulated through the pipes.
The heat then radiates up and warms the room.  It is a very constant, draft free heat. Hot water can also be pumped through a heat exchanger, transfering the heat to a forced air system.  The water is usually heated in a boiler that is fueled by oil, propane, natural gas, wood, wood pellets, sunflower hulls, coal, or electricity. Some boilers even burn hay bales.
Corn fired boilers have not worked out as well as the corn fired forced air furnaces. The residue from the corn plugs up the boiler as the heat transfers into the water.
Tankless boilers still have a boiler tank of some sort, even though it may be very small.  Boiler tanks vary in volume from less than a gallon as in some electric and gas boilers, to over 100 gallons as in some wood fired boilers.  All "closed" systems need an expansion tank to relieve the pressure of the heated water. Most but not all boilers work under a pressure of about 12 lbs.
A pressurized closed system is needed when using antifreeze/water mix in the boiler & pipes.


You can combine heating your "hydronic" water along with heating your "potable" water. Potable water is the water that comes from your faucets.
This Combi-Core system, pictured above, heats with either natural gas or propane gas. The chimney is a forced draft style, which is just a plastic pipe going out the sidewall of the house.
The water lines in the middle of this picture are the potable water lines. Each faucet in the house has one cold and one hot pipe running to it from the manifolds. This is called a "home run" system.
The hydronic lines are hidden behind the boiler in this picture. Each room has its own "loop" that can be adjusted accordingly. The tank holds 46 gallons of 170 degree water that is mixed down in temperature, by a special valve, before going to your faucets. You can adjust this to have the temperature of hot water that suits your needs. You will never run out of hot water no matter how much you use. And if you want a high temp line running to your dishwasher, you can have that too.


A boiler system can be a simple as the "tankless" elect boiler with just one boiler, one pump, and a few loops in the concrete floor.  Or they can be as complex as you wish, with additional pumps or zone valves heating everything from sidewalks to rain gutters.  Towel racks, bathroom mirrors or additional heat to bathtubs. We can put heat in the walls or ceilings if needed. We can even heat several buildings off of the same boiler. With injection systems we can run different degree water to radiation loops requiring differing tempertures. Also differently fueled boilers can be hooked up together for duel fuel applications.