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FAQS About Commercial Hydronic HVAC

Commercial hydronic HVAC systems can be complicated. Hydronic equipment comes in a wide range of types, and new technologies and innovative products emerge constantly. Maybe you've even wondered, “How does hydronic HVAC work? What is the best hydronic HVAC system for my building?” One way or another, we have all asked ourselves these questions. Luckily, we have all (or at least some) of the answers you may have about hydronic HVAC systems.   


Here are some FAQs about commercial hydronic HVAC:  


What is hydronic HVAC?    

Hydronic HVAC systems use water as the primary fluid to transfer energy throughout the building. Water has outstanding heat transfer characteristics, along with other benefits (i.e. – plentiful, non-toxic, “green," inexpensive) that make it ideal for this purpose.  


How does hydronic HVAC work?   

To deliver heat, the system must have a heat source, such as a boiler. To provide cooling, the system must have a cooling source, such as a chiller or cooling tower. The heated or cooled water is pumped throughout the building to air handling units or terminal units (or other similar), where it transfers energy with air from the ventilation system before recirculating to the heating or cooling source. Conditioned air is then delivered to the room.  


What are the different types of hydronic HVAC systems?   

Hydronic HVAC systems can include geothermal systems, radiant heating systems, radiant cooling systems, fan coils, VAVs, single-pipe systems, two-pipe systems, three-pipe systems, four-pipe systems, and series loop systems.   


Can installing a commercial hydronic HVAC system save you money?   

The simple answer? Absolutely. Hydronic systems circulate temperature-controlled water through pipes to heat and cool spaces. Because water is a better heat transfer medium than air, hydronic heating can be a more energy-efficient heating system. And when you save energy, you save money!   


How long do hydronic HVAC systems last?   

With proper preventative maintenance, hydronic equipment can last up to 20-25 years before needing to be replaced. While hydronic systems may be more expensive upfront than traditional air systems, their long-term reliability will save you money in terms of building life cycle costs, repair, maintenance, and re-installation costs.   


What is the most effective hydronic HVAC system for my building?   

Every commercial project is unique, with different spaces, specifications, and distinct end goals. To figure out the most suitable commercial hydronic HVAC system for your building, please reach out to your local Hoffman Hydronics team member! Our team is equipped with experienced industry experts who will talk you through the best hydronic HVAC system for your space that may help you save time and money.  

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