There are a considerable number of homes that employ Hydronic (hot water) Heating Systems to keep things nice and warm in the cold of winter. The heat from hot water tanks can be very effective and maintain very good efficiency if initially installed correctly and like we’ve discussed regarding all heating systems, are well maintained. As the water is heated in the system by a flame (predominately natural gas) to considerable temperature and is pumped throughout the system (to the radiators) under pressure, there is potential for danger. If maintained to recommended standards, however, heat from hot water is as safe and effective as any other available today.
Here are a couple of things that the average homeowner can do (or keep an eye on) to ensure a safe and trouble-free operating Hydronic heating system:
Ensure that the quality of water in the boiler and running through the system is clean and to the quality standard called for by the manufacturer. Systems can and should be flushed on occasion to remove products of corrosion and other particulate matter build up. This is a good thing to ask you professional HVAC service provider about.
Do a thorough inspection to ensure that there is no water leakage and that all controls, inputs and devices are tight & sealed. Again, your HVAC provider should have this on his annual inspection list.
Also, make certain that your HVAC technician inspects and see’s that all of the system safety devices and controls are both set and functioning as prescribed.
Finally, be sure to ascertain that the HVAC Company you use provides you with a technician who has been trained on boiler systems. A lot of maintenance people are well trained on furnaces, but that doesn’t mean they know all of the critical operational aspects of boiler systems.