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Buying and maintaining a hydronic heating system

​Before you lay flooring

If you’re considering a radiant floor heating system, consider whether the installation will be “wet” (embedded in a concrete slab or lightweight concrete) or “dry” (attached on top or beneath the sub-floor or sandwiched between two layers of sub-flooring). Your choice will depend on whether you’re retrofitting or building new, the type of floor finish, and your overall budget.

Think about cooling, too

Radiant floor heating will not cool your home or clean the air. If you live in a climate where cooling is necessary, you’ll need additional equipment for the job, such as zone air conditioners or a heat pump.

Boiler temperatures

If upgrading to a high-efficiency (90 per cent or greater AFUE) natural gas boiler, your contractor must verify that your home’s existing heat-distribution system can provide the return water to the boiler at or below 49°C (120°F).

Maintenance is important

Ask a hydronic certified installer/plumber to maintain your system. Not all plumbing companies have the knowledge or training to perform the work.

Routine maintenance will keep your system at peak efficiency, save on fuel and keep repairs to a minimum. Certification is the best way to assure yourself that you’re getting qualified service.

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