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Hydronic heating

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This is a list of the most important GBA article on hydronic heating.

If you are looking for an index that spans all categories, with a special focus on “how to” articles, check out this resource page: “How to do Everything.”

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    All About Radiant Floors

    So-called radiant floors have an excellent reputation. Many customers report that this type of heating system is comfortable and quiet. Moreover, some suppliers of radiant floor materials and equipment claim that these systems can save energy. In spite of the purported benefits of this type of heating system, few green homes include a radiant floor heating system. This article will explore why.

  • Energy Solutions

    Radiant-Floor Heating

    Occasionally I wonder if I have some sort of masochistic streak — somehow enjoying the grief I get when bursting people’s favorite bubbles. I’ll brace myself for such a response to this column, when I point out why radiant-floor heating systems don’t make sense for new, energy-efficient houses.

  • Building Science

    Boilers Don’t Boil

    Boilers for heating homes are common in some areas. Not here in Georgia, where I live, but my friends in the colder climates have them. This type of heating equipment takes a fuel like natural gas or fuel oil, burns it to create heat, and then puts that heat into water circulating through the distribution system. Since it's called a boiler, naturally it must be heating the incoming water up to the boiling point and creating steam. Right?

  • Green Architects' Lounge

    Biomass Boilers: A Greener Alternative to Heat the Home?

    For this Green Architects' Lounge podcast, we are joined once again by our good friend Pat Coon, from Revision Heat, to discuss the topic of biomass boilers—both gasification log boilers and wood pellet boilers. As we did with the Deep Energy Retrofit episode, we've divided the original recording into three blog-size pieces that are better suited for this format.

  • Energy Solutions

    Outdoor Wood Boilers

    Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at wood burning—a popular and affordable heating option in rural New England. Ten or 15 years ago, a new option started showing up. Driving along country roads, we began to see shed-like structures with smoke billowing from smokestacks. These are outdoor wood boilers (sometimes called outdoor wood furnaces), and they have been the focus of considerable attention and debate in recent years, mostly over the pollution they generate.

  • Guest Blogs

    Sizing a Modulating Condensing Boiler

    For the past few decades, an increasingly popular space heating option is a system with a modulating condensing (mod-con) boiler. Because these boilers can potentially have a high efficiency (90-95% or higher), they are often promoted by state and utility subsidy programs. In a well-designed system, the boiler’s efficiency can hit or even exceed its nameplate AFUE. But as installed, most fall well short of their AFUE test numbers and often suffer an abbreviated lifespan. Efficiency problems and lifespan-crippling sizing errors could be avoided with a modest amount of analysis.

  • Green Basics


    A New Generation of Boilers Is Super Efficient

  • Green Basics

    Hydronic Systems

    UPDATED on April 18, 2014 Hydronic Systems Circulate Hot Water

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Air-to-Water Heat Pumps

    Most air conditioners and heat pumps sold in the U.S. — including most split-system air conditioners and ductless minisplits — are air-to-air heat pumps. During the winter, these appliances extract heat from the outdoor air and deliver warm air to a house through ducts or small fan-coil units. During the summer, these appliances deliver cool air to a house and dump unwanted heat into the outdoor air.

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Another Perspective on Air-to-Water Heat Pumps

    Green builders, preparing for a fossil-fuel-free future, are busy building all-electric homes. Most of these homes are heated and cooled by minisplit heat pumps. Occasionally, though, a builder who’s worried about uneven heat distribution in a home with ductless minisplits will post a question on GBA suggesting the use of an air-to-water heat pump hooked up to a hydronic distribution system.

  • Guest Blogs

    Goodbye Radiant Floor

    [Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a Passivhaus in Maine. This is the second article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] Goodbye radiant floor. Though we never really knew you, we are sad to see you go away.


  • Collection

    Deep Energy Retrofits

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  • Collection


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  • Collection

    Heating systems

    This is a list of the most important GBA articles on heating systems. Green builders usually focus their energies on creating a very well insulated building envelope with low levels…

  • Collection

    Forced air heating

    This is a list of the most important GBA articles on forced-air heating. If you are looking for an index that spans all categories, with a special focus on "how…


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