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Top 7 Hydronic Radiant Wall Heating Panels 2023 & What to Avoid

Key Summary

  • Hydronic heating leverages water’s thermal properties for efficient, consistent heat; natural gas boilers are commonly most efficient.
  • Top brands like Jaga, Stelrad, and Runtal offer reliable products with simplistic designs that blend into existing decor.
  • While upfront costs are high, hydronic systems often justify the investment with long-term energy savings and enhanced comfort.

What is Hydronic Heating?

hydronic heating panel in the kitchen

Hydronic heating is a method of climate control that leverages the natural qualities of water to provide consistent, efficient heat. 

Considered one of the most efficient forms of heating, hydronic systems circulate heated water through a network of pipes that can be embedded within the floor, walls, or ceiling of a space. Hydronic heating panels, often installed on walls, serve as emitters, releasing the heat absorbed from the water into the environment.

The beauty of hydronic heating systems lies in their remarkable efficiency and durability. These systems conduct heat through water, an element with better heat-carrying capacity than air, allowing for the efficient transfer of energy and reducing the likelihood of heat loss, for a more sustainable, cost-effective heating solution.

How Does Hydronic Heating Work?

The operation of a hydronic heating system can be broken down into several stages. First, water is heated by a boiler, which can be powered by various sources such as gas, electricity, or even renewable energy. This heated water is then pushed through a network of pipes, reaching various parts of a building.

As the heated water circulates through the system, it transfers its energy to the surfaces of the pipes and, subsequently, to hydronic radiant wall heating panels. These panels, in turn, radiate the warmth to the surrounding air, creating a comfortable environment. As the water cools, it circulates back to the boiler to be reheated, forming a closed-loop system that ensures a steady and consistent source of heat.

Is Hydronic Heating the Most Efficient?

When discussing the efficiency of hydronic heating systems, it’s essential to look at both their energy use and their overall heating effectiveness.

Energy Consumption

These systems indeed rank high, often surpassing traditional forced-air systems. Their ability to capitalize on water’s superior thermal conductivity allows for more efficient heat transfer than air.

Effective Heating

Hydronic radiant wall heating panels ensure even distribution of heat, reducing hot and cold spots within a room. This leads to more consistent and comfortable ambient temperatures. 

If you have a smaller space, you may want to consider using an electric radiant heating panel as this would be more efficient and offer more effective heating.

What is the Best Heat Source for Hydronic Heating?

heat source for hydronic heating panel

Determining the best heat source for hydronic heating systems often depends on individual factors like local climate, energy prices, and building specifications, however, natural gas boilers are commonly considered the most efficient heat source due to their higher energy conversion rates and lower operating costs.

On the other hand, electric boilers can also be a good option, especially in areas where electricity is cheaper or more accessible than gas. Additionally, renewable energy sources, such as solar thermal systems and heat pumps, are growing in popularity due to their minimal environmental impact, proving to be a sustainable and efficient solution for powering hydronic heating systems.

Hydronic Radiant Wall Heating Panels | Top 7

A hydronic panel wall radiator is a device designed to release the heat absorbed from hot water circulating in its internal channels. Built from materials with high thermal conductivity, these panels radiate heat into the room, providing a cozy and warm atmosphere.

1. Deltacalor Aluminium Collection

Deltacalor Aluminium Collection

The Deltacalor aluminum style blends seamlessly into the decor thanks to its sleek design with vertical flutes. Its minimalistic style allows it to adapt to most room decor becoming part of the furniture.

2. Runtal Hydronic Wall Panel

Runtal Hydronic Wall Panel

3. Jaga Panel Plus

Jaga Panel Plus

This modern paneled design from Jaga offers flexible installation configurations, and is available in horizontal and vertical styles. This stylish wall mounted heater comes in a range of heights, lengths and depths to meet the needs of the building.

4. Stelrad Flat White Panel Radiator

Stelrad Flat White Panel Radiator

Stelrad’s Home Series Flat radiator features a stunning, simplistic finish with its smooth, flat face perfect for blending into its surroundings. With a 10 year guarantee, global shipping, and over 85 years in business, this is a reliable brand that knows hydronic heating inside out.

5. Buderus Hydronic Panel Radiator

Buderus Hydronic Panel Radiator

6. Zehnder Aluminium Blitz Panel Heater

This aluminum radiator from Zehnder gives a rapid response, comfortable heat, and high thermal efficiency. Energy saving and easy to handle, this design is corrosion resistant and allows you to add or remove sections as per your needs.  The Blitz is a modern radiator in every sense and comes with a 10 year warranty.

7. Myson Vertical Heat Panel

Myson Vertical Heat Panel

Perfect for those wanting to save space, this wall panel is equipped with a traditional front panel as well as side panels. It is also available in multiple heights and lengths. 

The perfect mix of modern and traditional, this versatile hydronic heat panel will suit a wide range of homes.

Alternatives to Hydronic Heating Panels

Hydronic heated wall panels are quite limited in design, and although there are plenty more modern, minimalistic styles on the market now there are little variations amongst brands. If the style isn’t quite for you, other types of heating panels, such as radiant or infrared are probably a better option. If heating panels aren’t quite your style, then you could consider a forced air system or, a more modern underfloor heating system.

Is Hydronic Heating Cheap to Run?

The running costs of a hydronic heating system will depend on several factors, including the size of your home, the efficiency of your boiler, and the cost of your energy source. However, due to the system’s high efficiency, these costs can be quite reasonable compared to other forms of heating.

Installation costs are a factor to consider, as they can be significant, especially if retrofitting an existing home, however, the long-term savings due to the system’s efficiency and the enhanced comfort it offers make hydronic heating a worthwhile investment.

How to Install Hydronic Panel Radiator on to Walls

hydraulic panel radiator installation

The installation of hydronic panel radiators should ideally be carried out by a qualified professional, but it generally involves the following steps:

  1. Decide the position of the panel and mark it on the wall.
  2. Attach brackets at the marked positions.
  3. Mount the radiator onto the brackets and secure it.
  4. Connect the radiator to the pipework of the hydronic system.

Remember, the installation process will vary based on the design of your home and the specific model of the panel radiator.

How to Size a Wall for Panel Hydronic Panel Radiators

When determining the size of the hydronic panel radiator you need for your space, you must first calculate the room’s heating load. This calculation considers various factors such as room size, insulation levels, and climate conditions.

Here’s a basic formula for calculating heating load:

Heating Load (BTU) = Volume of Room (ft³) x Desired Temperature Rise (°F) x 0.018

Calculate Room Volume

Measure the length, width, and height of your room in feet. Multiply these dimensions together to get the volume of the room in cubic feet.

Determine Temperature Rise

This is the difference between the coldest outdoor temperature you expect in your area and the indoor temperature you want to maintain. For example, if you wish to keep your home at 70°F, and the coldest it gets outside is 30°F, your desired temperature rise is 40°F (70-30).

Calculate Heating Load

Multiply the volume of your room by your desired temperature rise, then multiply by 0.018 to convert the result into British Thermal Units (BTUs). This gives you the total BTUs needed to heat your room.

Choose the Right Panel Radiator

Once you have calculated the heating load, you can compare this with the BTU output of various radiators to find one that meets your heating needs. Radiator output is typically listed in the product specifications.

After determining the heating load of your room and selecting a panel radiator that can meet this load, make sure there is enough wall space to accommodate the chosen radiator. Also, ensure that the location will allow for optimal heat distribution in the room.

What to Avoid with Hydronic Heated Wall Panels

installing hydraulic panel radiator

When investing in hydronic heated wall panels, it’s crucial to make informed decisions to maximize the benefits of your heating system. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

Purchasing Poorly Rated Brands

In your search for the right hydronic panel, you may encounter brands that offer their products at incredibly low prices. While tempting, these brands often sacrifice quality for cost-effectiveness. Poorly rated brands generally have a reputation for underperforming, having shorter lifespan, and lacking in customer service.

For instance, brands like EconoHeat and HeatQuick have been reported for their subpar quality. Users have noted that these heaters don’t provide the promised output, leading to inefficient heating and increased energy bills. Other common complaints include issues with durability and lack of adequate customer support.

Instead, choose reliable brands that have a proven track record of performance and customer satisfaction. Companies such as Jaga, Sterlad, and Runtal are market leaders across the world and are renowned for their reliability and efficiency.

Inadequate Installation

Proper installation of your hydronic heated wall panels is crucial to their performance and efficiency. Attempting to install them yourself or hiring a contractor without experience in hydronic systems can lead to complications and sub-optimal system performance. 

Incorrect installation can result in uneven heating, water leaks, and decreased system lifespan. Always opt for a certified professional for the installation of your hydronic system.

Overlooking the Insulation

Effective insulation is key to the performance of your hydronic heating system. If your home isn’t properly insulated, a significant amount of heat generated by your hydronic heated wall panels could be lost, reducing the system’s efficiency and increasing your energy bills.

Ignoring Regular Maintenance

Hydronic heated wall panels require regular maintenance to function optimally. Failing to maintain your system can lead to a decline in efficiency, increased energy costs, and a shorter system lifespan. Regular maintenance tasks include checking for leaks, ensuring the system is properly balanced, and keeping the system clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Hydronic Systems Better Than Electric?

Hydronic heating systems use water to provide consistent and efficient heat, often offering lower operating costs and even heat distribution. Electric heating systems may have advantages in ease of installation and can be more suitable for individual room heating or supplemental warmth. 

Both systems have their unique benefits and potential drawbacks, and the best choice depends on factors like local climate, energy costs, and specific heating needs.

Is Hydronic Heating Worth the Cost?

While the upfront costs of hydronic heating can be significant, its advantages often make it a worthy investment. The system’s high energy efficiency can result in considerable savings on heating bills over time, while its superior comfort levels can enhance the overall quality of life.

Conclusion

Hydronic radiant wall heating panels offer an efficient, sustainable, and effective solution for your heating needs. 

These systems harness the superior thermal properties of water to deliver consistent, comfortable heat, making them an excellent choice for those seeking to maximize comfort and minimize energy use. While installation costs can be significant, the long-term benefits of these systems often justify the initial investment.

There are, of course, alternatives to hydronic heating panels, which can be just as efficient and offer more versatility in design. Remember to choose quality products from reputable brands, and ensure the correct sizing and installation of your panels to reap the maximum benefits. 


If you are looking for radiant heat wall panels, shop the range at Greenwave Distribution.