Hydronic Heating Boilers – Which One’s Right for You?

14 April 2022
Indoor wood fire boiler

Congratulations! You’ve made the wise choice to install a hydronic climate control system in your home. No doubt, you’re aware of the numerous benefits of going hydronic, from health and environmental to the amazing energy efficiencies.

To ensure that your hydronic system is running as optimally as possible, you’ll want to scope out your options when it comes to selecting your boiler – your system will be as efficient as the boiler you pair it with.

There are a wide range of products on the market and solutions to suit all locations and energy sources. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to hydronic boilers, you’ll want to ensure that your choice suits your needs. 

Let’s check out the main boiler types on the market for hydronic systems:

  • Electric Boiler
  • Gas Boiler
  • Wood Fire Boiler
  • Diesel Boiler 

Electric Boiler

Speedy and affordable to install (no flues or chimneys required), electric boilers are a great choice for those who do not have access to gas at their location. Electric boilers can also be a preferred option for smaller sized homes that don’t require as much heating as a larger property.

Why is this? The reality is, while the purchase and installation of an electric boiler may be cheaper, the ongoing running costs are higher than other boiler options as the cost of electricity continues to increase. To offset costs, you could consider teaming your electric boiler with solar PV and/or battery storage. 

electric boiler, types of hydronic heating systems

Gas Boilers

Deemed to be the most cost-effective boiler option, natural gas boilers are used alongside most hydronic heating systems in Australia. Industry professionals are most likely to recommend a natural gas boiler for your system set up if you have access to natural gas at your location. Why so popular? Natural gas is an efficient fuel, making the running cost easier on your wallet than electricity.

Whenever you hear those headline stats of how hydronic heating can be up to 35% more cost effective than other heating and cooling options – it's most likely relating to systems using a gas boiler. 

gas boiler, gas heating

Image courtesy of Adelaide Heat

LPG boiler

Haven’t got access to natural gas at your place? You could opt for a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) boiler, where you hook your system up to gas bottles as needed. This is a truly energy efficient and affordable installed option to power your system. Top tip: always have an extra gas bottle on hand so you don’t run out of fuel. Some suppliers will send bottles out on a subscription basis, so you’re always stocked.

Combi boilers

Combination, or ‘combi’ boilers are a great solution – they offer unlimited hot water without the need for a water tank or cylinder. This means they take up a lot less space when installed and there’s always enough hot water for everyone’s showers.  Available in Natural Gas or LPG. 

Wood Fire & Wood Pellet Boilers

If an electric boiler isn’t feasible and you don’t have access to natural gas, there are two wonderful options in wood fire and wood pellet boilers. 

wood fire boiler, energy efficient heating

Wood pellet boilers

Highly energy efficient, these wood pellet boilers use hard pressed wood pellets for the heat source and don’t create carbon dioxide emissions. Other benefits include the self-cleaning mode and the fully automatic pellet loading.

Downsides? They are more costly to install, and you will need to factor in the space needed to store the wood pellets. 

Wood fire boilers

Are you on a rural property with an ongoing supply of firewood? Wood fire boilers could be just what you’re looking for. Product options will allow installation indoors and outdoors and while not as common as other boiler options, they’re worth considering if your property location and lack of access to natural gas are realities of your situation. 

Diesel Boilers

Using diesel fuel to heat the water piped through your home, diesel boilers are very efficient and quiet. Controlled automatically by timers and thermostats, diesel boilers can run for months without needing any of your time, apart from ensuring there’s enough fuel in the tank.

Highly efficient, diesel condensing boilers extract much of the heat contained in the unit and flue gases so there is very minimal waste.

Diesel boilers are a popular option for rural properties that don’t have natural gas access and do require a flue. The boiler can be installed indoors, with the need for a fuel tank outside, ideally on a concrete slab base. 

Diesel boiler, hydronic heating system

Which Hydronic Heating Boiler Is Right For You?

As you can see, there are boiler options to suit all hydronic heating set ups. The best choice for you is the one that is going to suit your location, property size, budget, energy source access and preference.

Whichever solution you opt for, Hunt Heating are here to help. With extensive experience across residential and commercial hydronic heating, we are Australia’s premium provider of eco-friendly climate control solutions. Contact the team at Hunt Heating today to discuss the best options and products for your home.