Hydronic Vs Forced Air


Hi there,

Lately, I have been getting lots of question about Hydronic systems. I am going to give some information about Hydronic and Forced air systems.


Before that, I like to give some information about fresh air. As you know, new homes are insulated as much as possible. But that also makes them airtight – and that means you’re breathing the same stale air over and over again. It also means that indoor air pollutants just keep on accumulating. The problem is so bad that the EPA says that indoor air is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air — even in big cities like Toronto. That’s a serious problem, and as the EPA stated, it can lead to serious health issues.


HRVs are mandatory in new homes for good reason.


What is a Hydronic System;

In a radiant floor heating system, warm water flows through flexible plastic tubing called PEX that is located underneath or within the floors. (PEX is an acronym for crosslinked polyethylene.) The PEX tubing carries the warm water into specific rooms or “zones” to effectively heat people and objects in every corner of the room.

What is a Forced Air System:

A forced-air central heating system is one which uses air as its heat transfer medium. These systems rely on ductwork, vents, and plenums as means of air distribution, separate from the actual heating and air conditioning systems.


Hydronic Forced air
Energy Efficient Beter Not good as Hydronic
Fresh Air* Need separate ductwork No need separate ductwork
Air Conditioning** Need a separate system Can be easily added
Heat Distribution Better heat distribution Enough comfort but not as good as hydronic
Zone Control Less costly Can be expensive
Running Cost Cheaper Not as cheap as
Maintenance Less More

*Fresh air with HRV is mandatory in new home builds