High-Efficiency Hydronic Heating and Hot Water


The small Quietside boiler that hangs on the basement wall is about the size of a large suitcase. It burns natural gas at 90% efficiency, similar to the most efficient furnaces, and much better than conventional water heaters.

This is a unit which has been in use in Europe and Asia for over 15 years. It's design gives priority to domestic hot water heating (typically a short-term load) over the space heating. It includes such built-in features as an expansion tank, air-separator and circulating pump that all normally have to be purchased and installed separately.

It also has a self-modulating gas valve that adjusts continuously to the need for heat. This feature is important because few heating units are available that will operate efficiently at the very low heat loss rates that are typical of small, well-insulated homes.

boiler and piping

Above: Our boiler heats both the house AND the water for showers and washing.

Heat is delivered to different zones of the house in several ways: via tubes in the ceiling of the second floor ("radiant ceiling", see right), refurbished cast iron baseboards in the living/dining area, and tubes embedded in the floor slab at the first floor bathroom and bedroom.

Cast iron baseboard are reused. Before installing them, they were sandblasted and painted. Also shown is one of the salvaged antique registers (yet to be refurbished) that serve as inlets for the air-core floor.

Bill installs the ceiling tubing
radiant ceiling detail drawing


living room floor photo

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