The art of hydronic heating

Yucca Zehnder could also be used as a room divider and is available in many colours.

Yucca Zehnder could also be used as a room divider and is available in many colours.

It's not a common question but perhaps one you should now consider: what's your heater style?

Until now, heaters were heaters - those rectangular things that you pushed to the side of the room and didn't consider in terms of aesthetics. But the rise of hydronic heating has changed that.

According to director of heating specialists Oblica, Guillaume Roux, hydronic heating has been around for a long time in Europe and is now increasingly popular in Australia.

"But until recently there was not much choice for the design of the radiators (the only visible part of the system). Radiators or heating panels were considered a functional appliance and often looked very basic.

"New designer radiators are fairly recent to Australia and Tubes and Zehnder weren't sold here until Oblica launched the brands earlier this year," he said.

Schema is more tribal art than heater, and comes with an optional heated leather strap.

Schema is more tribal art than heater, and comes with an optional heated leather strap.

Hydronic heating is a closed circuit where hot water is circulated around the house through pipes and a series of radiators. In each room the radiators emit heat, and the water is then returned to the boiler that re-heats the water and returns it to the circuit. The boilers can be powered by gas or electricity.

Each radiator can be set to a particular temperature via a thermostatic valve so that you achieve the exact temperature desired in each room.

"Hydronic heat in by far the best way to heat a house," Guillaume said.

"It's more economical and efficient. It's silent and healthier (particularly for people with allergies). And it's also the safest way to heat your house."

Tubes TBT can be installed vertically or horizontally, on a wall or freestanding.

Tubes TBT can be installed vertically or horizontally, on a wall or freestanding.

And check out the style! Many of these heaters could be considered artwork in their own right, and while you can choose hydronic heaters that blend into the background, why not make the most of these designs to enhance the look of your room.

"From an aesthetic point of view, consider a feature radiator here and there in the house - in the living room or master bathroom. Today you can choose radiators that enhance the design of your house like furniture or kitchen appliances do," Guillaume said.

"A lot of the designs are also available as electric radiators for people who don't want a whole installation for the entire house but just a feature piece in a bathroom or living. This is not hydronic but they're also very efficient and a good solution if you're planning to rely solely on electricity as an energy source for your house."

From an aesthetic point of view, consider a feature radiator here and there in the house - in the living room or master bathroom.

From an aesthetic point of view, consider a feature radiator here and there in the house - in the living room or master bathroom.

There's a bit of planning involved as you need to work out where to run pipes and select the right boiler You also need to work out the right KW output to suit the size of the room. Your installer or retailer will help with all of that.