Hydro-air Systems: Pros and Cons

Posted by Sam Wallace, Lavallee Systems

Hydronic systems are a popular way to heat a home. Room temperature is raised using hot water flowing through pipes. Hydronic systems include traditional baseboard heating and radiators, in-floor radiant heating, and hydro-air systems.  Hydro-air systems are gaining popularity. The system design combines Hydronics to create the heat and forced air (ducted) system to distribute it.

Hydro air systems were the perfect choice for this remodel project in Cambridge. The system features just one combustion source across multiple zones and variable speed blower motors keep the home quiet and comfortable year-round.


A hydro-air system features an air handler that has an additional coil installed which is heated by water from the boiler. The air handler blower motor then distributes the warm air through the duct system and into the living space.


  • Single combustion source in the home
  • Fewer penetrations through roof or side of the home for exhaust venting
  • Increased flexibility zoned applications
  • Enhanced performance for larger homes with multiple HVAC systems
  • Increased reliability of system components
  • Option to expand the system with other heat sources such as radiant or garage heaters


  • When using a high-efficiency boiler, hydro-air will not allow the boiler to run at optimal efficiency
  • Zero redundancy – If the boiler fails and needs repair, the entire home is without heat
  • Cost – Systems require the installation of a boiler in order to operate
  • If the air handlers are in an unconditioned space, boiler treatment using glycol is required which can be harmful to the system.

Overall hydro-air systems are cleaner, comfortable, and more flexible heating systems.  In a small to mid-sized home with an existing boiler that is reasonably energy-efficient, a hydro-air system is a great heating system alternative to explore when considering your design.

If you would like more information please contact Sam Wallace, HVAC Estimator at 888-884-4122 or sam@lavalleesytems.com.


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