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A new product in the radiant heating industry is making installing a little easier these days. HydronexÂ® modular control panels from Watts Radiant, Springfield, Mo., is the name of the product. These controls integrate pre-wired circulators and controls, and are combined with pre-wired power connections for floor warming, heating, or snowmelt projects.
"Hydronex panels are like power tools," said Watts Radiant's Mike Chiles. "They let skilled contractors multiply the efficiency of their skilled labor force. One skilled technician can complete a boiler room installation in a day, or less."
"The highly customized and complex radiant projects receive a lot of attention in the press, but on a day-to-day basis, most hydronic radiant systems are not that complicated. Heat loss calculations are the same and sales programs need to be tweaked to sell the benefits of warm floors, but basically you're using pipes to deliver heat instead of ducts."
According to Chiles, using standardized Hydronex panels to complete a hydronic system is little different than installing factory-assembled furnaces or heat pumps. Free advice is available to help select and install the correct panels for any project, and Watts Radiant offers free contractor training at its Warm U radiant seminars. Warm U seminars are scheduled at Watts Radiant's headquarters and at many other locations around the country.
Other features include:
"There is a nationwide shortage of skilled hydronic technicians, people with both pipe fitting and control skills," he said. "This labor shortage, more than anything else, is inhibiting the profitable growth of the hydronic industry, especially in the residential and light commercial side of the business.
"Driven by extensive coverage by home improvement shows, more and more homeowners want to experience warm radiant floors. Offering a radiant heating option will be in the sales program of many HVAC contractors. They already have the sales and technical skills to design and install radiant systems. Hydronex panels simplify and dramatically reduce the skilled piping skills required to complete a project."
For more information, visit www.wattsradiant.com.
Publication date: 10/16/2006