What makes PEX hydronic piping so efficient?


First of all, let’s answer the question many might be afraid to ask: What is hydronic piping? In a hydronic piping system, piping transfers water from either heating or cooling sources (e.g., boilers or chillers) to terminal units (e.g., baseboard radiators, fan coils, variable-air volume units and chilled beams) to effectively and efficiently heat or cool a structure. Even more simply, water moves through the piping to heat or cool a space.


For more than 40 years, Uponor PEX has been the preferred choice for plumbing and radiant floor heating in single-family homes, and now it’s making a major splash in commercial spaces when it comes to plumbing, radiant heating/cooling and hydronic piping.


Watch the video below to hear why customers are confidently switching to PEX vs. copper, steel or black-iron pipe for hydronic piping to contribute to the health, safety and energy efficiency of a structure. 

So, which is more efficient: water or air? (Spoiler alert: it’s water!)


First of all, water is transmitted equally and consistently when pressure is applied.


For example, if you apply pressure to water within a vessel (for the purpose of this scenario, think pipe), the applied pressure will be transmitted rather instantaneously. The best part is, water requires very little applied pressure to make this happen compared to forced air. Doesn’t science rule?


Second of all, water is really, really good at transporting energy.


Using water instead of air to heat or cool a structure is a pretty darn efficient form of conditioning spaces, from single-family homes to commercial structures. This is because water has the ability to transport energy 3,500 times greater than air.


To learn more about hydronic piping and it’s flow rates, read HVAC guru Steve Swanson’s newest Contractor magazine article titled, “Go with the flow: Getting the flow rate right with hydronics.”