installing hydronic heating in old house

Updating the heating system in an old house can be a daunting task, especially when striving for energy efficiency and comfort. Hydronic heating, known for its energy efficiency and even distribution of heat, is an excellent option for older homes. While the installation process may seem complex, following a step-by-step guide can simplify the task and ensure a successful transition to this modern heating solution. This comprehensive guide will provide a clear roadmap for installing hydronic heating in old houses, enabling homeowners to enjoy efficient warmth without compromising the building’s historical integrity.

Step 1: Assessment And Planning

Begin by assessing the current heating system and the layout of the house. Evaluate the insulation, the condition of existing radiators or baseboards, and the available space for new components. Plan the layout of the hydronic system, considering the most effective locations for the boiler, pipes, and radiators to ensure optimal heat distribution.

Step 2: Choose The Appropriate Components

Select the right components for the hydronic heating system, including a high-efficiency boiler, suitable piping, and compatible radiators or underfloor heating systems. Take into account the specific heating needs of the house and the architectural constraints to choose components that blend seamlessly with the historical aesthetics of the property.

Step 3: Prepare The Space

Prepare the installation space by clearing any obstacles and ensuring a clean and accessible area for the placement of the boiler and other system components. Make necessary adjustments to accommodate the new system, such as creating pathways for the piping and ensuring proper ventilation for the boiler.

Step 4: Install The Boiler And Piping

Begin the installation process by placing the boiler in the designated location. Connect the boiler to the water supply and install the necessary piping, ensuring secure connections and proper insulation to prevent heat loss. Pay close attention to the routing of the pipes, optimising their layout to minimise heat dispersion and maximise efficiency.

Step 5: Position The Radiators Or Underfloor Heating

If opting for radiators, position them strategically in each room to ensure uniform heating distribution. Ensure that the radiators are securely attached to the wall and connected to the piping system. For underfloor heating, install the necessary components beneath the flooring, following manufacturer guidelines for proper installation and ensuring consistent heat distribution.

Step 6: Test The System

Before completion, thoroughly test the hydronic heating system to identify any potential leaks, pressure issues, or malfunctions. Check the functionality of each component, including the boiler, piping, and radiators, to ensure that the system operates efficiently and effectively.

Step 7: Finalise The Installation

Once the system passes all tests and inspections, finalise the installation by securing all components, insulating exposed piping, and making necessary adjustments to enhance the system’s performance. Provide the homeowner with detailed instructions on system maintenance and operation to ensure longevity and optimal functioning.


Installing a hydronic heating system in the old house requires meticulous planning, careful execution, and attention to detail. By following this step-by-step guide, homeowners can successfully integrate an energy-efficient heating solution while preserving the historical charm of their beloved property. Embracing the benefits of hydronic heating, such as heat distribution and energy efficiency, can transform the living experience in an old house, providing warmth and comfort for generations to come.