POLYMELT PP-R piping systems are ideal for creating long-lasting, efficient hydronic heating and cooling systems for structures of all kinds. For decades, POLYMELT has been on the cutting edge of piping systems around the world, become a top choice for contractors and building owners due to the reliability and cost-efficiency of our products. Now, ongoing research by ASHRAE confirms what we already knew: Hydronic systems outperform alternative HVAC systems, including VRF, in terms of lower energy use, cost, and life expectancy by as much as 24 percent.

To compare and contrast HVAC systems according to their energy- and cost-efficiency, ASHRAE installed both systems in its Atlanta headquarters to measure and compare their performance. The results aren’t what the VRF manufacturers wanted to see: Hydronic beats VRF! A similar study by Xylem confirmed ASHRAE’s findings, analyzing seven elementary and middle schools located in South Carolina Climate Zone 3A—a humid, warm climate. The cost analysis included upfront installed cost, replacement cost allocations and ongoing energy and maintenance cost of the following system types:

  •  Variable refrigerant flow heat pumps (VRF) § Water source heat pumps (WSHP)
  • Ground source heat pumps (GSHP)
  • Direct expansion rooftop units (DX RTU)
  • Water cooled chillers (WCC)
  • Air-Cooled Chillers (ACC)

The findings of the study revealed that the schools with WSHP, GSHP, and WCC systems displayed energy use levels that were 30 percent, 41 percent, and 25 percent better, respectively, than the national median for elementary and middle schools. The replacement cost allocation also acknowledged that the tested hydronic systems operate effectively for approximately 25 years, as opposed to the 15-year replacement estimation for VRF systems.

The tested VRF systems required replacement a decade earlier because of their tendency to work harder during heating cycles, bringing proof of long-term cost savings to the forefront of the conversation surrounding sustainability and hydronic HVAC system efficiency.

The benefits of the hydronic HVAC systems include lower energy usage intensity and cost, wider range of maintenance flexibility and longer life expectancy. POLYMELT piping is designed to be ideal for hydronic system construction. Our five-layer PP-R pipe is naturally insulative and corrosion-free, making it a perfect alternative to metal systems. POLYMELT piping for mechanical applications comes with number of upgrades that let it outperform other plastics, such as heat stabilization and a fiberglass-composite layer that reduces expansion, requiring fewer and smaller supports. POLYMELT pipes are safe to use in applications from -5°F–200°F based on pressure rating.

POLYMELT America is working with some of the largest school districts in the world to supply hydronic HVAC systems that outperform the competition. For more details on the benefits of POLYMELT for hydronics, contact our team today.