What is the official name for this system

I inspected a 4 year old Condo that has a Hydro Heating & Cooling system with the air handler located in the ceiling of the unit. I’m assuming that the hot water for the condos is provided by a central boiler somewhere in the building. My question is- what is this type of system officially called or is there an industry accepted name for it. I rarely run into these systems in my area. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Craig Cooper
Norwest Inspection Services

I am a NACHI member. Does anyone know why it shows I am not an active member. My membership is up to date and I am logged in. Any ideas ?

Craig Cooper

Hydronic heating and cooling system, although make sure that you do not have a an AC condensor/ compressor, check the breaker pannel.

Thanks Jo for your reply. No breaker present for a condensor. Just a 20 amp single pole breaker labeled HVAC.

Is there a large ac unit in the complex somewhere? why did you mention the remote hot water? How many pipes are going to the unit, and are the the same size or different? need more info. you may have a fan coil unit with a two or four pipe system. In the summer cold water from a chiller is pipe in and in winter hot water is used. Four pipe is better as you can heat and cool as needed where as a two pipe system, the complex has to do a chiller/ boiler change over, which can be a pain in the spring and fall.

You may wish to note in your report for your clients benefit that these types of systems cannot be run in the heating and cooling mode (between different apartments) on the same day. The condo-association must switch over between heating and cooling (unless you have a two pipe system, which is unlikely in a condominium).

There will be times when you need heat in the cooling season and cooling and heating season.

A backup source of heat and windows that open may be desirable.

Thanks Bruce for your response. I am assuming there is not a large AC unit as there were no refrigerant lines going to the air handler. It appears to be chilled water supplied. There were 4 pipes and I’m not sure if they were the same size (pipes were insulated). I mentioned that the complex must have a central heat source because there was not a water heater inside the condo & the association dues covers the water use. Thanks again.