An Aquatherm heating system uses the gas or oil water heater in the home to provide heat to an air handler, which then warms the house. It normally requires installing a larger water heater with greater BTU input but saves energy installation costs when compared to a traditional furnace.
The use of the Aquatherm combo heaters offers advantages for both the water heater and the heating system. Homeowners have the option of a ceiling-mounted air handler or one that fits in a closet or garage. Because the water in the water heater is moving more often than normally, tanks build up less scale, which increases their life expectancy. The heating system is also less expensive to install than a standard gas system. It takes up less floor space and eliminates the need for a second flue to exhaust furnace gases.
Combo heaters require only five moving parts, making them relatively easy to maintain. They work with any water heater that has the capacity to heat enough water for potable use and for heating. However, an undersized water heater decreases the BTU output of the unit. The systems are compatible with standard thermostats, and Aquatherm air handlers are available with air-conditioning coils that can cool the house.