Boiler-based heating systems are one of the most common types seen in homes across the U.S. They are a great solution for many homeowners, as long as proper boiler maintenance measures are followed. When a boiler heating system is properly maintained, they are quiet, efficient and offer a flexible array of room heating approaches. They also put less dust and particulate into the air than forced air heating systems, so they can be helpful for people with allergies or respiratory problems. Contact us today for all your essential boiler maintenance and new boiler installation needs.
How It Works
In the simplest terms, boiler-based heating systems heat water and distribute the hot water or steam to radiant heat sources throughout your house to heat the air, and is then circulated back to the boiler to be reheated.
There are several ways that the heat from the hot water can be transferred to the air in your home, including baseboard and wall-mounted radiators as well as radiant floor systems built into the floors of your home.
In order to heat water or produce steam that is then used to heat a home, a boiler must use one of three different fuel sources: gas, oil, or electricity.
When alerted by your thermostat, a gas boiler uses either a pilot light or an electric start to ignite gas and oxygen inside a chamber. The chamber is a safe place where the gas is burned to produce heat. The burning gas heats up copper piping that transfers the heat to water. Gas boilers are the most common form of boilers and are more economical to install and operate. Gas boiler maintenance is simple as well, as they are cleaner and do not require manual fuel deliveries.
Oil boilers perform the same way as gas boilers: oil burns inside the chamber and heats up the copper pipes, which in turn heats the water. An oil boiler requires a large storage tank which some homeowners might not prefer. In addition, you need to have oil delivered to your home and pumped into the tank to be stored until it’s needed. Oil boilers are generally more expensive to operate and maintain. Oil boiler maintenance is often more time-consuming than gas or electric as well.
Electric boilers are usually used when natural gas is not available. An electric boiler uses electricity to heat things up the same way gas and oil boilers do. Electric boiler heating maintenance is minimal as they burn cleaner, but they are also more expensive to operate.
Why Choose Boiler Heat?
SPEED & EFFICIENCY
Water is a much more efficient medium for transferring heat than air, getting hot faster and staying that way for longer. This means that boiler based systems will heat up more quickly, and maintain heat more efficiently than most forced air systems.
Boilers are one of the easiest heating systems to maintain, especially if you opt for natural gas or electric. Unlike oil boilers, gas and electric systems do not require fuel deliveries and are generally cleaner. To increase the lifespan of your system, we encourage homeowners to schedule professional maintenance annually. With proper boiler heating maintenance, these systems can last between 10 and 15 years.
Boiler-based heating systems are some of the cleanest ways to heat your home, largely based on the way that they heat the air. Unlike forced air systems which pull air into the system, heat it, then push it back out into the rooms of your home, boilers use radiant heat. This means that the air already in your home is heated just by coming in contact with a radiator, and no dust or particulate is added. This makes them a great solution for people with allergies or breathing problems.
For the same reason that they are cleaner, properly designed boiler-based heating systems also spread the heat more evenly throughout your house. Instead of having specific locations where hot air is blown into the home, radiators heat the air around them as it circulates throughout your home.
Again, due to the fact that they aren’t actively blowing air around your home, boiler-based systems are much quieter than some other forms of heating. The total lack of fans and moving parts to circulate air means that you won’t even hear it when your heat comes on.
Considerations for Your Home
New boiler systems tend to cost more to install in a home than many other heating system types, especially if the home does not have an existing piping system to carry the hot water to radiators. Homes that already have ducts for forced air systems may want to consider just sticking with a solution that won’t require pipes to be run.
While there are many different types of fuel that can be used for boilers, by far the least expensive and most efficient is natural gas. If your home does not have access to natural gas lines, you may want to consider the fuel and potentially delivery costs before going with boiler heat.