Many people mistakenly think that boilers are an old-fashioned, outdated form of central heating. In reality, they are still very common in both residential and commercial buildings. Even though forced air furnaces are more commonly used in modern construction, this article focuses on why boilers are still a great option.
How do Boilers Work?
Boilers work by heating water and circulating it throughout the building. A home with a central boiler will have a pipe system that runs throughout the walls, floorboards, and ceilings of the building. These pipes ultimately lead to heat radiators that are mounted on the outside of the wall. These radiators often have an old fashion look, which is why many people see boilers as outdated systems. Nonetheless, they still work very effectively.
The wall radiators are also where the heat can be adjusted from room to room. A boiler circulates the water to the radiators, and then that water is pumped back to the boiler where it is reheated. So, the burner and the heat pump are the two most important components of a traditional boiler system. The burner is basically what turns the fuel into heat, and the pump circulates that into your home.
No Air Drafts and Smaller Pipes
One of the biggest advantages of boilers over furnaces is that they do not blow air. Some people don't like having the air streams and drafts that a central furnace can create. Another key advantage of boiler systems is that the pipes are smaller than the large gauge air ducts that are used with a central furnace. This means that some buildings can only use boilers because they are able to fit such narrow pipes. This becomes a major issue if you are retrofitting an existing home to have central heating. Basically, you might not be able to fit air ducts within your walls, so a boiler system could be there most efficient option.
Fuel for Boilers
A boiler is typically run on the same fuel sources as furnaces. That is, they can be powered by natural gas or propane. Both of these fuels can be extremely efficient and affordable, depending on where you live. That is, in some cities and regions, some gases are more readily available, and therefore cheaper. You will need to consult your local utility company to figure out which is going to be the most practical and efficient for your home.
For more information, contact your local heating contractor.