What is a boiler?

January 20, 2015

It’s that time of year again in Columbia. The iciest months of winter seem to bring about more service and repair calls, which usually results in the need for new heating systems. From furnaces to boilers, there are a variety of products on the market that will ensure you’re warm. What’s a boiler you ask? Let’s take a look.

Types of boilers

A boiler is a type of HVAC equipment used to heat your home, and it uses either steam or hot water to do so. Both use a boiler to heat the water and a radiant system to provide heat to all of the rooms in a home.

Steam boilers

You could compare steam boilers to a teapot. These systems boil water to generate steam, which is transported to radiators throughout your home. Creating more steam increases the pressure in the system and pushes the steam throughout the system. Radiators have air vents that open to let off the pressure – and the heat – into your rooms. The steam then cools, condenses to water and returns to the boiler to be reheated. Steam boilers are usually powered with natural gas or propane.

Hot water boilers

Hot water boilers run similarly, but circulate hot water around your home instead of steam. When you boost the heat, water begins to warm up and is sent through the radiant system when it has met your perfect temperature. Water boilers are able to be fueled using either oil or gas, however, oil fired boilers are not commonly used outside of New England and the Northeast U.S.

Benefits of heating your home with a boiler

Boilers are known for their virtually soundless operation. In fact, you probably won’t hear a boiler working at all unless there’s an issue with the system. And, because radiant systems use pipes that are installed in the walls or floor, boilers can provide a more comfortable and even heat. Another bonus is that boilers don’t blow air around, helping reduce the allergens in the air.

Picking the right heating system for your home can be a hard decision. Although they can be more expensive than furnaces, boilers offer quieter and more even heating for your home. If you’d like to hear more about the high efficiency boilers available in Columbia, give Watts Electric & A/C Inc a call at 601-736-7362.