What is a boiler?

January 20, 2015

It’s winter again in Hudsonville. The iciest months of winter tend to bring about more service and repair calls, which often results in the need for new heating systems. From furnaces to boilers, there are a number 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 utilizes 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

Picture a boiler as a teapot. These systems boil water to make steam, which is transported to radiators throughout your home. Creating more steam amplifies 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 typically powered with natural gas or propane.

Hot water boilers

Hot water boilers operate similarly, but circulate hot water all over 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 desired temperature. Water boilers may be fueled using either oil or gas, however, oil fired boilers are not traditionally utilized outside of New England and the Northeast U.S.

Benefits of heating your home with a boiler

Boilers are known for their nearly soundless operation. In fact, you probably won’t hear a boiler operating 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 offer a more comfortable and even heat. Another bonus is that boilers don’t blow air around, helping decrease the allergens in the air.

Picking the right heating system for your home can be a hard decision. Although they are often 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 Hudsonville, give West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services a call at (616) 669-3961.