A boiler almost has an old fashioned sound to it like describing a house part from a home a century ago. But many modern homes have boilers to distribute steam, heat water, and warm air to heat a home. There are a variety of different types of boilers for the modern home. If your home has a boiler system, it’s important to complete residential boiler maintenance before any problems arise.
Difference between a Furnace and a Boiler
A furnace and a boiler are not the same thing. People most commonly refer to any system that heats their home as a furnace. While this is typical talk, it’s not necessarily accurate. A boiler and a furnace are different.
A furnace heats air and uses ductwork to spread or circulate that air around a residence. A boiler heats water or creates steam which is moved through a home through copper pipes. It’s the heat radiating from the copper pipes that keeps a home warm and comfortable.
Homes can have a furnace or a boiler system. Some homes operate on a combination of the two and use both copper tubing (boiler) and ductwork (furnace) to heat a home. These are complex and need a professional appliance repair expert in Milton to handle it.
Water based Heating Systems
Furnaces are commonly used to heat new homes. This is what is generally installed in new builds unless the buyer specifically wants a boiler heating system. Boiler heating systems are still used in many older homes, older business, apartments and multi family dwelling.
Gas or fuel is used to heat water in a broiler. The water is turned into steam which then travels through pipes into convectors or radiators. It’s the radiators or convectors that give off heat to warm the room. Hot water heating systems work the same way. The water is heated up and then pumped through a system of tubes to heat the radiators. Some systems have special tubing embedded in the floor where the hot water is pumped through to heat a room. Other times the water gets pumped through baseboard units mounted on a wall.
There are advantages and disadvantages to boilers that are important to consider in connection to residential boiler maintenance. Advantages include fewer moving parts which can make the unit more durable and reliable. Heat provided by boiler systems is dust-free and clean, a great feature for allergy suffers. They look good and can help create that ambience of a historical building, or create the look of a classic historical home.
Disadvantages of a boiler system include the necessity of regular maintenance for the units to last. There are fewer moving parts so fewer things to replace. But the units need to be regularly maintained in order to work well. Heat distribution can be uneven and inefficient since it’s not being blown into a room. For heat to work as effectively as possible, baseboard units must be unobstructed which can pose a challenge for furniture and curtain placement. Embedded tubing provides more consistent heat but is expensive and difficult to access if something breaks.
If you have a boiler system, get it checked by a technician at least once a year. Bleed radiators of extra air which could prevent them from heating your home properly. Watch the flame on your broiler. It should be blue. If it’s yellow or orange, this could be a sign of a faulty boiler and you should call a technician.