What is a boiler?

January 20, 2015

It’s that time of year again in Cedar Rapids. The iciest months of winter can bring about more service and repair calls, which sometimes results in the need for new heating systems. From furnaces to boilers, there are a variety of products on the market that will heat your home. What’s a boiler you ask? Let’s get a closer 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 sent to radiators around your home. Producing more steam heightens the pressure in the system and pushes the steam throughout the system. Radiators have air vents that open to release 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 operate similarly, but circulate hot water throughout your home instead of steam. When you increase the heat, water begins to warm up and is sent through the radiant system when it has reached your desired temperature. Water boilers are able to be fueled using either oil or gas, however, oil fired boilers are not usually found outside of New England and the Northeast U.S.

Benefits of heating your home with a boiler

Boilers are known for their almost soundless operation. In fact, you more than likely won’t hear a boiler operating at all unless there’s a problem with the system. And, because radiant systems use pipes that are installed in the walls or floor, boilers can give you a more comfortable and even heat. Another benefit 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 tough 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 Cedar Rapids, give Ilten's Incorporated a call at 319-208-3295.