Boilers are common home heating systems, especially in older homes and geographical areas with colder climates. If your home isn’t getting the heat it needs as you weather another winter, consider installing a new boiler system to keep you warm. Here are a few things to look for as you shop.
Understanding the Types of Fuel Used
There are three main types of fuel commonly used by boiler systems. Which one will best serve your needs?
If you opt for an oil-fired boiler, you’ll need to have that heating oil delivered to your home and stored in a tank. Oil prices rise and fall throughout the year, so remember to factor those costs into your decision.
These boiler systems typically use either natural gas or propane. While propane is available in most places in the US, natural gas availability and prices vary depending on your location.
Boilers powered by electricity are more energy-efficient than their gas and oil counterparts. However, they do use up a great deal of electricity and may not be the most cost-effective option, depending on your heating needs.
If you’re looking for energy and cost savings, consider using a heat pump instead.
Replacing Your Current Boiler
Are you looking to swap out your existing boiler for one just like it? It’s important to understand how your boiler system works based on the type you have. The radiators in your home are designed for a specific type of boiler, so choose your replacement accordingly.
Hot Water Boiler
A hot water boiler heats water in a tank, then moves that water through pipes in your home to the radiator circuits. Once the radiators are heated, water returns to the tank to be heated anew.
These boilers are largely similar to their hot-water counterparts, but they heat water in the tank until the liquid turns to steam. Then, the steam moves through your pipes to heat the radiators around your home. As it transfers heat to your radiators, the steam cools down enough to become liquid again before returning to the tank.
Considering Your Location
What’s the climate like where you live? If you’re in an area that experiences long, harsh winters, a boiler is a great heating option for you.
However, if you live in a warmer part of the country, you may not need the heavy-duty heating that a boiler provides. Consider using a heat pump instead—heat pumps are ideal for moderate heating needs as well as air conditioning in the summer.
If you’re in the market for a new boiler system, consider these factors as you compare sizes, prices, and fuel types. Choose a heating solution that fits your home and satisfies your heating needs this winter!