Things to Know About Boilers

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Things to Know About Boilers

Merts Heating & Air Conditioning knows the majority of Illinois and Northwest Indiana homes are heated by forced air systems. But let’s clear up some myths and learn more about radiant heat and the boilers that are at the heart of those systems.

Boilers don’t boil

That’s right, myth number one shot down early. Modern boilers don’t boil water to make steam. Instead they are technically hot water heaters that heat the water to between 145℉ and 190℉ (boiling is 212℉).

How do they heat a house?

They do it through radiant heat. The hot water is circulated through radiators or, more commonly these days, through plastic tubing installed under your floor. The heat from the water radiates throughout the house. Many feel this provides much more comfort than forced air heating.

What are some common problems boilers have?

There can be problems with the pump that circulates the water, or if air gets into the system it can restrict water movement like an air bubble in a water pipe. Overall, these systems are extremely reliable. Like their forced air counterparts, boilers do need annual maintenance to make sure they are operating safely and efficiently. 

Do boilers add humidity?

For the most part boilers do not remove or add humidity to the indoor air. A humidifier is still the best way to solve the problem of dry air during the winter. 

Are boilers dangerous? Do they cause burns?

There is very little risk with modern radiant systems assuming you keep the water temperature set at the correct level. This is especially important with older cast iron systems. They can get hot to the touch if the water temperature is set too high.

Are they environmentally sound?

Yes. A modern boiler is just as energy efficient as a forced air system and does not waste water because it’s a closed system. Any significant water loss means there’s a leak somewhere that needs to be repaired.

How can I tell if my boiler is operating efficiently?

The simple answer is you can’t. It takes a trained technician with the proper testing equipment to assess your system. The best way to assure efficient operation is with annual maintenance. 

Can you make my old boiler more energy efficient?

Unfortunately, it just can’t be done. For safety reasons the original design of any boiler should not be altered. Depending on the age of your boiler, it certainly could make sense to replace it with a new, more efficient model.

How complicated is a boiler replacement?

There’s no one answer for this question. When Merts installs a new boiler, we first make sure the entire radiant heating system is in good shape and compatible with the boiler to be installed. Once the information is gathered it’s presented to the homeowner so the best decision can be made.

Don’t be afraid to ask more questions

Merts Heating & Conditioning is always here to help when it comes to boilers and radiant heating systems for your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home. Just call and schedule your free no obligation estimate. For more great information like this be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.