Home Heating Boiler: Basic Facts

As a home owner, you should be familiar how a home heating boiler works. The system provides hot water or steam for a hydronic baseboard, radiant heat, steam radiator, convectors or tubes through a series of pipes. Your boiler’s power is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). One BTU is needed to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water one degree Fahrenheit at an atmospheric pressure of one. Creating 1 lb. of steam requires 1200 BTUs.

Steam pressure in a boiler is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Low-pressure boilers have a psi of 15 and below. High-pressure boilers have a psi of 100 or more. Boilers produce more heat when steam pressure is high. Horsepower is used to measure the power of small boilers. One boiler horsepower is equivalent to 42,000 BTUs. Boilers generate either standard steam or superheat. A boiler should be proportionate to the size of your home. If the boiler is too big, it will result in high fuel bills while if it is too small; your boiler will provide insufficient heat.

You can choose a natural gas, propane, oil, electric or wood pellets fired boiler heating system. You have many types of boilers and different ways of distributing heat. System home heating boiler makes use of a built-in circulation pump and expansion vessel eliminating the need for a cold water tank. An outdoor wood boiler produces efficient heat in a water reservoir from the outside. The heated water is transferred through underground pipes into your home’s heat exchanger and then to your furnace and heat circulation begins. A combo system heats both space and water and is designed to save energy by not heating both at full capacity.

One thing you should also know is about boiler heat. A standard boiler heat is generated by boiling water and capturing steam in a compressed space. The compressed molecular movement creates high heat known as superheat. You can generate it by raising the steam temperature to above 400 degrees Fahrenheit and increasing psi pressure to above 100 levels.

With boiling systems, you have many options to choose from. If you are to consider an electric combination boiler, there is one manufacturer’s model available in the market branded as a Thermaflow Electric Combination Boiler. With an efficiency rating of 99.4%, this electric boiler is suitable for sealed and underfloor heating systems. Its stainless steel vessel is guaranteed for 25 years, while its ancillary components and expansion vessels are guaranteed for 2 years subject to correct installation and annual service by an accredited contractor installer.

Its key features are minimum installation time involved, low running costs through peak avoidance tariffs and no flues, storage tanks or separate hot water storage required. Radiator can be positioned above the boiler and it can reach maximum temperature within 3 minutes. Hot water taps are done within 5-10 seconds. You will not need a booster pump on power showers. It is 100% safe because there is no chance of carbon monoxide or gas leak. This boiler has a price range of around $3,600.

If you would like a gas fired boiler, you should look for a brand model which has outstanding key features such as a cast aluminum heat exchanger and a venturi mixing body providing high efficiency mix of air and gas. It is designed to operate in low temperature condensing applications. You have an outdoor reset and domestic hot water priority standard with a negative regulated gas valve which precisely delivers gas to the boiler. Its U-Control gives you the power for easy set-up and maintenance and modulates with 5 to 1 turn-down ratio capability. It has a variable speed motor that matches combustion output to heating needs. Lastly, its high grade stainless steel burner features quiet operation, high efficiency and cleaner combustion for low NOx application.

Whatever type of home heating boiler system you have, regular maintenance is necessary for top performance and efficiency. You should inspect your boiler system in accordance with the owner’s manual. Make sure that it is operating at its peak performance particularly during the cold months. Keep the unit always clean and dust free specially the boiler and thermostat. Check the electrical components. Look for damaged wires, rusted pipes, scorch marks and blown fuses. Contact a repairman if you encounter any problem you cannot trouble shoot yourself. Ensure yours and your family’s comfort and safety at all times!