The majority of homes within the United States are heated by either a furnace, a boiler or a heat pump. Furnaces generate hot air to distribute via ductwork throughout the house. Boilers generate steam or hot water to be used in either steam radiators or baseboard and in-floor radiators. Heat pumps work by transferring the available heat in a cold space to a warmer space.
Boilers come in many models to suit the needs of a particular home just like furnaces and heat pumps. So what options do you have? Generally speaking, you will have three main variables:
- Combination boiler (Provides heat and hot water)
- Standard & system boilers
Condensing and Non-Condensing Boilers
When boilers were first used for home heating they weren’t terribly efficient and wasted a good deal of energy in the form of steam that was vented directly to the atmosphere. Today you have the option of purchasing a condensing boiler for the home.
These boilers gain an additional 10-15% efficiency over their non-condensing counterparts by using that otherwise wasted steam to raise the initial temperature of the water going into the unit. Condensing boilers can be had on standard, system, and combination boilers.
Combination boilers provide hot water for the home was well as providing heat. The hot water they generate is on an as-needed basis and it will require access to the main supply of water to the home. These boilers, especially if they are the condensing type, are extremely efficient as the hot water generated is not kept at a specific temperature over long periods of time as in a standard boiler. Combi boilers also have the advantage of not taking up much space in the home, with some even being wall-mounted.
Standard Boilers and System Boilers
Standard and system boilers share a lot in common, differing only by the locations of their water storage tanks. In these two types of boiler hot and cold water storage is required. In the standard boiler the storage tanks are often in the attic or loft. For the system boiler they are built into the device itself, saving space and making for a less complex installation. These two systems are available in condensing and non-condensing types, as well.
There is a boiler to suit the needs of every home. If you would like to discuss your options in boilers for the home, give us at $25 Heating & Air Conditioning a call!