Boiler Questions and Answers: Get to Know Your Boiler

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Boiler questions are bound to come up if you have purchased a new home with a boiler system with which you are not familiar. Boiler systems may seem exotic to those of us who were raised in homes with forced air systems. However, if you stop and think about it, you have probably been exposed to boiler heated systems. For instance, many college dorm rooms and high school buildings are water boiler based heating systems.

The first thing that you need to understand about your boiler system is that it works in much the same way as a forced air system. But instead of heating air and pushing it through air ducts the system heats water and pushes it through water pipes.

What are the advantages of a water boiler heating system? The greatest advantage to a boiler system is that it radiates heat throughout the house and different zones can be set to different heat settings.

What are the disadvantages of having a water boiler heating system? Although not a major disadvantage, there is more maintenance with a boiler system; actually more than a forced air system.

For instance, as air pressure builds in the pipes, it reduces the efficiency of the system, in some cases causing a zone to not heat. You need to periodically “bleed” the air from the system to maintain proper performance.

The other disadvantage is that the heat doesn’t move around the room in the same way as a forced air system. As with all things, there are advantages and disadvantages to every system. You need to decide what system will be the best for you.