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Get to Know your Boiler | Boiler 101

Get to Know Your Boiler

If your Buffalo area home has a boiler, we are going to help you get to know your boiler.

Most Erie County homeowners are familiar with furnaces, but if you have a boiler, you may not really understand what it is, how it works, or what makes it different from a furnace. If your Buffalo area home has a boiler, we are going to help you get to know your boiler. Even if your home doesn’t have a boiler, understanding what a boiler is and how it is different from a furnace, may help you down the line.

What is a boiler?

The first thing you need to learn as you get to know your boiler, is what a boiler is. A boiler is a type of heating unit for the home that heats up water, turns it into steam, and pushes it throughout the home to create heat.

Like water heaters, boilers heat water using gas or electricity; however, this water stays in a closed loop. The water is sent out through lines to radiators throughout the home. As the water passes through the radiator, its heat energy is released into that room’s air, heating the room. This cooled water is circulated back to the boiler, where it’s reheated, and the cycle repeats until the home reaches the desired temperature and comfort level.

How is a boiler different than a furnace?

Boilers and furnaces are both options for you when it comes to heating your Buffalo, NY home. While boilers warm up your home by generating heat via water and steam, a furnace uses air to blow warmer temperatures throughout the home.

Let’s review the specific differences so you can get to know your boiler:

Boilers: Boilers generate warm air through the heated water in a tank. They don’t require ducts to circulate warm air throughout the house. Instead, heated water is circulated through pipes to different end points located inside the home, typically baseboard heaters or radiators. This is known as radiant heating.

Electric boilers have heating elements to heat the water, while gas heaters use jets under the tank for the same purpose. The heat is moved through the end points into the home’s living space through the delivery of heat by increasing the surface temperature so that it warms the nearby area.

Furnaces: Furnaces can be gas or electric and are forced-air systems. They combust fuel (gas) or generate heat (electricity) to warm up air, which is then blown through ducts into the living spaces of your Erie County home.

The forced systems heat the air through a devices known as heat exchangers. The heated air is then circulated inside the house through the ducts by blower fans. In electric-powered furnaces, heating elements are present that create warm air, while in fuel powered furnaces the warm air is created by the gas jets.

Which is better, a boiler or a furnace?

Each of the types of the heating option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Boilers tend to produce cleaner heat and entail lower repair and operation costs. They also tend to be more energy efficient, meaning they use less energy to perform the same task as a furnace; thus, less heat energy is wasted through radiant heating compared to forced air heating.

If your home isn’t set up for a boiler and radiant heating, you may find the cost of installation to be expensive, especially if you already have ductwork. Most Buffalo, NY homeowners looking to put in radiant heating do so during a major remodel or new home build so that they can run the water lines underneath floors.

Buffalo Boiler Experts

While which type of heating unit is best for your home, depends on the home itself, if you have a boiler, Reimer Home Services is Buffalo’s boiler experts. Our team fixes, maintains, and installs boilers here in Erie County.

For all your radiant heating system needs, Reimer is here for you. Is your boiler having trouble? We can help. Call us right away. We’re available 24/7 to solve your boiler problems and get your home back to a comfortable temperature.