All About Boilers

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All About Boilers

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Cooler weather is approaching and that means it is time to think about the best way to heat your home or business. While the majority of residences and businesses feature forced air heating systems, another option is a boiler heating system.

Hot water boiler systems feature a natural gas or oil-fueled boiler, which heats water and creates steam. The hot water/steam is then circulated throughout the home or business via radiators, radiant baseboards or interior piping in floors. As the water circulates it releases its heat energy – warming the home – and cools down. Some systems let gravity return the water to the boiler to be reheated, many newer systems are equipped with a pump to send the water back to the boiler.

There are two main types of boilers: water tube boilers and fire tube boilers. Here are few key points about each type.

  • Water Tube Boilers. As the name suggests, these boilers consist of numerous tubes with water circulating through them. In the boiler’s combustion chamber, fuel is burned, which creates hot gas that surrounds the tubes and heats the water inside them.
  • Fire Tube Boilers. Conversely, this boiler type operates like this: hot gases from a combustion fire circulate through tubes. The tubes are installed in a sealed container and are surrounded by water. The heat created by the gases transfer through the walls of the tubes, thereby heating the water and eventually creating steam.

Like any appliance, regular maintenance can keep the boiler from breaking down and leaving you without heat, possibly for days.National Boiler Codes mandate that all commercial boilers must be checked by a professionally licensed boiler contractor at least once per year. Recommended maintenance includes:

  • Inspection of all electrical connections, wiring and the burner. Make sure to remove the burner so the combustion chamber can be thoroughly inspected.
  • Inspection of the flue passages and vent pipe. This will show if the burner is functioning properly.Soot in the flue passage likely means the boiler system is running too hot or with too much fuel. Moisture located in the vent pipe may mean the system is running too cool.

There are many reputable brands of boilers available to the public, including Weil McClain, Burnham, Munchkin, Pellet and Peerless. Call Climate Control Company today for more information about boiler systems or for any of your heating and cooling needs.

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