How Do Boilers Work?
A boiler is one of the most common heating systems in homes today. They are especially popular in places with colder climates, so many homes in the Mohawk Valley are equipped with a boiler system. Boilers work by heating water and distributing the hot steam to the rooms through a system of pipes.
At a basic level, a boiler is a closed metal container that has a heating element. The system increases temperature inside the chamber so it becomes higher than that of the atmosphere. A boiler has only one primary mechanical component, which is the circular pump that sends water from the tank and through the pipes. Some of the advantages of owning a boiler include:
- Increased energy efficiency: Boilers typically use less fuel to heat a home than other popular alternatives. This is good news for you because it means they usually create lower energy bills as well.
- More consistent heating experience: Those who have boilers typically find that their home is heated more consistently than it is with a furnace. They also find that the air in their home is much more breathable and comfortable. This is because the heat from boilers is distributed through outlets that radiate heat instead of blowing heated air, creating a more gradual distribution.
- Less noisy: Because you do not have to deal with the sound of hot air blowing with a boiler, boilers tend to be quieter than other types of furnaces when they are moving air through the house.
- Low maintenance: Boilers have fewer moving parts than furnaces and heat pumps. For this reason, they wear down slower and require less maintenance over time. However, boilers still need annual inspections and tune-ups in order to stay running at peak efficiency.
- Improved air quality: Iron boilers in particular can improve air quality when users make sure there is enough air for the boiler. By installing a combustion air inlet (CAI), which is a pipe that extends to the outside, fresh air will be circulated throughout the home.
- Long lifespan: The average boiler lasts between 10-15 years, but some boilers can last up to 30 years. Boilers have greater defense against corrosion because they are specifically designed to resist corrosion. When it comes to a furnace, the reaction of combustion gases with the metal create corrosion over time. With a boiler, on the other hand, this process takes much longer. Here are some ways you can elongate the life of your boiler. Our team can also help you carry out these steps:
- Having annual service checks
- Bleeding your radiator
- Installing a magnetic filter
- Adding an inhibitor to your system
- Powerflushing the system
- Insulating your pipes
Are you ready to experience the warmth and comfort that comes with a fully functional, properly installed boiler? Call Allen’s Family Heating & Cooling at (518) 380-2485 or contact us online to get started today.
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Get Efficient, Professional Installations from a Family-Run Business
At Allen’s Family Heating & Cooling, we specialize in boiler installation. Boilers can enhance the quality of your life and the quality of the air you breathe, but there are a few decisions to make before you start enjoying those benefits. Our team is here to walk you through the entire process efficiently and accurately.
The first important decision to make when it comes to your boiler is what kind of boiler to choose. This can vary depending on whether you have a gas connection, what your hot water requirements are, the amount of space you have, and what your ideal efficiency would be. The three main types of boilers include:
- Combi boiler: A combination boiler is a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in one single compact unit. These boilers are ideal for those who do not have space for a water storage tank because these boilers heat water directly from the source where you would turn on a tap.
- Conventional boiler: Conventional boilers are designed to provide both heating and hot water by using an additional cold-water tank and hot water cylinder. Conventional boilers are best suited for homes with relatively low water pressure or with two or more bathrooms.
- System boiler: A system boiler is a closed system that requires a boiler and a cylinder. This type of boiler is best suited for a home with several radiators and bathrooms that create the need for hot water.
Once we have chosen the right kind of boiler and right size for your home, we will begin the installation process. The first step will be to install the boiler in the spot we have agreed upon and connect the unit through pumps and pipes to the radiators, water outlets, and the cold-water mains supply.
Conventional boilers will need to connect to hot and cold-water storage tanks as well, and we will make sure the system is installed effectively and safety to the gas line. In order to reduce heat loss, we will need to make sure the pipes in your home are configured correctly for the system.
The last step of our installation will be to test the heating in your home. We will check for leaks and make sure the gas pressure meets the standards of the local code. Our team works diligently in this process, and we will not leave until we feel confident that your boiler will work effectively and safely. A typical installation takes less than a full day to complete.
Access the Boiler Repairs and Maintenance You Need from Trusted Professionals
Most experts recommend that you get your boiler serviced every year. The team at Allen’s Family Heating & Cooling is happy to help keep your boiler running smoothly through regular maintenance. At an annual service, we will begin with a visual examination to make sure your boiler was properly installed. We will then make sure your boiler is operating safely and efficiently by examining the following parts:
- Gas and pressure flow
- Flue and combustion
- Electrical connections
- Fans and other main components
- Water and gas pipework
- Condensate trap
- Safety devices
Although boiler maintenance tends to be fairly simple, like any working system, they do encounter some problems every now and then. These are some of the most common problems boilers run into and what we can do to help:
- Leaking and dripping: Due to wear and tear, boilers can start to leak and drip. More specifically, this can be due to old parts, a high pressure valve, or corroded pipes. If you are having this issue, it is important to get in touch with a technician right away who will get to the bottom of it and stop the leak from continuing.
- Loud noises: While some occasional light noise is to be expected, when your boiler is reminding you of your morning cup of tea, that signals an issue. We call this noise “kettling,” and it quite literally sounds like the noise a tea kettle makes when it comes to a boil. This is usually caused by a buildup of limescale on the boiler’s heat exchanger. This makes your boiler work extra hard and can shorten its lifespan, so it’s important to contact a technician who can resolve the issue.
- Pilot light turning off: The pilot light is a major component of many boilers. It is a flame that lights the gas provided by the main burner. If your pilot light keeps turning off, it could be due to a faulty thermocouple, a dirty pilot orifice, a faulty gas regulator, fluctuating natural gas, or improper air flow.
If the pilot light turns off, the gas valve that supplies fuel to the flame could continue pumping gas, which could lead to a dangerous fire hazard. It is important to get this issue taken care of right away, and our team is here to help you do exactly that.
- Frozen condensate pipe: The condensate pipe is a pipe that travels from the boiler through the wall outside where the boiler is usually located. If it is frozen, the sensors on the system will detect a blockage, which will prevent the boiler from operating. In these situations, we will need to defrost the condensate pipe to clear the blockage.
- Irregular heating: The radiator of your boiler relies on the airflow moving underneath the units and rising as they heat. If you are experiencing uneven heating in the home, it could be because your radiator is blocked. It is also possible that your boiler has other dysfunctional parts. We might need to replace the boiler valve, diaphragm, or airlock, all of which are advanced jobs that should be left up to the professionals.
- Inaccurate thermostat: The thermostat tells the boiler when it needs to supply heat and to what degree. Just like most pieces of technology, thermostats are prone to wear and tear, which can cause their wires to loosen over time. Broken thermostats can deregulate the temperature in your home and raise your energy bill, but our team can help resolve this issue and get your home feeling comfortable again.
Whether you need installation, repairs, or maintenance for your boiler in the Mohawk Valley, the technicians at Allen’s Family Heating & Cooling are here for you. Call us at (518) 380-2485 or contact us online to find out how our family-run business can help you.