Residential Boiler Systems: Faqs

Posted on: 27 November 2018


A lot of people look at boiler systems as an outdated way of heating, but that really is not the case. Boiler units are still commonly used in residential settings, but a lot of homeowners do not know a lot about them. Take a look at some of the curious questions you may have about residential boiler systems. 

What type of fuel does a residential boiler use?

Residential boiler systems most often rely on natural gas or propane to operate. However, there are some residential boiler systems that function with electricity as well. of course, the most efficient fuel is either form of gas because the water held in the boiler tank has to be continually heated and would require a great deal of electrical power. Some of the most modern boiler units are designed to function with a type of gas and an electric heating unit for backup when the primary fuel runs out. 

What is the difference between a steam and water boiler system?

Traditionally, boiler units had radiators that carried hot water to distribute heat. However, the more modern boiler systems are most often steam versions, which means steam is carried through radiant lines instead of actual hot water. Somewhere along the lines of boiler engineering, it was discovered that steam carried about as much heating energy as hot water and steam was much easier to push through to radiant lines. In either case, the steam or the water returns back to the main boiler once it has cooled to be reheated and recycled. 

What are aquastats that are used along with boiler systems?

Aquastats are like thermostats for the water that is used in the process of heating a home with a boiler system. You can set the desired temperature of the water on an aquastat and directly control the level of heat that is being carried throughout the home. 

What does it mean if a boiler system is a condensing version?

A boiler system that has the condensing function is more efficient and more common in modern days. This boiler unit is capable of capturing hot water vapors that are typically eliminated in the exhaust that results from operating the unit. That water vapor is cycled back through the lines and reused so the energy is not wasted. While this may not sound like a lot, this function allows a lot of energy to be reused. 

Speak with a local plumber for more information.