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Hydronic heating systems, commonly known or boilers, maintain comfort in your home by with circulating hot water throughout. The system consists of a boiler, pump and baseboards connected by water piping. The hydronic boiler heats water to temperatures between 120º and 210º, and the water is then pumped through the pipes in the baseboards located around the outer perimeter of the home for a curtain of warmth, or in the floor in radiant systems.
In radiant systems the energy from the heated water circulating thru the pipes radiates to its immediate environment, warming the floors, furniture and anyone in the room. Cold tile floors become warm and inviting. Also, heat is gently circulated uniformly and without sudden on-and-off cycles that create turbulence. This, plus the fact that a hydronic system operates at relatively low temperatures, allows you to keep a cleaner home and equipment that has a longer lifespan (25 yrs. or more).
What Are the Advantages of Boilers?
A distinct advantage of boilers over a furnace is the fact that with a boiler system, you can have a thermostat on each radiator, which means you can control the temperature in every room of the house. This feature brings not only extra comfort, but also a more control over your heating costs. By contrast, a forced air system generally has a single, centrally-located thermostat, which controls the heating for the entire house.
Another advantage of a boiler and radiant heat system is better indoor air quality. A forced air system removes more humidity from the air and also can circulate dust and allergens. These issues are not a significant issue with a boiler/radiant heating system, one of the reasons people suffering from allergies prefer the boiler systems over the forced air systems.
Don’t Forget These Important Boiler Tips!
- The most important decision you can make is to buy a boiler system that’s correctly dimensioned for your home.
- The energy efficiency of boilers is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which is the ratio of annual heat output compared to the total energy used by the boiler. A 90 to 98 value of the AFUE means a high-efficiency boiler. Consider a more efficient boiler as a good long-term investment, since you will be saving on energy bills for years to come.
- Boilers and radiators need annual check-up and maintenance. Don’t skip that, since not only could your boiler system could break, but you could be facing other problems, such as your house flooding.