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How Do Boilers Distribute Heat?

hydronic-heatingFor many homeowners, the word “heater” immediately conjures up and image of the furnaces in their homes. Furnaces are forced air heaters, meaning that they heat air directly and then distribute that heat throughout the house via a system of ductwork. Like any heater, furnaces have their pros and their cons. Many of these cons are corrected by the way in which a boiler, on the other hand, distributes heat throughout a house. That’s what we are going to be looking at today.

Boilers have been around for a very long time, and it is really no surprise that they maintain such a level of popularity today. While the boiler may not be right for every home or every homeowner–no heater is, or else there wouldn’t be so many options available!–it is the right fit for many situations. Read on, and be sure to contact our Greenwich, CT HVAC professionals if you have any questions about using a boiler in your home.

Eliminating Forced Air Entirely

While a furnace–or heat pump, for that matter–will use ductwork to distribute heated air throughout the house, the boiler does not take this same approach. Why not? Well, because the boiler does not heat air. Instead, boilers heat water. That water is then distributed throughout the house through tubing installed beneath the floors, or to terminal points like radiators or baseboards.

The use of water as the heat transfer medium really is the system’s first big benefit. Water simply retains heat much more effectively than air does. If you have high ceilings in your home, you should also keep in mind the fact that heated air can travel up to the ceiling and get trapped there. Boilers tend to be more successful in keeping heat down in the living space where, frankly, it’s needed!

Hydronic Heating

Like we said above, boilers may use different setups to actually get the heat into your home. Steam radiators are still out there, but they are not nearly as common and popular as they once were. Baseboards are also fairly popular, and modern baseboards are better at projecting heat out into the living space, but hydronic heating is really the main option recommended these days.

Hydronic heating entails circulating heated water around beneath the floors. That heat then radiates out into the living space in order to warm bodies and objects directly. There is no risk of heat loss via leaky ducts, but there is also reduced reliance on convection than you’d get with radiators or baseboards–as well as risk of anyone touching a hot surface!

Is a Boiler Right for Me, Though?

Maybe. We’ll need more information in order to guide you toward the right system for your needs. If you’re building a new home or planning a remodeling project, the time may be right. Installing a hydronic system in particular can be a bit invasive in existing properties, so many homeowners with central ACs decide to use furnaces that can share ductwork with the air conditioner. If you do think that you’re ready to start taking advantage of all that boilers have to offer, let us know.

Let Celco Heating and Air Conditioning handle your boiler services.


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