common questions about boilers - clarke & rush

18 Dec 2019

Common Questions About Boilers

Boiler heating systems are one of the most common heating systems for homes. They provide heating solutions for various purposes. Depending on your needs, having a boiler in your house requires that you understand certain things about them. This is also important if you are moving into an older house with a boiler heating system or are looking to have your boiler replaced. In this article, Clarke & Rush answers to 10 of the most common questions about boilers. 

How do Boilers Work?

Your boiler works by heating water into steam from a heat source such as oil, gas or electricity. The steam is then distributed throughout your home through radiators or radiant floor systems where it provides warmth especially during cold seasons. It uses a thermostat which helps regulate the temperatures inside your home. 

Do Boilers “Boil” Water?

Modern boilers do not “boil” water as opposed to the older systems. Instead, they use fuel sources to heat water to anywhere between 145-190 degrees. 

What Are the Important Things I Need to Know About My Boiler Heating System? 

Efficiency- is your boiler a standard or high-efficiency model? Both come with different venting. For example, a standard efficiency boiler will use a metal pipe while a high-efficiency model will use PVC. 

Type of Radiator- Boilers come with different radiators such as Fintube, cast iron or baseboard. 

How do I determine the Efficiency of My Boiler?

If you are buying a new boiler, look for the energy star rating. Modern boilers are more economical than older models due to technological advancements. 

What are the Most Common Causes of Boiler Problems?

Here are some of the things that might go wrong with your boiler. 

  • The pump might fail
  • Electrical components such as thermostats and controls might fail. 
  • Air can get into the system thus lowering pressure. 
  • In extremely cold conditions, water can freeze and damage the system

How Can I tell if the Boiler is Operating Efficiently?

You can have a professional check the control band or air to fuel ration through either a jackshaft mechanical system or an electronic linkageless control system. The boiler professionals will be able to properly optimize your system for efficiency. 

What is Involved in Replacing the Boiler?

Depending on the complexity of the system, a boiler professional will first start by understanding the water distribution system in your home. Proper boiler replacement can only start once they have completed the analysis. 

What Type of Boilers Will I Find in the Market?

You are likely to get the following types of boilers in the market. 

  • Combi boiler- these combine the water heater and the central heating system thus removing the need for an external water tank. 
  • System boiler- this one stores hot water and requires an external tank. The boiler heats all the water. 
  • Standard boiler- You are likely to find these boilers in older homes. They have cold and hot water tanks. 

How Often Should I Replace My Boiler?

Boilers are generally durable with up to a 15-year lifespan with proper and regular servicing. Your boiler professional will let you know if your boiler needs replacing. 

Can I retrofit an old boiler to make it more energy efficient? 

No. It is not advisable to alter the original design of the boiler. However, you can choose to replace the boiler with a more efficient unit.

There is much more you can learn about your boiler. Now that we’ve answered the most common questions about boilers, you can decide if you need boiler services. At Clarke and Rush, we offer professional boiler services in your home to ensure you save money, time and continue to enjoy a comfortable home. For more information about our other home services, contact us at Clarke & Rush. 

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