Water Heating Systems: The Pros & Cons of Boilers
When shopping for a new heating system, you’ll discover that you not only have to choose between units made by different manufacturers, but also whether to go with a forced air furnace or water heating systems, otherwise known as boilers. While boilers were once very popular, following the days when people heated their homes with wood or coal furnaces, they’re somewhat less common today because of the rise of forced air furnaces.
Today’s post is meant to give you an idea of some of the pros and cons associated with boiler heat, but first, here’s a brief explanation of how water heating systems work:
There are two types of boilers; hydronic or steam systems. With hydronic systems, water is boiled to a certain temperature and then pushed through piping either to radiant tubing, to provide in floor heat, or to radiators and baseboard heaters. With a steam system, the boiler generates steam which is then circulated to radiators.
The Pros of Boiler Heat:
- evenly distributes heat throughout a home, which is sometimes a complaint with forced air systems
- water heating systems are virtually silent
- it’s rather easy to add a zone control system to a boiler, giving you greater control of where the heat is distributed
- boiler heat is clean, meaning you don’t get all of the allergens and other particles blown throughout your home, along with the warm air – water heating systems are great if you’re after optimal indoor air quality
- some people just find in floor heat or that which comes from radiators and baseboards more comfortable, but this is a matter of personal preference
- typically costs less to run than forced air systems
- there is little routine maintenance required for boilers (i.e. no filters to change, etc.)
The Cons of Water Heating Systems:
- often cost more to install than forced air systems because many homes need to be outfitted with the proper piping systems, etc.
- replacement parts for boilers can be more expensive than those for forced air systems
- can take longer to respond when the thermostat is changed
- you can’t cool your home with a boiler, which means that additional ductwork, etc. is required if you wish to install air conditioning
- although it’s not that common, boilers do present the risk of water leaks
When it comes to choosing between various water heating systems, it’s a matter of personal preference (i.e. water versus steam, in floor heat versus radiators), but you will also want to weigh the upfront and ongoing costs associated with the various systems that are available and the pros and cons I’ve listed here.
We at J.O.B. Heating and Air Conditioning have installed many water heating systems in homes and businesses in and around Saskatoon. If you would like to learn more about these systems or boilers in general, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us: 306-683-4328.