DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

Boiler Basics for Beginners

Posted by Warner Service on May 3, 2016 8:30:00 AM

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Does anyone really know what a boiler does?

Unfortunately, most homeowners aren’t brushed up on their boiler knowledge, but Warner Service is here to help explain what a boiler is, what it does, and which types you should consider for your home. 

What is a boiler? A boiler is an appliance that heats (and occasionally boils, though that’s not the purpose) water. It is often confused with a furnace, which is only used for high-temperature heating.

What does a boiler do? The appliance heats your home’s water for various uses, including cooking, showering, and central heating.

How does a boiler run? There are many different types of energy that power a boiler, including wood, coal, oil, natural gas and resistance heating elements. 

Are there different types of boilers? There sure are. There are typically 3 different types of boilers: a combination boiler, a system boiler, and a regular boiler. We've outlined the details of each for you below:

  1. A combination boiler. “Combi” boilers combine a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler. They heat water directly from the main water line, so you don’t need a cylinder for storing water. They’re cost-effective and energy-efficient. Because of this boiler, many homeowners enjoy having a powerful shower without the excess expense for a separate pump.
  2. A system boiler. These boilers require a cylinder for storing hot water, but the majority of heating and hot water system components are built into the actual boiler, which makes it quicker and easier to install. These boilers also don’t require a tank and are compatible with solar water heating systems, resulting in lower energy bills.
  3. A regular boiler. A regular boiler is also called a traditional, conventional or heat only boiler. It does contain a cylinder for storing hot water and requires two tanks, one for cold-water storage and another for maintaining water levels of the central heating system. It is also compatible with solar water heating systems, resulting in the same eco-friendliness.

Which boiler is best for my home?

  1. If you live in a home with an old radiator system, you may want to consider a regular boiler. This boiler is also good for homes with two or more bathrooms, and for homes in areas where water pressure is naturally low.
  2. If you live in a larger home that requires a constant supply of hot water to multiple taps at the same time, consider a system boiler.
  3. If you live in a smaller home, talk to a professional about a combination boiler since it doesn’t require as much pipework, loft space, or a hot-water cylinder.

How do I take care of my boiler? The biggest tip on boiler maintenance is to check it twice per month for leakage as this can potentially cause home flooding and mildew build-up. For more information on how to take care of your home’s boiler, check out Warner Service’s go-to maintenance tips.

If you would like to schedule a maintenance visit for the boiler in your home, contact Warner Service today. We’d be happy to help.

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Topics: Maintenance, Heat, Appliances