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Boilers 101: Five Facts to Know



It All Boils Down to This

When you purchase a home, you purchase the existing heating and cooling system, too.

Homeowners are often stumped when it comes to boilers. They’re accustomed to forced-air systems and don’t know how boilers work or how to take proper care of them.

At American Vintage Home, we provide boiler installation services in Wilmette, IL, and throughout the Chicago North Shore area. We know boilers inside and out and are happy to share some important facts to help you better understand them.

Did You Know That…Newer Models Are Very Efficient

Just because boilers have been around for a while, this doesn’t mean they’re all antiquities. According to the Department of Energy, modern-day boilers can be up to 98.5 percent efficient. This means they waste far less fuel than boilers from back in the day. In addition, an efficient model will help lower your energy bills and reduce your impact on the environment. If your boiler is more than 10 years old, you might want to replace it sooner rather than later. We install Energy Star boilers that deliver more heat for the same amount of fuel and are designed to help you save more money over time. 

They Need to Be Maintained Annually

The moving parts in a boiler are different from a furnace. For instance, one of the main concerns with boilers is adequate water pressure. When the water pressure is too low, water won’t move through the system and your home won’t be properly heated. During a boiler inspection, your technician will check all of the components to ensure your boiler is working correctly. This will keep your system running efficiently and help prevent no-heat emergencies. When properly maintained, boilers will last longer than forced-air systems. 

They Provide Either Steam or Hot Water Heating

Boilers can provide various types of heating. It’s important to know whether you have steam or hot water heating so you can properly maintain your system. One of the main differences is that hot water systems will always have two pipes coming from the radiator. A steam system may only have one. To learn more about steam versus hot water heating, click here. 

They Don’t Waste Water, Boil Water or Add More Moisture

Since boilers operate in a closed system, the water is constantly being recycled. You don’t need to worry about wasting water or spending more on your water bills.

Despite the name, modern-day boilers don’t actually boil water. The water is certainly hot, but it doesn’t reach boiling point.

Another concern is that boilers will add moisture to the air and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Despite their heavy reliance on water, most boilers have no influence on indoor humidity levels. One exception can be older cast-iron boilers, which can dry out the air during use. If you aren’t sure what type of boiler you own or how it’s going to impact your air, ask our experts online and we’ll get right back to you with an answer!     

They’re Typically Preferred Over Forced-Air Systems

Before you jump the gun and replace your boiler with a furnace, know that many homeowners prefer hot water heating. Radiator-heated homes typically feel cozier because the heat lasts longer. Plus, your home will feel warmer at a lower temperature compared to a furnace. Other benefits include:

  • No breeze
  • Quieter operation
  • Improved indoor air quality

Check out our recent blog post on hot water heating for more information.

You also need to consider whether your home has ductwork. Adding custom ductwork to an older home will be expensive and can compromise your home’s unique architecture. But just because new ductwork might not be practical, this doesn’t mean you need to live without central air conditioning. SpacePak and Unico systems are designed to fit within the framework of older homes. They are ideal for homes with older, smaller-sized ductwork. If your home has no ductwork at all, you can keep your home nice and cool with a ductless mini-split system.

Claim Your Comfort for 2024

Don’t be intimidated by the unfamiliar boiler. With a little research and help from our team, you’ll have all the information you need to make informed decisions with your comfort. Whether you need boiler maintenance in Oak Park, IL or boiler repair, we’ll help you get the most out of your system today, tomorrow and every day moving forward.

To schedule an appointment for your North Shore home, visit us online or call American Vintage Home at (847) 999-4595 today.

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