Boilers are efficient and reliable, making them a great way to achieve the comfort level you want in your Michigan home. A boiler is responsible for heating your home.
Heat is more easily transferred as steam which is then radiated into the air in the house via radiators or radiant heat flooring systems. The boiler may produce either hot water or steam depending on the type of boiler it is.
If you are looking to retrofit or replace your boiler, the Better World Builders team consists of specialists on hot water and steam boilers. We are confident we can help you find the perfect fit for your Kalamazoo, MI, area home and budget.
On the other hand, if your boiler is behaving unusually and you would like to look for alternative heating sources, give us a call and we will address your needs based on the best options for your home, lifestyle, and budget.
How Is a Boiler Different?
Furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers are very much alike in that they all will heat your home. One of their biggest differences lies in how they heat your home. A boiler generates hot water or steam and then utilizes that to heat your home.
The boiler’s hot water is typically distributed via baseboard radiators or radiant floor heating systems, while its steam is distributed by way of pipes to steam radiators throughout your home. Instead of delivering this heating directly into the air, your boiler system’s heat warms objects in your home, like your floors, furniture, and walls. These items, in turn, then radiate that warmth to heat your home.
Most boilers are sealed systems. This means they reuse the water or steam in their systems—they don’t waste it. The recirculation and reuse process is one of the factors that makes boilers so efficient. Boilers use very little energy to reheat the returning water since it still contains heat.
How Does a Boiler Work?
The difference between water boilers and steam boilers is which part of the system is more efficient. A hot water boiler uses more energy to transport the water, but less energy to heat it.
A steam boiler uses more energy to heat the water, but less energy to transport it. It is more efficient to use a steam boiler in a larger house where there is more concern about transport. Steam would also generally be more effective in a colder climate or in a house with less insulation.
Hot water boilers also require pumps to send the water throughout the house, whereas steam boilers allow the steam to expand and flow by itself filling up the pipes. The steam then condenses to water and is carried back to the boiler by gravity.
In order to heat the water piped through your radiators and heating system the boiler uses a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is something that moves heat from one fluid to another while always keeping the two fluids separate. These fluids could be any liquid or gas; in a boiler they are normally water or steam.
Water (or steam) circulating through the house is returned to the boiler and pushed through a pipe (often copper which is highly conductive and not reactive with steam) while the burners are lit. The burners heat the water while it is running through the pipes. To maximize the heating process, the pipe bends back and forth to maximize the area in contact with both the heat and the heated fluid (likely water).
In all cases, the boiler is heating water, and the energy to heat the water must come from fuel. There are several different popular fuels including natural Gas, Liquid Propane (LP), Fuel Oil, or electricity (electricity is not a fuel – but it is the product of another [huge] boiler in the power plant generating electricity). Oil boilers were once very common. An ash-free combustion, they are cleaner than coal or wood.
How Is a Boiler Different?
Furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers are very much alike in that they all will heat your home.
One of their biggest differences lies in how they heat your home. Most boilers are sealed systems. This means they reuse the water or steam in their systems—they don't waste it.
The recirculation and reuse process is one of the factors that makes boilers so efficient. Boilers use very little energy to reheat the returning water since it still contains heat. See the alternative options available in our HVAC and Heat Pumps sections.
Boiler Installation and Replacement
With proper professional maintenance, boilers can provide many years of service. As they age, they become less efficient and more costly to run.
If you notice this occurring with your aging boiler, call us to discuss—it may be time to replace your boiler with a new unit or HVAC system altogether.
We install a variety of HVAC systems and will work with you to find the best system to suit you. At Better World Builders, we take the guesswork out of choosing a high-efficiency, heating, cooling and HVAC systems by calculating your Kalamazoo, MI, area home's square footage, along with the heating needs of each room and determine the appropriate size units.
A correctly sized HVAC system will warm your home without wasting energy. A high-efficiency model will save money on utility bills. The higher the efficiency, the more money you will save
Be sure to speak with our team about financing your new boiler. Our financing can help take the strain out of your investment.