Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Heating Your Home: Boilers

            Every week seems to be getting cooler than the previous weeks that we have had.  Last month there was a cold spell that had me writing about fireplaces, but as I have gone to different buildings and been in other homes, I have been noticing different types of heating used in these places.  There are many heating systems that run off of some type of boiler.  In many action movies, boiler rooms seem to be the place of choice for chase scenes and other action packed activities.
            Boilers systems can run a number of different ways to warm a building or a home.  One way that it disperses heat to the home is through the use of some sort of radiator.  In one type, the hot water radiator, the heated water comes from the boiler into the radiator unit.  As it passes through the metal, it heats it up which in turn heats up the rest of the room.  Once the water is cooled, it leaves the radiator through  a pipe to be disposed of properly.
            In more advanced systems, a series of pipes a run through the floor and/or in the walls so that the heat can be dispersed evenly.  This is great if you are looking for a nice even heat in your home and like to walk around bare-foot during the winter.  One of the drawbacks to this method, however, is that it takes a little while longer for it to heat up the home (as compared to central heating system, for example).

            Buying an actual boiler can cost a lot of money, but boiler systems are very efficient and lower heat costs.  In the long run, the initial cost will be worth it, as utility bills decrease and the system is running efficiently.  It is important, in this case, to consult a professional as there are a number of things to consider when installing a boiler system.  They can figure out what the “Heat Load Calculation” is for your home.  This takes into consideration what the coldest day of the year may be and also the size of the home or other building in which the boiler will be installed.
            Boilers also come in different styles.  Some sit directly on the ground of the room that they are installed in, while other models that are available can be mounted on the wall instead of sitting on the ground.  Some are fueled by natural gas and others use propane as the source by which water is heated.  Many are made from cast iron and others with aluminum, ensuring that the unit is sturdy and will last throughout the years.
            Many brands are available, but one brand that I see a lot of is Dunkirk.  There are a number of Dunkirk boiler parts available to fix the problems that one may encounter with their boiler system.  Specification sheets and other parts lists can be found online, making it quick and easy to identify what part is needed for any job.

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