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Serving Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Surrounding Communities


Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog

How Does a Boiler Work?

Boilers have a lengthy history as popular home heating options. With continual advancements in their technology, they will likely provide many more decades of service to homeowners who want efficient and dependable heat for the winter. Our Air Mechanical Inc technicians perform numerous boiler installations, and we’re accustomed to advising clients about why installing a boiler in Ham Lake, MN is often an excellent idea. Our customers are usually curious during the process: they want to know how a boiler operates, since they often haven’t put much thought into it. We’re happy to give you a “Boiler 101” course to help you better understand this perennial home heating solution.

If you want more information, or if you need boiler installation or repair, give Air Mechanical Inc a call today.

Understanding How Boilers Work

Although boilers share similar operating principles, there are differences between the models. The most important difference is the boiler’s fuel source. Modern residential boilers tend to run off electricity, natural gas, or oil—with natural gas the most common.

Regardless of the fuel source, boilers all use heated water to warm homes. (The first boilers used steam created from boiling water, which was how they got their name; some boilers still use steam, but you rarely find these models in homes.) Water inside a tank is heated, and a pump then distributes the heated water through pipes around the home to an end point, such as a radiator or a baseboard. The heat from these objects moves into your living space. Because this process requires no forced air, boilers will not lower a home’s air quality. Their operation is also very quiet.

Gas- and oil-powered heaters use a pilot light to ignite jets inside a combustion chamber beneath the water tank, transferring the heat into the tank. Electric boilers have heating elements inside the tank itself, usually one at the top of the tank and one at the bottom, to raise the water’s temperature. Natural gas boilers are the most popular of the three types because of the lower cost of gas compared to oil and electricity. However, the choice of which boiler you have installed will depend on your available fuel source.

We think boilers should sit among the top picks on any homeowner’s list for heating installation options. We know a boiler in a Ham Lake, MN home can keep it cozy all winter with few repairs. But boilers aren’t the best choice for everyone. Make sure you call on professionals for advice and installation, because having the wrong heater in your home will mean poor comfort and higher bills. Contact Air Mechanical Inc for your installation needs, or any other work your heater requires. We are on duty 24 hours a day for you!

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