Westland Heating & Air Conditioning Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Boiler’

Benefits of a Boiler over a Forced-Air Furnace

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Many homes in the Westlake, OH area rely on forced-air furnaces for heating each winter. They’re an attractive option because they work in conjunction with the ducts from your air conditioner, and provide reliable heat by blowing warm air through your home. But older boiler systems—which provide comfort through radiant heat and/or via the use of steam heat—make a viable alternative. Boilers can run on gas, oil, or electricity, but the guiding principle behind them remains the same, and that can provide a number of benefits over a forced-air furnace. We’ve included a brief list of them below.

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How the Expansion Tank Helps Your Boiler

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

There are a number of components in your boiler that help with both operation and safe functioning; one of these components is the expansion tank. The expansion tank is a small tank that extends off your boiler. While it may seem like a solitary object, the expansion tank works in conjunction with your boiler to help provide heat for your home. Understanding how an expansion tank works helps you understand how it helps your boiler.

This Inside of the Tank

The expansion tank isn’t an empty tank; inside, it is divided into two halves by a rubber diaphragm. The reason the tank divides the internal space into two halves is to allow pressurized air to reside in one half and excess water to flow into the other half. The tank attaches to your boiler via a valve located in the water half of the tank. The air side has to be correctly pressurized to counteract the pressure on the water half, so professional help is required for installation and repair.

How It Works

When your boiler starts a heating cycle, a great deal of pressure is created when heating the water, resulting in pushing the water up in the boiler’s water tank. This water has to go somewhere to keep the pressure from becoming too great inside the main water vessel, so it flows into the expansion tank. As the excess water flows into the expansion tank, the pressurized air on the other side helps keep the expansion tank balanced by providing a cushion of air. There is a relief valve on the expansion tank should there be an emergency and the pressure inside the expansion tank becomes too high.

How It Helps

Without the expansion tank, the excess pressure created at the start of a heating cycle would build inside the main water vessel. This can pose a series of problems, including pressure imbalances in your heating system, leaks and even ruptures, if the pressure is high enough. The expansion tank also offers added safety with its relief valve.

The expansion tank on your boiler is necessary for both function and safety. If you are seeing rust or leaking coming from your expansion tank, call the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment for our professional boiler service in Avon.

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How a Boiler Heats Your Home

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Boilers were the first whole-home heating systems, so they’ve been around for a long time. They are more reliable, durable and energy efficient today than ever before, and can be used with several kinds of heat distribution outlets. If you are interested in a boiler in Avon Lake, call the people who have been installing boilers for over 25 years: Westland Heating and Air Conditioning.

How a Boiler Works

Boilers are part of a hydronic heating system, which is a system that uses hot water or steam from hot water to heat your home. The two main types of fuels used with a boiler are natural gas and oil, but propane or solid fuels can also be used. The water in the boiler is held in a vessel and is heated to a temperature of 180 degrees. If the boiler is a steam boiler, the steam is captured in a small dome that sits on top of the vessel; the steam is then distributed throughout a piping system. If the boiler heats via hot water, the water is pushed through the piping via circulating pumps. There are two ways water is heated:

  • Firetube – metal tubes are submerged in the water tank and the hot gases from the burner are directed into the tubes, where they heat the water.
  • Watertube – water inside metal tubing is heated from the outside by the flames of the burner.

Distribution Outlets

There are a few heat distribution outlets that can be used with a boiler:

  • Radiators
  • Baseboard heaters
  • Hydronic floor heating

Benefits of a Boiler System

  • Comfortable heating –boiler systems heat homes gradually, which can be more comfortable and consistent than forced hot air.
  • Good energy efficiency – the average energy efficiency of today’s boilers is 89%, and can go as high as 95%.
  • No swirling dust – boilers are a closed heating system, so there is no need to worry about swirling dust, as there can be with forced air systems. This can be particularly helpful for allergy sufferers.

Installing a boiler in Avon Lake can be a great heating option for your home, but it’s important to hire professionals for installation. Call Westland Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation specialists.

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Why a Boiler Might Be Your Best Choice for Home Heating

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

There are a lot choices for home heating these days, but not all will be a good fit for your home. Before choosing a heating system, it’s important to understand the basics of each system and what a system can offer you and your home. One option to consider is a boiler. Boilers have been around for many years, and today’s boilers in Rocky River offer the same reliable heating they have always been known for, plus the efficiency you expect from a new heating system. With professional installation from a trained and certified Westland Heating and Air Conditioning technician, you can be assured that your system will be installed correctly and efficiently.

How Does a Boiler Work?

A boiler is part of a hydronic system – a heating system in which heated water warms your home. Boilers need fuel to work, and the most common types of fuels used are gas and oil, although solid fuels can also be used. When your thermostat senses the temperature has gone below the set point, it sends a signal to the boiler, and the ignition process starts. Once the flame is lit, the water in the tank is heated to a specific degree, then released and pumped through the piping system (the same goes for steam). Distribution outlets for the heated water can be radiators, baseboard heating or hydronic floor heating systems. When the water cools, it returns to the boiler tank to be re-heated in the next cycle.

What Are the Benefits of a Boiler System?

There are several benefits worth considering when it comes to installing a boiler for your home heating:

  • Lack of dust – a boiler system does not circulate air; as such, there is no dust buildup in the system and dust doesn’t circulate around your home the way it can with a forced air system. This can be particularly important for allergy sufferers.
  • Quiet operation – except for the tick of the thermostat and the heating of the water, the operation of a boiler is very quiet.
  • Easy to establish zones – because of the piping system used to distribute the hot water, it can be very easy to establish heating zones.

Boilers are very reliable systems and can last for many years. Have questions about installing a boiler in Rocky River? Call Westland Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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Why Can’t I Spot a Boiler Leak on My Own?

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Boilers contain few mechanical parts and therefore have a reduced need for repairs compared to a heating system like a furnace or a heat pump. However, because boilers use hydronic power (water) to provide heat, they are susceptible to two specific problems: corrosion and leaking. The former is often the cause of the latter, although there are a number of other reasons for leaks to occur.

We’ll deal with leaks in this post, specifically the difficulty you can have detecting them. If you need assistance with a leaking boiler in Fairview Park, OH, contact the professionals at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We bring more than a quarter of a century of experience to our work.

There are two principle reasons why boiler leaks can pose problems to spot:

  1. The leaks occur in hidden places: Much of the piping that comes from your boiler and connects to the baseboard heaters and/or radiators throughout the house are hidden in walls, ceilings, and floors. Leaks here are difficult to detect until they begin to cause noticeable damage, such as bulges beneath wallpaper, dark spots on walls, and warping in floorboards. Boiler repair technicians have special tools that allow them to locate leaks through drywall, wood, and even stone.
  2. The water from the leaks evaporates too fast: The temperature inside the boiler is of course very high. Few boilers today actually “boil” and use steam power as they once did. However, the temperature of the water is high enough that when it leaks it often rapidly evaporates in the outside air, not giving the water enough time to form a visible pool on the ground. It requires the work of professionals to track down leaks of this nature. Fortunately, these sorts of leaks are small, so you have time to catch them before they start to enlarge and cause more problems. (And they will get worse; that’s the nature of leaks.)

Sometimes boiler leaks are easy to spot: if the tank itself is leaking from corrosion or a broken connection, it’s hard to miss the water collecting beneath the tank—and it might mean the whole tank needs replacement. But if the leaks are difficult to find, there are a number of warning signs to look for that indicate you may have leaking problems. A rumbling boiler, a drop in heating power, or an increase in humidity in your home can point toward boiler leaks. If in doubt, you need to call in experts to discover what is wrong, locate the leaks, seal them, and find the root cause of the problem.

Leak detection and any kind of boiler repair requires training and specialized equipment, so call up experts like those at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning when you need help to rescue your boiler in Fairview Park, OH.

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