Westland Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Boilers’

Are Boilers Better Than Furnaces?

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Are boilers better than furnaces? Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, and both see a lot of use in our neck of the woods. In towns like North Ridgeville, boiler technology often appears in older homes, while forced air furnaces show up in newer homes. Boilers use heated water to provide heat for the home while furnaces depend on heated air circulated through a series of ducts. Which one is better? That depends.

Boilers tend to be more expensive to set up, at least initially. The pipes and radiators upon which boilers depend can be fairly expensive, as opposed to forced-air furnaces which use cheaper and simpler ducts. Furnace also tend to result in less mess when they experience problems (unlike boiler systems, which can spring leaks almost anywhere in the house).

On the other hand, boilers often cost less in terms of month-to-month energy bills, since they require less energy to run. Furthermore, they operate much more quietly then forced-air furnaces, and don’t create drafts or cold spots the way that furnaces do. Because they don’t blow air, boilers don’t circulate dust or allergens, and you can utilize zone control much more easily you can with a centralized air conditioner.

In terms of efficiency, there is a common barometer that can help determine the best system for you. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUS) ratings measure the efficiency of furnaces and boilers. The higher the rating, the more of the unit’s energy goes into actual heating, as opposed to being lose through waste. You want the most efficient system you can find and the AFUE rating helps you directly compare different systems to determine the best one for your home and budget.

So are boilers better than furnaces? Depending on the circumstances, they might very well be. Regardless, however, you need an expert to help you decide. Here in North Ridgeville, boiler and furnace installation can be performed by Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We can inspect your home and discuss your options with you, to help you decide if one particular technology is better for your home or not. Give us a call to set up a consultation today!


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Maintenance for Radiant Heating Systems in Rocky River

Monday, September 24th, 2012

If you have a new radiant heating system installed in your Rocky River home or are interested in having one installed, it is important that you make regular maintenance a part of your schedule. Annual maintenance performed on a radiant heating system ensures that it not only continues to work as intended to keep you and your family warm, but that it does so as efficiently as possible.

What exactly is involved in maintenance on a radiant heating system? Here are a few tasks we will perform when we visit and why they are so important.

  • Inspection of the Burners and Pilot Light – Older systems may need to be cleaned and inspected once a year. Many newer systems don’t even need this much maintenance because they are installed as sealed systems.
  • Flushing of the Hydronic Boiler – The system should never need to be flushed, but if a leak occurs or if a problem is suspected, this may be a maintenance task recommended by your technician.
  • Testing Pipes – Pipes may be periodically tested to check for leaks or other issues. Due to the nature of the system, leaks are very rare, but should still be inspected every year or so.
  • Clean Around the Boiler – The area around your boiler should always be kept clean and clear of any excess debris, dust, dirt or other things that could get in the way of proper combustion and air flow.

A good radiant heating system will require very little maintenance to operate effectively over time. It is a closed system which means it was carefully calibrated to work properly without any outside intervention. However, periodic checks for leaks, burner issues or pipe problems will ensure it stays that way.

To schedule a maintenance service for your Rocky River radiant heating system today, call Westland Heating and Air Conditioning!

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