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What is a boiler and does your building need one?

Most house and business owners heat their rooms with conventional convection heating systems. While kettles certainly aren’t a thing of the past, people sometimes associate them with old movies and old houses.

If you have lived in a person or have visited someone who has so-called radiator heat, you have enjoyed one of the advantages of a boiler. If not, and you are preparing to install a new heating system, this post is for you.

Today we answer the question in the minds of many people: what is a kettle?

Take a minute and learn more about a proven and efficient way to heat a house or building. You might decide it is time to install one in your home or at work.

What is a cauldron?

If you do not live on the power grid, your home will stay warm in winter as it is equipped with central heating. You can assume that only convection ovens are used in houses with central heating systems. Some houses use a boiler instead of an oven.

You know about water heaters, right? Imagine a boiler as a water heater. Instead of delivering hot water to your faucet for a hot shower or washing dishes, the kettle leads hot water to radiators or underfloor heating systems.

Now you know what it is, but how does a boiler work?

The secret life of the cauldrons

Boilers heat houses (and commercial buildings), but do not follow the same process as a gas convection oven. An oven warms the air. A kettle warms objects through with radiant heat.

How a boiler uses radiant heat depends on the type of boiler and the fuel source. Fuel sources include gas, electricity and oil. We’ll go into that in a moment.

Regardless of the fuel source, the main task of a boiler is to heat water or generate steam. You will find two types of kettles: hot water and steam. One of the biggest myths about kettles is that they boil water.

Ready for the truth?

Hot water boilers do not boil water, but they heat it up to between 140 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as the kettle heats the water, a pump pushes it around your house.

Steam boilers, on the other hand, heat water above the boiling point. At this point, the water turns into steam. The steam moves through radiators or the aforementioned radiant floor system.

The essentials of boilers

Like convection ovens, boilers rely on signals from your thermostat. The thermostat detects a drop in temperature and calls the boiler.

As soon as the boiler is switched on, it calls up the heat source (oil, electricity, gas). The combustion takes place and the water in the boiler heats up. We just discussed how the boiler uses radiant heat to heat a room, but the water doesn’t stay hot for long. And steam changes shape.

Water cools down and steam condenses. The water flows back to the boiler, is warmed up again and sent back through the radiators. Now your home continues to heat.

It is a cycle that continues until your home reaches the desired temperature. Then the thermostat tells the boiler to shut down.

As you can see, there are similarities between the two heating systems. Both need a thermostat to turn them on and off. If they collapse, you will either call Boiler repair or help with an oven.

Which fuel source is the best?

Instead of arguing for or against a particular fuel source, we’ll address all three and let you decide.

natural gas

If you are considering installing a boiler in your home or business in North America, you will find that natural gas is the most common fuel in most areas. It is also a clean fuel when compared to electricity and oil. When you install a highly efficient gas boiler, you usually pay less for fuel.


People like electric boilers because they are quiet, clean, and easy to install. They also don’t use a firebox, which means they’re safer than gas or oil boilers. The disadvantage of an electric boiler is the cost of the fuel.


Most oil boilers use heating oil. It is expensive because it has to be transported by truck. This type of boiler is popular in areas with limited access to natural gas. If you can install one of the highly efficient oil boilers, the combustion process is clean and ash free.

The only fuel we didn’t mention is propane. This fuel is most commonly used in rural areas with no access to natural gas. You can use propane in a gas boiler as long as you use a conversion kit.

The advantages of installing a boiler

Regardless of whether you want to use the boiler heat in your house or in a commercial building, you benefit from several advantages, including:

  • Lower energy costs
  • More even heating
  • Less noise
  • Less maintenance
  • Better indoor air quality

Each of these benefits can stand on its own, but put them all together and you have a great heating solution for your home or office building.

Granted, your initial investment is usually higher than that of an oven. However, you cannot afford to ignore the cost savings you get from better energy efficiency, less maintenance and more uniform heating.

Here’s another thing to think about

Most homes and workplaces have both a boiler (or oven) and a water heater. Have you ever heard of a combi boiler?

Combi boilers heat your home and your hot water. If necessary, you get hot water without the need for a tank. One benefit of combining your room heating source and your hot water source is the space that you can save.

When you live in a small house, space is valuable. Imagine what you could do with the extra space that opens when you remove the water heater tank.

The real benefit, of course, is that you have another energy-saving device in your home. Talk to your HVAC service team and discuss the benefits of combination boilers and whether they are available near you.

Ready to install your new boiler heating system?

Can you now answer the question: what is a boiler? We know that we cannot give every answer to your questions about boiler heating in one short article. However, you should have enough to spark your interest and get your brain going.

If you enjoyed reading this post, continue browsing our blog. We have compiled a large number of articles on topics that are of interest to people who want to make their living space a home.