When you hear the term "heater," what do you picture? Many, if not most, people will imagine a furnace. Furnaces, which work by pushing heated air through ducts that terminate in vents, are a very common heating appliance. However, there is another kind of heating unit that you will find in some homes: boilers. Boilers work by heating water and then sending either hot water or steam through pipes to a series of radiators. And while furnaces are more popular, there are some key situations in which a boiler is the better choice for home heating—such as the following.
You're allergic to dust or dust mites.
Being allergic to dust or dust mites can be pretty challenging. Even clean homes contain some dust or dust mites. When you have forced air heat, they regularly get picked up in the air and blown around the home whenever the heat turns on. This can lead to sneezing fits and other symptoms. With boiler heating, the air inside your home stays more stable; there's no airflow created by the heating system, so less dust gets picked up in the air. Therefore, boiler systems tend to be a good choice for anyone with dust allergies or dust mite allergies.
You want to make your home very, very efficient.
There are efficient furnaces. In fact, most furnaces made these days are highly efficient. However, the most efficient boilers do tend to be more efficient than the most efficient furnaces. The margin is small, but it exists. So, if you are trying to meet certain green building standards or have pledged, for whatever reason, to build as efficiently as possible—a boiler can help you meet those goals.
There's no space inside your walls.
The space between your home's structural walls and the actual drywall that you see is called the wall space. If you were to have forced air heating installed, the ducts would run through this wall space. If you were to have a boiler installed, pipes would run through this wall space. Pipes associated with a boiler are much smaller than ducts. So, if your wall space is narrow, which is fairly common in older homes, a boiler may be a better heating option than a furnace.
If you think your home may be better suited to a boiler than a furnace, talk to a heating company that installs both types of systems. They can give you their expert opinion.
Contact a local boiler service to learn more.