Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Steam Boilers’

Is It Time to Upgrade an Ancient Heating System?

Monday, January 13th, 2020

We have many vintage homes in our area, and most of their owners love them and don’t want to make drastic modifications to them. But older homes are often difficult to heat. It’s not only due to less tight construction that allows for drafts and lower levels of insulation. It’s also the antiquated heating systems that can cost enormous amounts each winter to power. Old heat systems are sometimes Frankenstein monsters constructed of different parts, such as an oil-fired steam heating boiler, cast iron radiators, multiple different units for each floor, and electrical back-up heat.

If your home heating in Acton, MA is an old-fashioned system like a steam boiler or gas-fired oil furnace, or you’re needing to rely on space heaters for extra energy, and all of this is costing a small fortune each winter, we highly recommend an upgrade. The changes don’t have to be as drastic as they may at first appear—at least not if you work with our skilled professionals.

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Are Steam Boilers Appropriate for Installation in a Home?

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The term “boiler” makes it sound as if this heating system works by boiling water, but this isn’t necessarily true. Steam boilers must boil water in order to create steam, while the fluid in a regular hot water boiler doesn’t necessarily have to boil. So how do you know if your home system is a steam boiler or a hot water boiler? Well, generally a residential boiler is not a steam boiler. Steam boilers are mainly used in industrial applications because of the high levels of heat they produce. Let’s take a look at how these units work.

Hot water boilers and steam boilers work using fairly similar principles. Both types of systems burn fuel in order to heat water, which passes through a set of pipes and moves into the building to reach an endpoint. This endpoint may be a radiator, convector unit, or baseboard unit, or there may be a set of pipes underneath the floorboards. But steam boilers must boil water at a high temperature and pressure in order to produce steam. Because these systems can produce large amounts of heat at fast rates, they are used to heat spaces too large for a hot water boiler to handle.

A steam boiler can be quite powerful, which is why some homeowners would like for this technology to be made available in their homes. However, steam boilers are simply not appropriate for home installation. Your heating system must be sized for installation and steam boilers are simply too large for any size home. A steam boiler would become overworked in residential use, and most homeowners would have no clue as to how to operate it.

In fact, when a steam boiler is used in a large commercial or industrial application, the boiler operator sometimes has to obtain a license and stay on-site or on-call at all times. However, steam-heating boilers are usually more efficient for use on large commercial properties, since the steam generation calls for fewer circulatory pumps, and because the controls allow for steam to be used for multiple purposes. For example, a hospital may generate process steam for use in sterilizing equipment and use heating steam to heat the building.

The friendly technicians at Basnett Plumbing & Heating can help you to learn more about gas boilers and steam boilers in MetroWest. Contact us today!

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Why Should I Consider Steam Boilers in Chelmsford?

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The name “boiler” is often a bit of a misnomer when it comes to heating homes today. Boilers originally did boil the water in their tanks, creating steam which then traveled through pipes to radiators where the heat entered the rooms. However, the majority of residential boilers constructed and installed today only heat the water, they do not create steam. The efficiency of these hot water boilers makes them effective for keeping homes warm.

Nonetheless, the steam boiler still exists, and sometimes it is the ideal option for keeping a home cozy during a tough winter. To find out more about installation and other services for steam boilers in Chelmsford, MA, call the heating experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We install, replace, maintain, and repair steam boilers throughout the MetroWest Area.

The advantages of a steam boiler

In general, a boiler that heats up water will provide a sufficient amount of warmth to keep a home comfortable through a cold Massachusetts winter. However, steam boilers can provide far higher levels of heat, and for some homes they are a necessity to create the level of warmth necessary make it through a harsh winters. They are especially beneficial for older homes that have insulation issues that make it harder to trap heat.

Because steam is a more effective heat transfer fluid than liquid water, it is extremely efficient at delivering heat. It also provides heat faster and with a high upper limit: most steam boilers can produce 300+ MBH of heat, far greater than a standard hot water boiler.

But it is extremely important for steam boilers to receive professional installation as well as regular service. Danger from escaping steam is significant because of the high temperature of the steam. These boilers have special safety systems such as limit switches to prevent damage to your family or home, but it requires annual maintenance from a professional technician to see that a boiler continues to work safely. Only qualified technicians familiar with steam boilers can deliver the maintenance and repairs you need to enjoy all the benefits of steam heating for your home.

Call us for steam boiler services

Not all heating companies have the equipment and training to handle service for steam boilers. Call our friendly staff today for answers to all your questions regarding steam boilers, whether you want one installed or need your current one serviced.

You will find all the expertise you need at Basnett Plumbing & Heating, where we specialize in installing steam boilers in Chelmsford, MA and throughout the MetroWest Area.

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