Hydronic Heating and Boilers
Hydronic heating is very simple to understand. Basically it is heating a
space using heated water. Hot water is used as the medium to transfer heat
from the boiler to a radiator. Steam which is a vapor of heated water above
boiling point is also considered hydronic heating.
Boilers are used to heat the water to a set temperature in order to be
used to heat your home or office space. The piping and pumps are used by the
heated water to travel to the radiator. The radiator is where the heat
transfer from water to air takes place.
Choosing a Boiler
When choosing a replacement boiler you have many options. Efficiency is a
big concern. The more efficient your boiler is, the less fuel over time you
will spend heating your home. Which is a cost savings to you and the
There are many brands of boilers to choose from. Weil Mclain®,
Peerless®, Crown®, Carrier®, HB Smith® and Slant Fin® are just a
few of the brands. Make sure you're happy with the boiler you
choose because boilers have a tendency to last for decades. This
will be in your home for a long time to come and if it isn't
fuel efficient, your wallet will pay for just as long.
Choosing a Contractor to Install A Boiler
A good contractor in NJ is very
difficult to find. When I say good, is any heating contractor in NJ good enough to
install a steam boiler? Certain boilers like steam boilers take a certain
kind of experience. Usually a "old timer" is best to install or replace
steam boilers. This type of system is being replaced and is somewhat of a
dinosaur ( no pun intended ). It really takes a certain kind of installer to
install one of these. Hopefully the contractor you choose has been around
these boilers before because simple piping mistakes can create problems like
your steam pipes hammering.
Another common mistake installers make is matching the BTU's of the old
boiler when replacing a boiler. Do not let this happen to your home or
wallet. A proper heat loss calculation needs to be done on your home for hot
water boilers. On steam systems, all the piping and radiators need to be
taken into consideration before a boiler BTU size is determined.
Slant/Fin Caravan Boiler installation. Slant/Fin Caravan
modular boiler system
makes it easy to size a system to your requirements. Also, this
modular boiler system allows you to add a boiler at a later date
if your heating requirements change. Other benefits is the
ability to stage boilers on making a commercial heating system
extremely energy efficent.
Capacity: 280,000 - Multi-million Btuh input
Easy Steps to figure out what size boiler is needed for your home
To get a quick reference of what size boiler is needed for a
application is to multiply 50 by the square footage of your home. For
example, if your home is 1800 square foot, multiply 1800 by 50 and your
looking at roughly a 90,000 BTU boiler.
There is only one way to properly size a hot water boiler and that's to
calculate the heat loss of a home or structure. The above method will
put you in the ball park of what size boiler you need, but it is not the
proper way to size a boiler.
Weil-McLain® has a wonderful PDF online that can take you through the
steps of properly sizing a boiler and calculating heat loss. That can be found
Steam boiler sizing is a little different then hot water
boilers. Steam boilers are sized to the radiators and piping.
Proper measuring of the pipes and radiators will tell you how
much steam needs to be produced. Reason for this is enough steam
needs to be produced to reach all radiators before it can
condense back to water. The boiler must be able to produce
enough steam to match the system's ability to condense steam.
tip: There are products to convert your existing furnace or boiler from oil to gas.
Converting from oil to gas if you don't want to replace
With today's oil prices, is it economically
cheaper to switch to gas? I do not know. But I do know oil burns hotter and the benefits especially to steam heat will be lost due to
water heating up much slower when using gas.