For too many people, there is nothing worse than waking up on a cold morning to find that their heat has stopped working. The idea that the boiler needs a repair leaves most homeowners wanting to crawl back into bed. The very first question homeowners ask, “Is this going to be an easy fix that I can do myself or will I need to call a heating contractor?” So, here is some basic information about boilers so you can decide for yourself if your ready to take on the heating repair or not.

Boilers primarily supply heat to homes but they can also be the appliance that heats your hot water. There are several components to a boiler and each has a highly specific function.

Heating the Home

There are two types of boilers used for heating homes. Older boilers are usually steam boilers and more modern boilers are usually hydronic boilers. Both types use water to create heat throughout the home.

In a steam boiler, a water heating tank creates steam when heated, then the steam passes through pipes to “radiators”. Radiators release the heat throughout each room of the home. The steam boiler also requires an exhaust vent.

A hydronic boiler uses the water itself as the heat conducting medium. A series of pipes conduct the heated water into the living spa.