Let's face it, Calgary winters are cold. Heating our home is not a luxury but an essential service. The most common home heating system in Alberta is the gas furnace, particularly in newer homes. In office buildings and commercial venues, you might be more likely to find a boiler heating system, but did you know boiler heating can be used to heat your water and your home? Older homes in Alberta may have this heating system, but new gas boilers, electric boilers, and atmospheric boilers are becoming the efficient choice for whole home heating solutions.
What is a boiler heating system, and what should you be aware of if you have one or want one in your Calgary home?
Simply stated, a boiler system heats water, then distributes the steam or hot water through pipes to a radiator, floor heating, a hot water tank, or a hot tub. It is, however, a bit more complex than just heating water. From the point where you turn on on your thermostat, to heat being released into your home, a better overview of the process in a residential system is as follows:
- A gas line from the city system is brought into your home and attached to the boiler system, which looks like a big metal box and is probably located in your basement. For an image of an installed boiler system, check out Alpha Plumbing boiler page.
- A water line also runs into your boiler system.
- Throughout the home, there are pipes to transport hot water.
- An electrical thermostat will be used to control the house temperature.
- When the thermostat is turned on, gas will enter the heat exchanger (element) within the boiler.
- The gas heats up the water which will then flow through the heating coils/pipes within the home using the assistance of an electric pump. This may be be steam or heated water.
- Warm air from the water is released through radiators. This is a closed-loop system going from the boiler, to the pipes, to the radiator(s), then out again. Eventually returning to the boiler system
- As the water passes out of the radiator, it begins to cool. The cooled water returns to the boiler.
This process will continue until the home temperature which was set by the thermostat is reached.
If your home has a boiler heating system, or you are in the market for a new heating solution, it is important to work with an experienced licensed technician such as Alpha Plumbing. With the variety of systems connected to a boiler system (gas, water, electric) an expert can ensure the job is done safely, and right the first time.
Like gas furnaces, the boiler must be serviced on a set schedule. The heat exchanger must be maintained to ensure gas is flowing correctly and efficiently. The exhaust (flue) needs cleaning to ensure gases are escaping properly. All connections need to be checked for leakage. Cleaning, maintaining and repairing your boiler system should be done before winter arrives. A properly maintained boiler will serve your home for many years, but a broken boiler or one that has not received a boiler maintenance visit will be costly or even unsafe in your home.
Working with a reliable Calgary boiler service company keeps you and your home safe and warm. Before you need boiler repairs, boiler maintenance or boiler replacement, contact Alpha Plumbing for a quote and expert advice. They have knowledge of both gas furnace and boiler systems for heating in residences and commercial buildings.