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What is a Boiler?

A boiler is an enclosed vessel that heats water and other liquids. Boilers are commonly used for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes.

Common Uses for Boilers

- Heating residential and commercial spaces (boiler heating systems)

- Running an engine

- Creating electricity

- Food production

- Sterilizing industrial equipment

Steam Boilers

Steam boilers can be used to clean, provide heat, and power mechanical equipment. Many steam boilers superheat water until it vaporizes. The vapor creates pressure and this pressurized steam can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used to push something, like a piston, to power industrial equipment. The steam can also be used to create electricity by turning a turbine with the vaporized steam.

Steam boilers can run on an open or closed system. In a closed system, the steam eventually returns to the boiler as water. It is then reheated and recirculated as steam again. These systems are more energy efficient and typically cost less to operate on a month-to-month basis.

Home Boilers

A boiler heating systems circulate hot water through pipes and distributes it to radiators and baseboard heaters. These units expel heat and increase the air temperature of an enclosed spaces. Although water boils at 212°F, most residential boilers only heat water to about 165°F.

A boiler heating system may also be referred to as a Radiant Heating System or a Hydronic Heating System. They both pass water or steam through pipes to radiators and baseboards.

Hydronic boilers enable efficient control and delivery of heat when and where it is needed. The term hydronic is used to describe boilers that pass both water or steam.

Before the introduction of condensing-boiler technology, boilers typically operated at efficiencies of 80 to 85 percent. Today, condensing hydronic boilers can operate at efficiencies in the mid- to high 90s. Hydronic boilers can be used for either building heat or process hot-water applications.


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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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