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The Pros and Cons of Residential Boilers for Home Heating

January is, on average, the coldest month of the year here in Minnesota. By now, we hope you have your heating system tuned up and ready to work. But if you happen to be looking to replace or install a new residential heater, you have plenty of options. In addition to the conventional furnace and two-in-one heat pump, you can add a boiler to your list of top contenders. A boiler system uses hot water or steam to heat a home. The main advantages of boilers are higher heat output than forced-air systems and impressive energy efficiency.

How Does a Boiler System Work?

As the name might imply, a boiler uses water to heat a home – opposed to warm air distributed through ducts as with a forced-air system. There are two main types of boilers: hot water and steam. In both cases, a boiler has a burner that heats water, and then that water or steam is sent through pipes to radiator units throughout the home. The most common fuel source for boilers is natural gas, but propane and heating oil systems are also available. Once the hot water or steam is produced, it is directed through pipes to a radiator or radiant flooring system. From there, the heat from the water/steam is transferred from the radiator into the room to increase the air temperature.

Are Boilers Energy Efficient?

One of the most important factors to consider in any heating system, including boilers, is energy efficiency. A higher rating means that it uses more of its energy to heat the home, and less energy is lost or wasted. Not only are high-efficiency appliances good for the environment, but they can help lower your monthly utility bills. Boilers come in both standard and high-efficiency systems. High-efficiency systems are rated above 90% energy efficiency and qualify as an ENERGY STAR® appliance.

Pros And Cons of Boilers

Replacing or installing a new heating system is a big decision. If you’re considering a boiler, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind.


Produce more heat than forced-air heating systems Can be more energy efficient  Can eliminate the need for a separate water heater (for hot water boilers) New technology that makes systems more efficient, reliable, and convenient Since boilers do not move air, they help to improve your home’s indoor air quality Boilers are relatively quieter than other heating systems


Typically are more expensive to install Need to monitor boiler pressure Requires different maintenance and safety checks

How Does a Boiler Differ From a Furnace?

The major difference between a boiler and a furnace is in their mode of operation. While a boiler heats water to a vapor, a furnace heats the air. Then the hot air is circulated throughout the home using fans. The upside to furnaces is that they tend to be cheaper to install than boilers and are more efficient at heating large spaces quickly. Boilers also use less fuel to heat the same space as a furnace. This can lead to lower heating bills in the long run. In addition, they don’t require ductwork and are ideal for homes that use radiant flooring or hydronic baseboard systems. At the end of the day, you want what’s best for your home and family. If you’re considering a boiler for your home, take the time to do your research and contact a qualified HVAC contractor for assistance.

Protect Your Boiler With Regular Maintenance

If you have a boiler, you should ensure that it is properly maintained to prevent any major damage. This means that you should have regular maintenance checks and tune-ups to keep your boiler in optimal condition. Your technician will be able to identify minor issues before they become bigger problems, ensuring that your boiler runs efficiently for years to come. In addition to regular maintenance, you should also check and replace worn-out components of your boiler on a regular basis. This could include things like the flame sensor and gas valve. These items are important for ensuring that your boiler is safe to use, so it’s best to get them checked and replaced if necessary.

Finally, make sure to always check your boiler’s safety devices. This includes the pressure relief valve, which is a key component of any efficient boiler system. If it’s not functioning properly, this can lead to dangerous levels of pressure building up in your boiler and potentially leading to an explosion. By checking this regularly, you will ensure that it is working correctly and that your boiler is as safe as possible.

Residential boiler installation in Buffalo, MN

If you’re interested in learning more about residential boilers or if this type of heating system is right for your home, schedule a consultation with DeZiel Heating & AC. Call us today at (763) 200-5453 .

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