Choosing between a steam boiler and a hot water boiler for installation in the home involves making a careful decision based on a number of factors. Boilers serve the purpose of warming up water and are extremely useful appliances that are a must in every home. Since the needs and capabilities of different households vary, it is important to take the particulars into consideration before making a purchase.
Factor 1: Cost
One of the first determinants of any choice is the cost factor. When it comes to choosing between a steam boiler and a hot water boiler, the purchasing price is more or less the same since you can always find devices in the same price range. The disparities in cost come into play in terms of running costs because the prices of different fuels vary and the running cost is also influenced by the productivity of the appliance. When you have to pay more per unit used and the number of units being used is large, the overall running costs piles up. Hence, when choosing in terms of cost, it is advisable to consider factors such as availability of raw material, price per unit, charges levied on consumption by local authorities and fuel efficiency.
Factor 2: Efficiency
It has been observed that hot water boilers offer a greater degree of efficiency and productivity when compared to steam boilers. Hot water boilers use pumps, which enables them to produce a greater degree of heat. Steam boilers don’t have pumps, which makes them less productive as compared to hot water boilers. However, one can also find that certain makes and models of steam boilers are more efficient than hot water boilers. It is advisable to research what kind of boiler works best for your heating needs before making a purchase.
Factor 3: Additional Parts
When it comes to installing a boiler in the house, you also have to take into consideration the matter of adding accessories to the main boiler, as these not only can lead to raised costs but can also increase the complexity of the system and hence affect the functioning. Hot water boilers usually need a number of auxiliary parts added to the main system, such as a circulator; a valve for checking the flow; an expansion tank; and above all else, a pump. When you compare the additions that have to be made to a hot water boiler with the little or no extra work needed on steam boilers, the latter becomes a more favorable purchase in terms of extra expenses and maintenance.
Factor 4: Heating Required
Steam boilers need to boil the water completely to convert it into steam. Hot water boilers, on the contrary, warm the water up to a great degree but not past the boiling point. Hence, the heating needs of the two appliances are greatly varied. While hot water boilers usually function at a temperature of around 180 to 200 degrees, the steam boilers go up to around 212 degrees. Given the different heating points needed, you have to take into consideration the kind of heating facilities and power supply available before buying a boiler.