Steam Heating Systems: Pros and Cons

Steam heating systems are a heating alternative that homeowners may consider installing in their residences. If you are thinking about putting in a steam heating system, you will want to make sure that you understand how they work. Here are a few of the pros and cons of using a steam heating system.

Steam Heating System

A steam heating system uses a boiler to create the steam. The boiler will then pump steam through pipes in the walls of the house. The pipes will then pump steam into radiators that are placed throughout the house. The steam will emit heat from the radiators into the house.


One of the big advantages of this heating system is that it is quiet. When you compare it to traditional forced air heating systems, they are going to be a lot quieter. You will not have to hear air blowing through the vents at all hours of the day. The steam is going to be quietly forced through the pipes and then it will quietly heat the air around the radiators. Many people prefer this because they are tired of listening to air go through the vents of a traditional heating system.

Another advantage of this type of system is that they can heat up rooms better than a traditional forced air system. You are going to notice a considerable difference in the amount of heat that is able to be put off by the system. Therefore, if you are naturally a cold person, you are going to most likely prefer this type of heat.

Another big advantage of steam heating systems is that you can heat limited areas of the house. For example, if you have a larger house, you will be able to turn off the heat to certain rooms that are not being occupied. If you spend the majority of your time in the living room and bedroom, you could choose to only heat these two rooms. This is going to allow you to cut back on heating expenses overall.

This type of heating system can also be installed underneath floors. This means that you are not going to have to invest in an expensive radiant heating system for the floor and you can simply run some of the steam pipes under the floor. Having warm floors in the winter can make things that much more comfortable for you.


One of the disadvantages of this system is that it can be more expensive to install than other systems. If you already have air-conditioning ducts, you are not going to be able to reuse them with this system as you would with a traditional forced air heating system. Instead, you are going to have to run pipes that are used specifically for this system throughout the house.

Another disadvantage is that this type of heat is slower to initiate. You are going to have to wait for the pipes to warm up which can take a long time on a cold day.