Boiler Combustion and Safety Many boiler systems don’t actually boil water. A hydronic boiler heats a liquid to a preset temperature, circulates it through copper or aluminum pipes, and then disperses it through a home via radiator, baseboard heater or some other medium. Some boiler systems can even be set up to provide home heating and domestic water heating. They can work as effectively as a traditional gas furnace or electric heater and offer some distinct advantages those systems lack. Modern boilers are also safe and dependable. Boilers used to have a bad reputation for catastrophic failure, due mainly to incompetent maintenance and poor design. Over two centuries of trial and error have taught us a lot about how to use them safely and modern hydronic boilers are built with multiple fail-safe systems. They’re no more dangerous than a gas furnace and a lot less dangerous than driving a car. Thanks in part to massive Russian reserves, European households depend on natural gas to power most of their hydronic boiler systems. Natural gas is also popular in the United States since the US also has large natural gas deposits. That being said, nearly any fuel source could be used to power a hydronic boiler. Currently, there are machines that can use fuel oil, coal, electricity, wood and even more exotic power sources. Basically, no matter how you power your home, you can find a hydronic boiler to fit your lifestyle. Boiler Heating Power Advantages So, why would you want to use a boiler instead of a traditional gas furnace or electric heater? Boilers offer the same quality of heating and they have a few distinct advantages over other systems. 1. Hydronic boilers use radiant heat that won’t spread allergens, mold or dust around your home. If you don’t clean a forced-air system filter regularly, these can become a potential health hazard. 2. Dry air is another common problem with forced-air systems. There are ways to alleviate the severity, but a hydronic boiler can have less of an impact on interior humidity. 3. When installation space is an issue, the pipes necessary to move heat take up less space than traditional forced-air ductwork. This makes hydronic boilers a good choice for antique homes being remodeled for modern habitation. 4. Hydronic boilers maintain even interior temperatures better than many forced-air systems. They can also heat or cool an area quicker than other HVAC systems. 5. While initial installation is slightly more expensive, a boiler can be an economical long term choice thanks to energy savings over time.