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Heating Tip: Should I Replace My Old Steam System?

Heating Tip: Should I Replace My Old Steam System?

Boilers earned their name for a solid reason: the earliest models heated the water in their tanks until it turned into high temperature steam. This steam went through the pipes connected to the boiler to heat homes and commercial buildings. Today, however, most boilers do not raise the water temperature past the boiling point and instead use hot water to provide heat.

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However, steam boilers are still around in a few places, and if there is one in your home you’ve probably asked yourself a few times if you should have it replaced with a hot water boiler.

The answer is, “Most likely.” We’ll explain in a bit more detail. If you decide to upgrade to a new boiler that uses hot water instead of steam, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. We can handle all your Springfield, PA heating needs.

Old steam boilers

Although steam boilers can provide you sufficient heat, if you have one in your home, it’s probably an old model that’s been in service more than 20-30 years. A boiler that was top-of-the-line three decades ago can have lost much of its heating efficiency no matter the care it has received, dropping from 80% AFUE into the 60%-70% AFUE range—and that means a significant energy waste. If repairs and upkeep aren’t doing anything to stem a rise in your heating bills, then it’s time to consider getting a new hot water boiler.

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However, a company that repairs steam boilers, like Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., can determine if specific repairs can restore your heating system to its best working condition—and if additional repairs won’t outweigh the cost of a full replacement, you may wish to stay with your steam boiler for a few more year.

The best way to know for certain if replacement is the best option is to have HVAC specialists analyze both the boiler and your home to see what your specific heating requirements are and if the boiler lives up to them. The technicians can perform a heat load calculation on your home, which balances various factors such as heat loss due to insulation and heat created by appliances and people, to determine how best to provide warmth to your house. A separate test on the boiler, a combustion test, will give the technicians a snapshot of the boiler’s efficiency. Based on this information, you’ll have a better idea about how well the steam boiler is working for you.

Whether you replace your old boiler with a new system, or if you decide to go the route of repairs and maintenance, you can entrust your heating in Springfield, PA to Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.. We are now moving toward our fourth decade providing people with excellent home comfort.