Around fifty years ago, it became common practice to construct new homes with ductwork for the central air conditioners that were suddenly all the rage. This meant that the ductwork could also be used for forced-air heating systems like gas or electric furnaces. Naturally, those increased in popularity as well.
However, they didn’t completely replace the heating systems that were common before. In fact, home heating boilers continue to be a favorite with many Americans, and for good reason. Here’s why they’re still so popular.
One of the factors in whether a home has a furnace or a boiler is geography. In the northern US, people were slower to adopt ductwork than those in the south. We simply weren’t feeling that it was quite so urgent to get a central air conditioner! While homes that were built before the 1970s didn’t have ductwork, in our area, ducts may not have been part of new construction even much later than that.
The way that boilers provide heat is quite different from furnaces. Temperatures fluctuate more, and cold spots without good heat circulation are more likely to occur when the heat source is forced air. A boiler, on the other hand, uses registers, radiators, or radiant piping under the floorboards to provide heat that is exceptionally even and consistent.
The two forces that are most likely to cause a furnace to require repair or break down entirely are mechanical failure and corrosion. Mechanical failure is a term for components breaking or ceasing to work, and this is most likely to happen with moving parts, which endure much more stress and wear and tear. And corrosion is when the metal components or furnace cabinet itself begin to rust.
Boilers encounter far less of both of these problems. Compared to a furnace, a boiler hardly has any moving parts at all—just the circulator pump, really. And while you’d think a boiler full of water is at risk of rust, a furnace will actually rust more quickly. Why? They produce a lot of highly acidic condensation which accumulates in the furnace and slowly eats away at the metal. Boilers very rarely require any repairs.
Once upon a time, a boiler was an enormous hulk of cast iron, tremendously expensive, and outrageously heavy to move into position for installation. These monsters might seem inconvenient, but they lasted up to fifty years! Today’s boilers are affordable and much, much lighter. While they don’t survive quite as long, they often keep running reliably for 20 years or even longer, which is much longer than a gas furnace’s lifespan of 10-15 years.
We believe that a boiler is still the ideal choice for many homes and families, which is why we specialize in installing them and providing boiler service in Hayden, ID. If your boiler needs maintenance, repair, or replacement, we’re ready to help you get back to experiencing all these boiler benefits as soon as possible.
ACI Northwest is here to help. Contact us today with any questions about boilers.