Close up of boiler controls.

What is a Boiler?

Most people immediately think of furnaces when opting to heat their homes. However, boilers provide a highly effective heat option, have a long life, can reach high heating efficiencies, and some types require little or no pumping energy. Boilers are an important part of a central heating system. They’re a continuous closed loop of pipes carrying heated water (or steam) throughout your home. As the water runs through the pipes, running through radiators, the hot water cools on its path as it gives off its heat, heating your rooms, then returns back to the boiler to be reheated again. The boiler keeps firing, to continuously reheat the returned cool water, and then sends it on its way again throughout your home.

How Does a Boiler Work?

The boiler is controlled/turned on with an electric switch, which when turned on, opens a valve where the gas enters a combustion chamber. There is a continuous stream of gas via a pipe attached to the home’s gas main, usually from the street, that feeds a fire inside this chamber. Its electric ignition system is what lights these small jets of gas. The gas jets fire onto a heat exchanger connected to the water pipe carrying the cold water. The heat exchanger takes the gas-generated heat and heats the water, typically to around 180ºF. The now-hot water is pushed throughout the home. An electric pump inside or very near the boiler keeps the water flowing through the loop of pipes and radiators.

Is a Boiler Right for My Home?

Typically, boilers are categorized into different types based on their fuel type, working pressure and temperature, size and capacity, draft method, and whether or not they condense the water vapor in the combustion gases. Sometimes boilers are described by some by their key components, such as heat exchanger materials or tube design.

The two main types of boilers are Firetube and Watertube boilers. In the former, the Firetube boiler, combustion hot gases flow through a system of tubes surrounded by water. In the latter, the Watertube boiler, water flows in the inside of the tubes, and the combustion hot gases flow around the outside of the tubes.

Contact ESI Heating to speak with a knowledgeable technician on the best type of boiler for your home.

Boiler Maintenance

As mentioned above, boilers have some wonderful advantages (long life, highly effective, high heat efficiency), but they do need to be maintained on a regular basis to keep these advantages. If neglected, boilers’ repairs can be costly and fuel bills can add up quickly. If you currently have a boiler and it's been awhile since you’ve had maintenance performed on it, or if you’re thinking of installing a boiler, call ESI Heating. Our technicians would be happy to help you and answer any questions you may have.

Need Boiler Service?

Contact the experts at ESI Heating.

Call us at 517-647-6906!

“Terry and Tristin worked together well as a team. removal of the old boiler and indirect water heater was challenging. They did a good job of clean up before starting the new installation. Both men were pleasant, answered all my questions and did a very neat, professional installation. The work was completed as quoted by Nick.”
- Fred M.

“On-Demand whole house heating and domestic hot water unit installed by Justin and Terry. They removed all the old equipment for disposal and installed the new unit in a fairly short time. They even provided space heaters for us while doing the tear out and install. Very efficient and neat while on the job and the new heater is working great. Thank you ESI for the prompt and excellent installation.”

- Ray L.

“After taking a major lighting strike which knocked out multiple systems, including our boiler which provided heat and domestic hot water, ESI was the company that could respond quickly. After an in home analysis of the damage by Nick, it was decided that the most cost effective solution was an installation of a complete new boiler system. Installers Justin and Terry did an excellent job. John the follow up system analyst also demonstrated exemplary work. All of them were polite and professional. The clean up was great! I would gladly recommend ESI Heating and Cooling to my friends and Family. I’ll be using ESI for all my heating and cooling needs.”

- Philip B.

“Justin and Terry did a fantastic job on the install of our new combi boiler. They were respectful, timely, and willing to answer all our questions during the installation. They ended up working on our house for 2.5 days and we’d be happy to have them back anytime.”

- Lucas N.

“Mike is awesome. On the first trip out to trouble shoot our new install, he had to spend more time than I’m sure he had planned, but put in the extra effort to make sure everything was fully operational. On the second trip back he did the full start up and was more than happy to answer all of our questions. Very personable, knowledgeable, and an overall great person to work with. We’d be happy to have him back!”

- Lucas N.

ESI Heating proudly provides HVAC service to Portland, Dewitt, Grand Ledge, the Greater Lansing area and the surrounding communities. Visit our service area page for more coverage details, call us at 517-647-6906, or request service online today.