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The Basics of a Steam Heat Systems

As the term indicates, a steam heat system is a way of providing a heating system to a house or building by way of steam. Although steam heating used to be very popular, many newer systems have surfaced lately. Still, it cannot be denied that steam heating systems are more reliable and easier to maintain than any of the more heating systems prevalent today.

Moreover, upgrading a heating system can be very expensive and complex. If you own a building that counts on a steam heating system and you don’t plan on upgrading, you simply need to understand how it operates and how to fix any problems.

Basics of the Steam Heat System

A water boiler, a burner, radiators/convectors and pipes are the major components of a steam heating system. The system functions in a rather straightforward manner. By applying heat to the water, the boiler turns it into steam. The steam then makes its way through the pipes and into the radiators and/or convectors in each room. This is how the steam heat is spread throughout a building. With energy spreading, the temperature of the steam goes down, converting it back to water, which will now be heated by the boiler all over again.

How the Boiler Is Heated

There are several ways the boiler can be heated by the burner. In most cases, electricity, oil or natural gas will be used. Electrically heated boilers are generally pricier to run than those compared to those which are oil or gas-heated. However, they are much easier to maintain and don’t has as much as damage when they do break compared to the other two. Electrically heated boilers are more common in larger buildings, while oil and gas-heated boilers are more popular in smaller buildings and homes.

Radiators or Convectors?

In a steam heating system, radiators work to transfer heat via completely exposed pipes. Convectors, on the other hand, are heating devices that work in a setup in which pipes that transfer heat are partially covered. Convectors and radiators are of several shapes and sizes; and because they are cooler than radiators, convectors are generally safer to touch. Still, they should be both handled with care.

Steam Heating System Maintenance

Steam heating systems may be low maintenance compared to the others, but this still require periodic maintenance to stay in good condition. The system must be thoroughly checked by a qualified professional at least once per year.

As for the everyday care needs of the system, users can attend to them easily. This includes, for example, watching the boiler’s water level and pressure gauges. A low water level means the building will not be heated and the boiler will simply keep getting hotter and hotter. Water has to be added the soonest. With a very high pressure reading, the boiler could actually explode. This can be avoided by loosing the air valves temporarily until the pressure normalizes. Finally, the air valves must also be oiled regularly.

Source: may xong hoi kho