Propane Gas Boiler FAQs

Propane Gas Boiler FAQs

How Does a Gas Boiler Work?

gas boilers new york There are a few types of propane gas boilers that you may find in New York. This includes the classic steam boiler, most often found in older homes. Steam boilers require special safety precautions because of the temperature of the steam (the water must be heated to 212°F). As a result, it is important to follow a regular maintenance schedule. Better yet, you would do well to upgrade to a modern, and more energy-efficient, hot water boiler.

A boiler that relies on steam to heat a building stays true to its name because it needs to boil water to make steam before heat can be distributed. In comparison, newer boilers do not need to boil the water to make steam. Instead, they use hot water to distribute heat through a home’s piping. The heat is distributed through your New York home by either radiators or baseboards.

Another name for a boiler is a hydronic heating system, which is defined as a system that transfers heat via a circulating fluid, such as water, in a closed system of pipes.

Your boiler extracts heat from propane as it burns; this then heats the water that will run through the zones that are calling for heat. The problem is that some heat (as much as 30% in some older boiler models) will be lost as exhaust, which means paying a lot of money for heat that will never reach your living space. (More about that later).

Some of the key components of a boiler system include:

  • a burner, where the propane gas is ignited in the combustion chamber.
  • a heat exchanger, which allows heat to be exchanged between two substances (in this case, propane gas and water) while not allowing the two substances to mix together.
  • Circulator pumps, which push the hot water from the boiler into the piping. A steam boiler doesn’t require a circulator pump because it doesn’t need to be pushed into the piping. It rises to the pipes naturally.
  • Piping, which includes supply lines to deliver the heated water (or steam) to the radiators. When the water cools or the steam turns back into water, return lines bring the water back to the boiler for re-heating.

Is a Boiler a Good Way to Heat My Home?

Many homeowners prefer hot water heating to warm air systems like furnaces because the heat that boilers create does not dry out the air as much. Plus, the heat generated by a hydronic heating system can also be used to heat water in your home, creating an efficient two-in-one space and water heating solution. Heated water is stored in a separate tank that’s connected to the boiler for later use.

What Is a Condensing Gas Boiler?

In some New York homes, you may find a more efficient version of the hot water boiler called the condensing boiler, which is designed to keep heat loss to a minimum. By recycling heat from the exhaust process – and by operating at lower temperatures overall – a condensing gas boiler can improve operating efficiency by 10-15% compared to a non-condensing boiler.

However, a condensing boiler is not practical for all homes. Plus, condensing boilers cost more to manufacture. Installing a condensing boiler the correct way requires highly trained technicians who know how to capitalize on the efficiency benefits of these ultra-modern gas heating systems.

How Do I Know When to Replace My Boiler?

While the average boiler will last about 20-25 years—assuming a proper maintenance schedule has been followed—there are many home boilers that are even older than that. And while they may still be keeping homes warm enough, their efficiency rate is much lower than a new hot water boiler, which means you are using more fuel to generate heat.

Besides age, other signs that your boiler may be wearing out include signs of corrosion, frequent breakdowns, and expensive repairs.

NY Rebates for Propane Gas Boilers

If you’re ready to replace your old propane gas boiler, get in touch with your New York propane service company. They’ll be glad to walk you through the process and they can also tell you about current New York rebates that will help you save money on a new propane gas boiler as well as other propane heating equipment.

When you install any propane-powered equipment, it’s essential that you bring in a licensed propane technician. Propane equipment is extremely safe when installed properly. But as with all energy sources, improper installation can be dangerous. Certified propane technicians have the training, experience, and tools to do the job quickly, correctly and safely.

This is largely because of the Certified Employee Training Program (CETP), which is run under the direction of the Propane Education & Research Council. What’s more, you can only take advantage of available rebates if your installation is inspected for safety with a Gas Check®. Please speak to your propane company about this inspection.