Boilers, Hot Water Heaters and How They Work

When most people think of heating, a reliable furnace is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But plumbing appliances like your hot water heater and even boilers are just as beneficial. Your hot water heater is vital for washing clothes or dishes, while boilers can be highly effective solutions for whole-home heating. With an expert team of installers and service technicians, HomeSmartcan help make the most of these appliances.

Let’s go over how both systems are designed. You can make a well-informed decision when it’s time to schedule boiler installation of your own. And when you need any sort of boiler repair, call 866-837-9762.

Understanding How a Boiler Warms Your Home

While furnaces are the most used heating system these days, boilers are commonly used options too. You can still find them in homes with vintage charm by way of standing or baseboard radiator systems. Today, boilers are making a return thanks to design innovations.

When the temperature falls beneath your current settings, the boiler begins heating water for distribution throughout the house. Various zone valves channel the water to each radiator thanks to a efficient circulating pump. But now, boilers can also work with contemporary HVAC ductwork. A hot water coil is placed in the air ducts, heating the air with convection before it flows through the rest of the ductwork.

Most boilers keep this water supply between 180 to 200 degrees (F). To keep the entire supply at useable temperatures, the circulator continues to pump water until the coldest water has returned to the system. Maintaining the pressure of this system is best at around 30 pounds per square inch (psi). A gauge located on the front of the boiler allows you to keep track of both the pressure and the water’s temperature.

Other important parts of a boiler are the air scoop, water feeder, expansion tank and relief valve:

  • The air scoop, also known as an air separator or air purge, extracts air bubbles held in the water. This helps with noise and keeps air-bound radiation from impacting the system’s efficiency.
  • Automatic water feeders continue to add water when needed to keep the system full, reducing the risk of issues.
  • The expansion tank extracts excess water generated during the heating process.
  • Lastly, the boiler’s relief valve maintains the water pressure at safe/efficient levels. Without it, you risk overheating the system or forcing too much water into it.

Contact Us Now Or Call 866-837-9762

First Up: How Do Standard Water Heaters Work?

In most designs, a hot water heater is essentially a large storage tank with built-in heating elements. Water stored inside the tank is kept hot until you need hot water somewhere else in the house. The water is heated to your desired temperature before it’s pumped to the faucet or appliance that needs it. For safety and efficiency, the water heater’s thermostat should stay around 120 and 140°F. This reduces the chance of scalding or bacterial growth.

Alternatively, tankless water heaters are comparatively modern and lack the storage tank, as the name suggests. Rather, it heats water as it arrives from your main water line. This can be very energy-efficient since you’re not constantly heating a lot of water like you would with a standard tank water heater.

Five Signs Your Boiler May Need Professional Service

Contact a qualified boiler repair technician if you’re noticing any of the following signs:


The burner is noisy or has a burnt smell:

These burner problems often point back to a malfunction in the combustion process. A technician will check the burner assembly itself as well as the air and fuel supply lines.

Constant air sounds:

A loud and disruptive boiler can be a frequent sign of air stuck somewhere in the system, affecting efficiency. While most of the time it’s due to air pockets in the pipes, there could also be an issue with the circulation pump.



Water leaking from the relief valve:

A leaky valve can mean that the water pressure inside your boiler is too high. This could be due to a malfunctioning pressure relief valve or a faulty expansion tank.

Water leaking from any of the piping connections:

Leaks at the piping connections usually stem from damaged seals, joints or connections in the system. Addressing these leaks early prevents more damage or loss of efficiency.



A smoky or gas smell:

The odor of natural gas or something burning can be a serious safety concern. There could be fuel leaking from the fuel supply line or a damaged burner assembly. Prompt service ensures safety and minimizes the chance of a fire.

close up of a boiler control panel

Whether you’re looking to address a problem or you’re ready for an upgrade, HomeSmart can help.

We are known for repair and installation services for both hot water heaters and boilers, and our seasoned staff will do whatever they can to keep these appliances in the best possible shape. Get in touch with us at 866-837-9762 to learn more.

We service all major makes and models, so give us a call today!

Save Even More with Special Offers

A complete sense of comfort shouldn’t be out of anyone’s budget. HomeSmart lightens the load with seasonal promotions, discounts and other special offers. These offers help lower costs for key services, new equipment or whatever else you need for your comfort and peace of mind. Check out our current offers for more details on how to save.

Committed to Comfort from the Very Start

While a long history of service is impressive, nothing is more important to customer satisfaction than a dedication to total comfort. HomeSmart considers your peace of mind our top priority, and that hasn’t changed since we first opened our doors. Learn more about our history, and how our communities support us just as much as we support you.