Steam-Based Versus Water-Based Central Heating, Which Is Better?

The term plumbing heating simply means the installation and repair of steam heating or central hot water system. It also refers to the installation and repair of all appliances that dispense hot water in the home such as showers, sinks, and dishwashers. There has been this debate about the advantages and disadvantages of central hot water heating. Pete Jones, a local Oxford Plumber, outlines the differences.

There are basically 2 types of water heating; those that convey heat through raised temperature water and those that convey heat through steam. Some people are still making use of the boiler system or central heating system which has been faced out in the last 50 years, and have embraced steam or hot air heating system.

The major difference here is the temperature. For a steam heater system to work, its temperature must be raised up to a boiling point so that steam can be generated. The steam water then flows on its own once it has been generated. For the elevated temperature water system or boiler heating-based water, it can make use of different temperatures. Also, the water has to be drawn from the various closed loop circulation like shower mouth, pump, etc.

These two have their pros and cons. Let’s check them out by comparing the two:

Pros of using heated hot water:

  • Saves more fuel because it runs at lower temperatures unlike steam heat system
  • The heat coming from the heat system radiators vary to suit your basic needs than steam heat system that can subject the home to extreme heat because it must maintain a boiling point.
  • Hot water boilers or elevated temperature can be maintained on low flame during the night, unlike steam that must be on high flame to be able to boil water.
  • The central boiler is more durable and smaller compared to steam
  • They are safer than steam because they run at lower temperatures

Cons of using heated hot water:

  • No ventilation is provided because of the presence of a direct heated water system.
  • It has larger radiator because the water temperature is usually lower than that of steam.
  • The hot water could freeze except it is kept running all night, but this is not the case with steam water.
  • The hot water boiler comes with more parts or fittings than the steam boiler. This means that these parts such as a circulator, expansion tank, pump, and a flow check valve can break.
  • Other issues can arise with central heating mechanisms such as insufficient boiler power, insufficient heating surface, and imperfect circulation.

Now that you know the basic difference between central heating or hot water boiler system and that of a steam-based hot water system, you can now take the decision on which one to use in your home.

The decision on which one you decide to go with will depend on your preferences such as – kids, the number of people living with you among other issues.

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