If you're new to owning your own home and you aren't sure how a boiler fits into a hydronic heating system or what types of heating systems exist, don't fret. Hydronic heating systems are actually relatively easy to understand, as long as you know some basic facts about them. You can make the best boiler decision for your hydronic heating system if you're armed with recent knowledge!

* What the boiler does
When you have a boiler in your home, it takes energy generated from using electricity, gas, or other fuels and turns it into heat to heat water. This hot water can then be used to provide hot water for your home, or it can be circulated as steam in your heating system to keep your building warm.

* Types of boilers
There are a few different types of boilers. Gas boilers or atmospheric boilers, while the most common, are also the least efficient. They will cost the most to run, and unless they have been redesigned to become compliant with energy regulations, may not be legal to install – look up regulations in your area before installing a gas boiler. Sealed combustion units are more efficient, and condensing boilers are still more efficient!

* The best type: combination boilers
While a combination boiler may sound confusing, heating systems often involve this type of boiler because it so effectively generates hot water for both domestic use (in showers, sinks, and so on) and heating. There are typically two thermostats to regulate water temperature and flow in both heating and water uses. More recently, combined heat and power boilers can actually produce electricity at the same time. They will cost more than standard boilers, but they might pay for themselves in electricity savings.

* Advantages of boilers
Heating systems built around boilers tend to be even more consistent temperature-wise than warm air furnaces and other methods of providing home heating. If this is important to you – for example, if you need to maintain a constant temperature for a greenhouse in winter or a child's room – you might find a boiler a good investment.

* Factors to consider
If you want to maintain your heating systems so they last a long time and are unlikely to break down and need expensive emergency repairs, it's important to consider certain factors about boilers. They can be vulnerable to the cold, so boiler insurance to cover burst pipes or leaky valves is a smart idea. You should also schedule yearly maintenance visits to ensure that you catch any problems before they develop.

Hydronic heating systems use the water and steam generated by a new boiler to help keep your home warm and cozy no matter what time of year it is. Even new homeowners can appreciate the advantage of a good boiler!