The boiler system in homes, buildings, and various industries play a pivotal role in providing heating sources – from hot water to supply warm air. A standard boiler can either be a closed system or an open system, both of which are designed to cater to different needs. 

What is a Boiler? 

By definition, a boiler refers to a closed vessel wherein liquid such as water is heated until it combusts and turns into either hot water, steam, or vapour. The result is used for transferring heat to a process, which can be dangerous as the steam can increase volume and produce a force as powerful as gunpowder. 

How Does a Boiler Operate? 

Boiler heats up using any of its metal parts, where the hot gases are on one side while the water is on the other. The more metal or larger the heating surface of a boiler, the more efficient it is at heating water, which means that its efficiency can be determined by looking at its square meters.

The process goes through three systems:

  • Feed Water System – As the moniker suggests, the system feeds water to the boiler, which then regulates it to produce steam. The feed water, which is what they refer to as the water supplied to the boiler and converted into steam, is often sourced from raw water or the condensed steam that returned from the process.
  • Steam System – This refers to the process of collecting and controlling the steam, which is regulated using valves and moves through a piping system. You can check the steam using pressure gauges.
  • Fuel System – This encompasses all equipment used to fuel the boiler and generate heat. 

What are the Different Boiler Types? 

Just as mentioned above, a boiler can either be the following types: 

  • Closed System – If you’re looking for a boiler that provides the highest efficiency rate, a closed system is right up your alley. This is because a closed system boiler can reuse all of the steam it produces, which means that it can convert back into the water. This converted steam can contribute to creating heat, giving it a full, useful cycle.
  • Open System – While closed system boilers offer better efficiency, an open system boiler values safety first and foremost. It will not return the steam or condensate into the boiler due to the risk of it being a source of contamination. This is especially beneficial for industries, which often use a non-pressurized boiler so that the steam can naturally vent to the atmosphere. 

The Bottom Line

While it isn’t your job to repair any faults you find in your boiler, understanding the inner workings of your heating system should help you identify if there is a problem that needs fixing in the first place.

With that in mind, the guide below should clue you in on the basics of how a boiler – and its different types – work. 

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