The Basics of a Steam Heat Systems
As the term indicates, a steam heat system is a way of providing a heating system to a house or building by way of steam. While steam heating was once very popular, a lot of newer systems have emerged of late. Still, it is undeniable that steam heating systems are more dependable and easier to maintain compared to any other modern heating system used nowadays.
Additionally, upgrading a heating system can be a very complex and pricey endeavor. If you own a building that counts on a steam heating system and you don’t plan on upgrading, you simply need to understand how it operates and how to fix any problems.
Fundamentals of a Steam Heat System
A steam heating system has four key components, including a water boiler and heater, along with pipes and convectors/radiators. The system works in a pretty straightforward manner. By applying heat to the water, the boiler turns it into steam. Then the steam travels down the pipes and enters the radiators and/or convectors in each room. This is the manner in which steam heat is distributed around the building. As the energy spreads, the steam reduces its temperature and converts back into water, which is then reheated by the boiler.
How the Boiler Is Heated
There are several ways the boiler can be heated by the burner. Natural gas, electricity or oil is often used. In general, boilers heated by electricity are more expensive to operate than those heated by oil or gas. However, they are also way easier to maintain and don’t become as damaged as the other two when they actually break. Electrically heated boilers are more common in larger buildings, while oil and gas-heated boilers are more popular in smaller buildings and homes.
Radiators or Convectors?
Radiators in a steam heat system transfer heat through fully exposed pipes. On the other hand, convectors are heating devices in a setup where heat-moving pipes are partly shielded. Convectors and radiators are of several shapes and sizes; and because they are cooler than radiators, convectors are generally safer to touch. Still, they should be both handled with care.
Maintaining a Steam Heating System
Although steam heat systems are relatively easy to maintain, they do require regular maintenance to remain in good condition. The system must be thoroughly checked by a qualified professional at least once per year.
The daily care needs of the system can be handled by the user. For instance, this includes checking the boiler’s pressure and water level gauges from time to time. A low water level means the building will not be heated and the boiler will simply keep getting hotter and hotter. Water has to be added the soonest. If the pressure level becomes too high, the boiler may just end up exploding. By loosening the air valves temporarily, the pressure can return to normal. Finally, air valves should as well be oiled on a regular basis.
Source: may xong hoi kho