Heating system is a mechanism or structure of unit that produce heat in a comfort zone heat level. A heating system could be consist of Furnace, Boiler and fireplace or a single unit.
A boiler is a gas, or oil unit system that boil the water, and the hot water via a hydronic system through the pipes that is design for heating system enter a baseboard radiant heat or radiant floor heat to heat the house. Here when we are considering the gas boiler.
The concept of the boiler is so a pump push the water in a pip, pip goes through a fin or radiant floor or finned baseboard; for that it is losing the heat in fact the house get warm. In other hand the cool water is returning to the boiler and again heat it up and circulated to the house. Choosing the pump for how many pumps, how big the pump should be and where should the pump be placed, it is big subject in hydronic system and shall be done by professional.
Boilers fall into two categories, high mass boilers and low mass boilers. High mass boiler is for bigger build and factory is not design for residential houses. Low mass boiler is suited to applications that requires high flow rate and quick temperature response.
Type of boiler
Nowadays, in all residential houses two types of boiler can be found: conventional (mid efficiency boiler) or condensing boiler (high efficiency boiler).
A good installation of conventional boiler must be so that returning water comes to boiler not be lower than 140F. If the water is cooler than 140F and returns into the boiler, the boiler jacket from excessive heat or corrosive condensation collecting in the heat exchanger.
With condensing the boiler the home owner achieve two things, first is the efficiency which can save energy a lot during the yearlong round. Second if the boiler return temperature fall below 140F is no problem.
By using conventional boiler we have to use a mixing valve to balance the returning water into 140F or over. For that in Calgary weather the condensing boiler is a better option if there will be a radiant floor heating or having snow melt system. The buyers first think of the initial cost of the boiler, which should be an important consideration factor some people because of limitation of budget; however, I say always two things:, first convenience and take advantage of the technology, second we all shall think of our environment to keep it more green. The mid efficiency boiler produce more carbon monoxide, and carbon de-monoxide
The pipe using in heating system
The pipes are using in the boiler heating system must be oxygen barrier which is different form water demotic like the white, blue or red Pex pipe. Few certain company produce oxygen barrier pipes that normally orange or black color. If oxygen entering the heating system contributes to the acceleration of corrosion of ferrous materials within the system. The end result of oxygen corrosion is scaling. The scale build up on the inside wall the heat exchanger in fact reduce the efficiency of the boiler. In other hand inside the pipe also scale get build up as well and block the circulation.
Antifreeze in the system
If a house has a garage that is heat it up by the radiant floor heating or baseboard heating, it should be equipped with glycol. Also if the application is slab-on-grade the glycol into the system strongly recommend it.
Glycol is expanding more than water for that prevision must be made at the design stage to increase the size of it. The glycol ratio of water should be about 1/3.
2 water and 1 glycol. If you as the home owner adding the glycol to system, first time consult with the professional then do add the glycol the system. Certain things must be check first like cross connection dangers to your domestic drinking water.
Also the system with using the glycol has to have a heat exchanger to protect the boiler. To add glycol to the system to system has been used. For a bigger building a chemical pot feeder will be used and for a smaller build or a house a device called glycol feeder will be used. Glycol feeder is a automated feeder.
If in a house the glycol is used using a cross connection is necessary. The glycol is toxic and is a danger to contaminate the water domestic line. There are different device to prevent cross connection. RP (Reducing pressure backflow preventer) is most popular and proper one.