Regardless of whether you are looking for a new boiler or just want to understand how your current boiler works, it is important to understand the distinctions between different types of boilers. With this knowledge, you can make more informed decisions as a consumer and have a better shot of figuring out how to troubleshoot a boiler that isn't working. Here is a brief overview of the most common types of boilers:
Tank Boilers - This is the most common type of boiler and is usually the easiest to understand. The unit consists of a large reservoir of water that is heated up and then used as you need it. When you use some of the water in the tank, it fills up again and adds some heat to increase the temperature to the desired level. Either gas or electricity can be used as a fuel source, but gas will usually be quite a bit cheaper if you have access to both.
Tankless Boilers - These units are a lot smaller since they don't keep a constant supply of hot water. Instead, they run cold water through a heating device whenever you turn on a hot water faucet. That water is rapidly heated and then goes where you need it. As you might expect, it can cost more to run these units, since they need to deliver the same amount of heat as a tank boiler in a much shorter period of time. Gas and electricity are also used for these units, with many units incorporating both. Electricity is good for situations where you don't need a lot of hot water, but gas can deliver high heat more efficiently.
Solar Boilers - If you want to be environmentally friendly and you live in an area with a lot of sunlight, then you can get good value from a solar boiler. If you want, you can make a crude solar boiler by setting up a metal tank outside and let the heat of the sun warm up the water inside. With good insulation, you can keep the water fairly warm. However, if you want a more reliable option, then you can get a modern solar boiler that uses solar panels on the roof to absorb sunlight, which can be transferred to the water tank inside your home. This can be pretty expensive to set up, but it could save you money in the long run if you get enough sunlight.
If you're boiler isn't functioning properly, then you may want to consider contacting a professional repair service. However, if you need repairs to a commercial boiler in an industrial setting, it may be best to look into local services that specialize in commercial boiler repairs, such as Rickett Industrial Environmental Systems.