How It Works: Steam Boilers vs. Hot Water Boilers

What's the Difference Between a Water Heater, Furnace, and Boiler? | Tips

There is more than one way to heat a home. Some Utah homes use a boiler system. This design is one of the earliest home heating systems and uses water to heat a home. There are two types available: here we will discuss the differences between a steam boiler or a hot water boiler.

How they work

These designs are powered by oil, electricity, or gas. They both heat their water with hot water. However, what makes them different is how each generates heat. Boilers heat water to boiling point to create steam. Steam is then transported through pipes to reach radiators within the home.

A hot water boiler heats water until it is hot… enough. The boiler pushes hot water through the same network of pipes to radiators where the steam cools and condenses. Then, it is transported back to the boiler where it is reheated.

A service call or tune-up for heaters should be done annually. In Utah, families plan a service call twice a year due to the changing seasons.

Energy Usage

Steam and hot water systems are energy efficient for many reasons. A steam system requires more energy to boil the water and uses less heat during heat transfer. The hot water design uses less energy for hot water creation. Steam designs are very efficient at heat transfer and often are used in cold areas or homes with poor insulation. The design is used in commercial and industrial buildings. Because they use pumps to circulate water, many of today’s hot water boilers are more efficient than steam. You can still find steam designs that are as efficient or more efficient than hot water. The efficiency of each depends on the manufacturer, heat source, size and other factors.

Accessory Parts

Like any heating system, the accessories that steam and hot-water systems require are different. A hot water boiler circulates hot water through a pump. However, a steam boiler doesn’t require a pump as steam fills the pipes naturally and returns to the system via gravity. Consider hiring boiler services denver co for tune-ups.


These systems are both boilers and will cost you about the same to install or service. You will need to weigh the cost of fuel (gas, electricity and oil) when deciding between a steam system or a hot water system. Also, consider the cost of the system, Utah tax credits and other details such as service and maintenance.


At All Utah Plumbing, Heating & Air, owner-operator John Holland and his team of trained service professionals offer top-quality repair and replacement services at fair and honest prices – any time, any hour, anywhere along the Wasatch Front – 365 days a year.

Healing your home is our top priority and we stand behind our superior name-brand products with our distinctive White Glove service. We also back our work with the best guarantees and warranties in the business. To schedule a service call 801-877-6365.

All Utah Plumbing, Heating and Air is a service company for Utah boilers, plumbing and A/C units. Each service call is backed by their guarantees and warranties in the business.


Post Author: Andre Casas