If you rely on a boiler for hot water, heating your home, or both, you will need to update the unit over the years. A new boiler is a significant investment of time and money, so it can be quite disappointing to install a new system you aren't satisfied with. Here are three things you should know to prepare for a new boiler installation. 

1. Types of Boilers

Several different designs have developed over the years as boilers have evolved. The most important distinction is between steam and hot water boilers. Steam boilers move pressurized steam through the pipes and radiators, while hot water boilers circulate heated water. In general, a hot water boiler can handle higher demand than a steam boiler. However, it is also a larger and more complex system because it requires an electric pump.

You will also need to choose between traditional-style boilers, packaged systems, and combination boilers. A traditional boiler consists of a separate heating unit, a cold water supply tank, and a hot water cylinder. Packaged systems contain an internal hot water cylinder and draw water directly from your water main. A combination boiler is a packaged system that can provide both hot water and air heating.

2. Boiler Sizing

If you install a boiler that's too small, it will struggle to supply hot water and/or heated air during periods of high usage. On the other hand, an oversized boiler will waste energy by storing more heated water than your home ever needs.

A water heater contractor can help you find the perfect boiler for your home based on its insulation, energy needs, and other factors. The good news is, just because your home needs a boiler with high output, doesn't mean it has to take up a lot of space. Compact boilers are a specialized class of packaged boilers that are often small enough to fit in a cabinet or cupboard.

3. Boiler Warranty Coverage

Checking the warranty coverage is the last step to ensure your new boiler is a valuable, long-term investment. Reputable manufacturers will cover the cost of parts for the most common boiler problems if you meet the terms of the warranty. Reading your warranty carefully will help you understand exactly what's covered so you can compare between manufacturers.

Boiler warranties typically stipulate that the boiler must be installed by a certified engineer and receive annual professional maintenance. Some manufacturers also require that you register the warranty within a certain time after the installation.

With an understanding of these tips, you can rest assured that you're prepared when the time comes to replace your boiler. If you have more questions about boiler installation, get in touch with a local boiler contractor.