While the gas furnace is a popular heating system in many homes, boilers and radiators are common in older residential homes, and most of these systems are reliable, clean and effective. These units often use steam or hot water to heat homes and multi-residences in Barrington, IL. Understanding how boilers and radiators work is essential to achieving your home’s comfort needs.


A boiler furnace operates by heating water using a gas or oil burner to form steam, which then travels via pipes to convectors or radiators. The heat travels across your house to provide warmth. When the steam cools, it condenses into water and gets back to the boiler, repeating the same process. The hot water system also operates in the same way but uses hot water instead of steam.

Steam vs Hot Water Boiler

With proper maintenance, steam and hot-water systems can be more durable and reliable than other heating systems. Additionally, they provide dust-free and clean heat, making them ideal for people with allergies. In steam heating, a boiler furnace system heats water using gas and turns it into steam which travels via pipes to convectors or radiators, supplying heat in your home.

How Radiators Work

Radiators provide heat in two main processes—through natural convection and heat exchange. The heat exchange process involves the transfer of heat from one heat point to another.

The heat source, whether electricity, oil or gas, heats the exchanger system in the boiler, thus heating the water. The hot water then travels across the radiators, moving the heat through a radiator material.

Call Martin Enterprises today for high-quality heating system installation and repair services. We understand the importance of your home comfort and why we strive for superior services to ensure you get the best. Best of all, our NATE-certified experts are readily available to help meet your heating and cooling needs.

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