What is an Electric Boiler?

Lori Kilchermann

An electric boiler is used to heat a building. The boiler contains water that is heated by an electric heating element. When a room or an area requires more warmth, the electric heating element switches on and heats the water to a preset temperature. Once the electric boiler has brought the water up to temperature, the hot water and steam is piped into heating elements within the room, commonly known as radiators. As the steam circulates through the radiators, the heat is released into the air, and the room is warmed up. Once the room reaches the preset temperature, a thermostat turns the electric boiler off.

A radiator.
A radiator.

Many types of energy have been used to power a boiler unit. From coal-fired furnaces to oil-burning burners, the boiler units have heated buildings all around the world. The advantages of an electric boiler are two-fold. The electric elements heat much faster than the other boiler units, which allows the unit to warm a room much faster than other types of boiler-heating designs. The electric boiler also supplies much cleaner burning than coal or oil-burning boilers—this makes the electric boiler much more eco-friendly and easier on the environment.

Some central heating systems use an electric boiler to heat water that is then used for warming a home or building.
Some central heating systems use an electric boiler to heat water that is then used for warming a home or building.

Due to the nature of the electric boiler's heating apparatus, the electric design is also longer-lasting and requires less cleaning and maintenance than those boilers using different heating methods. In most electric boiler designs, the most difficult maintenance is involved with cleaning scale from the water reservoir. This is a drastic reduction in man hours as compared with cleaning a coal-burning boiler's fire box. The typical electric heating element is simply unbolted, slid out of position and replaced with a new element and re-tightened using the same bolts.

With the major performance-limiting factor of any boiler being the amount of sustained heat the boiler can provide in a given time frame, the ability of the electric boiler to produce high temperatures over sustained periods makes it a popular choice. The ability to heat water quickly allows the electric units to utilize larger water reservoirs than the competition and heat the water to the same temperature in a much faster time. This makes the electronic units popular in large buildings. Steam is a very popular way of heating large commercial buildings, and even residential buildings can benefit from the economical side of steam boilers. Using electricity to heat the water is a cleaner method of making heat.

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