Boilers are relatively energy-efficient when it comes to most heating appliances. Since there are also high-efficiency models of boilers as well, you can definitely get a heating appliance that heats as well, if not better, than other heating appliances. If you are planning to purchase and install a boiler in your home, you should know that boilers all require some form of fuel to help them boil water internally into steam heat. There are four different categories of boilers, and each has its own unique and extra connections.
If you buy and install an electric boiler, your installation technician has to make all sorts of electrical connections to get the boiler running. These electrical connections have to be connected to the main electrical box in your home. The technician has to run several wires through protective aluminum tubing that secures to walls and ceilings before the wires reach the electrical box.
Once the wires reach the electrical box, they have to connect to an electrical switch inside the box, preferably an "open" switch that currently does not have any other household wires connected to it. That way, if your boiler ever needs repair and needs to be switched all the way off, the technician only has to flip that one switch and not interrupt power to anything else in your home.
An oil boiler burns oil in order to run. If you have any other appliances in the house that use oil to operate, this works out just fine. The only thing that the technician has to do is run extra pipes from the oil tank outside to the boiler's installation position inside.
Natural gas lines run from the main inlet pipe to the rest of your home. A natural gas stove or a natural gas water heater are probably already plugged into the natural gas line that comes into your home, but the technician will have to install more pipes to run the natural gas to the boiler. Securing these pipes to a wall or ceiling is similar to the electrical boiler installation, except that these pipes remain hollow for the purpose of channeling gas to the boiler.
Propane-burning boilers are less common, but they do exist. The propane tanks are usually located outside, which means that the technician has to run pipelines from the propane tank outside to the boiler inside. In all of these boiler options, it may help if the installation technician has a plumber's help for installing the extra pipes.