Steam flows in response to the pressure drop along the line. Hence expensive circulation pumps are not required as in case of hot water or thermic fluids, reducing utility bills.
Steam is one of the most widely used media to convey heat over distances. Because steam flows in response to the pressure drop along the line, expensive circulating pumps are not needed. However this is not the case with other heating media like hot water and high temperature oils. Thermal fluids, such as mineral oils, may be used where high temperatures (above 200°C) are required, and where steam usage is uneconomical.
Additionally, because of the direct relationship between the pressure and temperature of saturated steam, the amount of energy input to the process is easy to control, simply by controlling the saturated steam pressure. Modern steam controls are designed to respond very rapidly to process changes.
Overall, the lower capital and running costs of steam generation, distribution and condensate return systems has lead to many users choosing to install new steam systems in preference to other energy media, such as gas fired, hot water, and electric and thermal oil systems.