Condensing boilers are much more efficient at heating your home than conventional boilers, but may not be suitable for all heating systems. Here are the straight facts on condensing boilers.
How condensing boilers work
Both conventional and condensing boilers produce heat by burning fuel. This heat is sent through the primary heat exchanger and some of that heat is sent to the baseboards, radiant floor tubes or radiators in the home.. A conventional boiler blows the exhaust from the initial heat exchange outside, while a condensing boiler takes the exhaust and runs it through a secondary heat exchanger, which cools the exhaust to about 55 degrees and turns it to liquid. The resulting heat is used to further heat your home. The liquid is drained from the system and the much-cooler leftover exhaust is blown outside.
The benefits of condensing boilers
- Higher energy efficiency. Condensing boilers are up to 95 percent efficient, which means that 95 percent of the heat produced by the boiler is transferred to the heating elements in your home and the remaining heat is lost through exhaust. By comparison, a conventional boiler is 75 to 85 percent efficient.
- Lower energy bills. Condensing boilers save money on heating costs, since less fuel is required to heat your home.
- Smaller carbon footprint. Condensing boilers recycle much of the exhaust produced by the system, reducing the amount of pollutants released in the atmosphere.
If you use hot water baseboards or radiators to heat your home, a condensing boiler may not be right for you. In order for the condensing boiler to work at peak efficiency, the return water temperature must be kept below 55 degrees. Return water temperatures for baseboards and radiators is typically 71 to 82 degrees. A qualified boiler professional can determine if your baseboards and radiators can keep you comfortable at these lower temperatures.
For more expert advice on using condensing boilers, or to determine if a condensing boiler is the right choice for your home, please feel free to contact us at Arpi’s Industries. We’re always happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about boilers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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