There are many reasons why boilers are an ideal heating solution. If you already have one, we hardly have to explain. You already know how rarely they require repair and how even the heating they provide is. If your boiler is getting old and you’re considering replacement, here’s something you should know. A high-efficiency gas boiler might be an even better choice!
How Boilers Work
In the days of yore, a boiler was a huge, hulking monstrosity made of cast iron. It heated water until it actually turned into steam and forced it through radiators. While these were amazing contraptions for their time, they were extremely expensive and, due to their size and weight, very difficult to install. And if you’ve ever heard a story of a boiler that exploded, it was one of these. Steam pressure is intense.
Today, things have changed a lot. A boiler is a much more modest-sized appliance, easier to move around and install, and much less costly. And while it does still use water to distribute the heat it creates, it only heats that water until it is hot. Typical boiler settings might be between 160 and 180 degrees, nowhere near the 212 that would turn it into steam.
Traditional Boiler Efficiency
As the boiler burns fuel, hot gasses are produced. They pass from the combustion chamber to the flue, which is surrounded by water. The gasses are vented out the flue and the water, now hot, circulates through your registers or the piping under your radiant floor. The thing is, those gasses are still hot.
Because the gasses are vented as exhaust while still carrying heat, some of the energy used in heating is lost. Traditional boilers have an efficiency of around 80-85% because 15-20% of the heat they create is vented out of your home instead of being used to heat your home.
The reason a traditional boiler must vent the exhaust while it’s still hot is because if the temperature of the gasses dropped, condensation would be created, and the boiler doesn’t have a mechanism for coping with that. The condensation would simply drip back down into the boiler, leading to corrosion and an early demise for the boiler.
Condensing boilers are able to keep their efficiency astonishingly high—up to 96%!—because they are designed to utilize the heat better. They allow the gasses to condense, venting much cooler exhaust. The one potential drawback is that, due to that condensation, they don’t last quite as long as the 30 years you might get out of a traditional boiler, but they do last at least as long as an average gas furnace.
And in the meantime, you’ll be saving a lot of money each month thanks to the much higher efficiency of your new condensing boiler! If you’d like to learn more about getting a high-efficiency gas boiler in Boston, MA, we’d love to discuss it with you.
Reach out to Cooling Unlimited, Inc. to speak with qualified heating experts.