A condensing boiler is a modern, highly efficient boiler. It makes the fuel you’re burning to heat your home go further. To find out which boiler is best suited to your needs, it may help to understand more about condensing boilers and boiler efficiency.
U.S. Boiler Company takes the efficiency of your residential boiler seriously. We are the leading North American manufacturer of home heating equipment, and have introduced more new, high efficiency products over the last several years than any other company in the history of hydronic heating.
Our extensive selection of heating products includes two super-efficient condensing gas boilers, the Burnham Alpine™ and K2™ boilers.
- How do condensing boilers differ from conventional boilers?
The answer is “efficiency”. The most efficient boilers keep heat in the house rather than letting it escape through the chimney or vent pipe. A condensing boiler recovers some of the wasted heat and is on average, 25% more efficient than a conventional boiler. An ultra-high efficiency boiler keeps more heat in the heating system, but the side effect is condensation.
- What happens to the water formed in the condensation process?
Water condenses from escaping flue gases when they are cooled to a certain temperature (this is also known as the “dew point”). If the boiler has high flue temperatures but is not very efficient, this condensation will evaporate outside your home, often well above the house. As a result of lower flue temperatures in high-efficiency boilers, this happens inside the heating system. Traditional boilers can be damaged by the condensation, but condensing boilers are designed to operate under these conditions, and are equipped with condensate drains. The Alpine™ and K2™ boilers also feature internal trip switches with the drains to protect the stainless steel heat exchanger from backups in the drain line.
- Can I use an Alpine™ or K2™ boiler to replace an older heating system with large radiators?
These boilers will work in most types of installations. For large water volume systems using cast iron radiation, both boilers are good choices. For high temperature systems, such as fin-tube style baseboard systems, or in homes where it may not be practical to vent a boiler directly to outside air without using a chimney, the Burnham ES2, Series 3, or Series 2 gas boilers may be a more viable option. Your professional home heating contractor will help you decide.
- Is a condensing boiler the best choice for your home?
There are a number of factors to consider. Your home’s heating system not only includes the boiler, but also all of the pipes, valves, pumps, and heat distribution as well. Typically, Alpine™ and K2™ condensing boilers operate most efficiently in homes with low system temperatures, such as those with radiant floor systems or in homes with high water volume cast iron radiators. Also, in these applications, Alpine™ and K2™ boilers do not use indoor air for combustion and require a means to vent the boiler directly to the outside (not chimney venting).
A condensing boiler is a great way to save on your home heating costs. Your professional heating contractor will help you decide which equipment will be best for your home. We invite you to browse our website for more information on our ENERGY STAR® rated residential boilers.