Not too long ago boilers were the among the most inefficient means of providing central heating in a home. With efficiency ratings of between 60-70%, their ratings were pretty dismal. New boilers can go well past 90% efficiency and provide not only heat for a home but supply the home with hot water as well.
Types of Boilers
Three main types of boiler exist for the home:
With a subset of these three known as a ‘condensing boiler’.
Combination boilers are a highly efficient means of providing both heat for a home and hot water. The combination boiler, sometimes called a ‘combi boiler’ achieves this high efficiency by clever design and by only heating water as it is needed. Instead of having a cold water and a hot water storage tank, there is a water line that passes through the boiler which is heated on as-needed basis.
Traditional boilers are what most people are familiar with. They are still the most popular style of boiler in the US, although the combi boiler will soon replace it’s place with that designation, and enjoy much higher efficiencies than what they had years ago. With a traditional boiler space will need to be allocated to both a cold water and a hot water storage tank. The traditional systems will heat water and store it in the hot water tank for when it is called. However, you will need to program the boiler as to when to provide the hot water as it does not make it constantly.
System boilers are very much like traditional boilers only they have integral water tanks which make them a great option for smaller homes or for areas that will not accommodate equipment with a large physical footprint.
The subset of these three is the condensing boiler. This type of boiler get another 10-15% efficiency above a standard boiler by capturing the steam generated during combustion of natural gas. This steam helps to heat water as it is coming into the system, thereby requiring less energy to heat it to a given temperature. This steam is otherwise wasted and is a very economical way to generate additional heat.
Boilers can be a confusing subject but there is an option that suits every home’s needs. If you would like to discuss your heating options, give us a call at ACS Air Conditioning Systems!