Information about Condensing Boilers
Condensing boilers are water heaters fueled by gas or oil. They attain high efficiency by using waste heat in flue gases to pre-heat cold water entering the boiler. Water steam that is produced during combustion is condensed into liquid form, which leaves the system through a drain.
In many countries, the use of condensing boilers is compulsory or encouraged with financial incentives due to their efficiency and green credentials. In fact, since 2005, all new gas central heating boilers that are fitted in the UK need to be high efficiency condensing boilers unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If you're considering the installation of a boiler, GreenMatch provides you with a free of charge and with no obligation service that allows you to request quotes and compare different systems, so that you can find the most suitable for you. Just fill in the form on the right to request offers.
Types of Condensing Boilers
There are two different types of condensing boilers available. Firstly, system or regular boilers will work with the existing hot water cylinder. It is the best choice if there are more than 2 bathrooms in the household or when mains pressure is low. The second type is the combi boiler - the original tanks can be removed and the combi boiler will produce hot water on demand.
How Does a Condensing Boiler Work?
In condensing boilers, a special heat exchanger also acts as a condenser. Condensing boilers can achieve greater efficiency because they capture more heat from the exhaust gases – they have a larger heat exchange surface to enable them to transfer as much heat as possible from the boiler's burner into usable heat, thereby allowing less heat to escape.
Condensing boilers are the most energy efficient boilers currently available in the market. A typical increase of efficiency can be as much as 10-12%. This operating mode reduces nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions thanks to the use of particularly advanced combustion technologies.
Condensing Boiler Prices
A new condensing boiler can cost a fair amount, but over its lifespan it will regain the money and continue saving money on your annual bills, making it worth the investment. Condensing boilers costs range from approximately £1,500 to £2,500 (plus installation costs) and will help to save 10 percent-12 percent off the annual heating bills. This investment will usually pay back over 10 years.
Advantages of a Condensing Boiler
- A condensing boiler helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat global warming.
- A condensing boiler improves household efficiency and therefore reduces fuel bills.
- Space savings: a condensing combi boiler does not need a hot water tank and is available in a wide range of compact sizes, making it much suitable and convenient to fit in a kitchen cupboard than conventional boiler models.
Why Should I Get a Condensing Boiler?
Building regulations in the UK now state that all new boilers installed in a domestic home should be high-efficiency condensing boilers, although exceptions do apply in some cases. Additionally, condensing boilers are a safe choice, because there is a low risk of anything being sucked into the boiler, since it is fully sealed and takes air in directly from the outside. Condensing boiler prices are not so high, also they are at least 25% more efficient than conventional boiler models.
Is a Condensing Boiler Only More Efficient When in Condensing Mode?
In fact, a condensing boiler will always be more efficient than a conventional boiler, as even when it is not in condensing modem it will still provide about 85% efficiency – increasing up to 90% when condensing. In comparison, a brand new non-condensing boiler will be at best 78% efficient, and old boilers will be between 55 and 65% efficient. This is the reason why only condensing boilers meet the criteria for grade A or B efficiency that are now required by the building regulations.
Are Condensing Boilers Difficult to Install?
The installing process is not particularly complex. The only difference compared with noncondensing boilers is the requirement for a condensate drain. A skilled installer will not have a problem in deciding on a suitable location for the drain and fitting a normal, plastic overflow pipe.
Can Condensing Boilers be Fitted to Existing Systems?
Condensing boilers can be fitted to most new and old systems. However, expert practice must be applied, which will include power flushing of the system and the addition of an inhibitor. As with any replacement boiler, the evaluation of the effectiveness of the control system and the type of hot water cylinder should also be carried out.
Could the Acidic Condensate Be a Problem and Is It Toxic?
A condensing boiler can produce up to 6 litres of condensate per hour, if it is properly installed. Although the condensate pH levels are lower than the ones recorded for rainwater for example, ranging from 3 to 5, it is still recommended that the boiler's sections which come in close contact with the condensate liquid be made of materials that can easily withstand acidity levels of up to 5 units. The condensed liquid is disposed of via a pipe connected to the drainage system.
Get Quotes on Condensing Boilers!
If you have decided to purchase a boiler, but you are not sure which type you would like, we are ready to help you. Fill out the form on this page with your personal preferences and information, and we will provide you with up to four different suppliers of boilers. You are free to choose the offer that best suits your needs. The service is free, without obligation, and takes only a few minutes.