Condensing Boilers – High Efficiency Gas, LPG and Oil Boilers
By Rob Hull on July 23, 2010
Since arriving on the domestic UK market 20 years ago, condensing boilers have proven themselves as the most highly efficient boilers available, offering much lower running and fuel costs than non-condensing types.
Unfortunately, condensing boilers have not massively grown in popularity as hoped since launch, because of a large number of myths and misconceptions about their reliability, not helped by early teething problems that condensing boilers suffered from – which are now fully resolved, 20 years on.
Condensing boilers have a reputation of being over-complicated, and therefore less reliable than other domestic boiler types, but nowadays this is simply not the case.
The only major differences between a condensing boiler and a non-condensing boiler is the much more efficient heat exchanger and the fact that water condenses inside the boiler, and it is required that this is drained away periodically. This is quick and simple process, and, if your condensing boiler has been fitted correctly by a qualified technician, easy to maintain.
What are the benefits of a condensing boiler?
When it comes to what is so good about condensing boilers, other types of central heating boilers simply cannot compete. The large list of advantages include:
Condensing boilers have much lower CO2 emissions than other boilers available, and because of this are much more friendly to our environment . Every year a condensing boiler could save up to 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide that your home would otherwise produce and escape into the Earth’s atmosphere and for this reason condensing boilers must now be fitted by law.
Condensing boilers are from 15-30% more energy efficient than older boilers, carrying an A or B scale SEDBUK rating – the highest possible, and are even more efficient than other modern new non-condensing boilers on the market today. A condensing boiler with modern heating controls fitted could save you a massive £250 a year in your energy bills, while if you already have heating controls fitted in your home to a regular boiler, replacing this boiler with a condensing boiler could save you up to £130.
Lower Fuel Bills
Because condensing boilers are so energy efficient, they need to burn much less fuel to extract the same amount of energy to supply to your home. This means considerably lower fuel bills, which is a relief in today’s unstable fuel market with prices rising all the time. Although condensing boilers are expensive to purchase and install, numerous studies into fuel bills and the energy efficient nature of a condensing boiler in the modern home have proven that they will easily return your investment in money saved on fuel bills in their average 15 year lifespan.
The extra-large heat exchanger, or double heat exchanger, is unique to condensing boilers, and maximised the amount of heat that will be transferred from the burner of the boiler, saving energy. As well as this, the heat transfer technology in condensing boiler traps and recovers heat which would be lost up the flue along with gases in non-condensing boilers.
Because of the modern nature of their design and the new types of materials used in condensing boilers, they come in a variety of compact sizes, depending on the needs of the individual customer. Next to a clunky older boiler type, a condensing boiler is sleek and will often fit into convenient spaces the size of an average kitchen cupboard.