How A Condensing Gas Boiler Can Help Combat Rising Gas Prices

With gas prices soaring across the UK, your older, inefficient boiler may be costing you a great deal more than you should be paying for fuel. When it’s time to shop around for a new heating system for your home, take a good look at the condensing boilers on the market today. With an efficiency rating of about 92 percent, meaning that 92 percent of the fuel used by the system is converted to heat, these systems can considerably lower the amount of energy you use to heat your home, lowering your annual fuel bill and keeping your home more comfortable. Your older, non-condensing boiler is most likely in the 55 to 65 percent range.

What is a Condensing Gas Boiler?

condensing boilerA conventional boiler has one small heat exchanger that transfers heat energy into your home. In comparison, a condensing boiler has either one large heat exchanger or two smaller ones. When using a conventional boiler, the excess heat produced by the boiler is exhausted through the ventilation system to the outdoors. The larger or dual heat exchangers on a condensing boiler recover much of that extra energy, converting it into more heat for your home. The result is less fuel used and more heat from the fuel that is burned by the system.

Three Types of Condensing Boilers

As with standard boilers, there are three main types of condensing boilers, all of which will save you money on high gas prices. The one that’s right for you depends on the space available in your home for the system, your heating needs and your financial situation.

Combi boilers. The most popular type of boiler in the UK, combi, or combination, systems have all of the parts, including the hot water cylinder and cold water tank, in one unit. In addition to its smaller space requirements, one of the benefits of a combi condensing boiler is unlimited and instant hot water supply. These systems can produce up to 18 litres of hot water a minute, allowing you to run a good shower from your bath taps.
Heat only boilers. These systems send hot water directly to your radiators, while storing hot water for home use in a large storage tank. This allows you to use several taps at once and don’t require too much in the way of new pipes for installation.

System boilers contain two tanks, and require more space for installation. System boilers don’t require a feed and expansion cistern, but do require a cold water tank. These systems are ideal for households that use a lot of hot water.

5 Myths About Condensing Boilers

Myths abound about condensing boilers, turning many people away from these highly efficient systems when in fact, this may be the best type of system for the heating and water needs of the home.

Myth #1: Condensing boilers are very expensive.

The Truth: Condensing boilers were more expensive than other boiler types in the early years of the technology used in these systems. Now, however, condensing boilers are generally no more expensive than other boiler types.

Myth #2: Condensing boilers require bigger radiators.

The Truth: Condensing boilers will work with your current radiator system. Installing larger radiators are only marginally beneficial, and completely unnecessary.

Myth #3: Condensing boilers are unreliable.

The Truth: In the early days of condensing technology, condensing boilers were not as reliable as standard systems. However, condensing boilers today are no less reliable than standard boilers.

Myth #4: Condensing boilers are difficult to install.

The Truth: The only difference between the installation of a standard boiler and that of a condensing boiler is the need for a condensate drain. Because condensing boilers extract heat energy from the exhaust gases, these gases cool more quickly and condense into water vapor. Condensate drains are easy to install, and should have no negative bearing on choosing a condensing boiler.

Myth #5: The plume on condensing boilers is an annoyance.

The Truth: While the vapor released from the plume is indeed more visible than that of a standard boiler, due to the cool temperature of the gases being vented. However, it is standard practice to locate the plume away from neighboring properties and from walkways and driveways.

Kristen Bailey has been researching gas prices and thinks that we all need to make changes to our plans and our energy use.