Commercial Market Embraces Condensing Boilers
ACHR News, October 3, 2016
Condensing boilers account for about 90 percent of hydronic boiler sales at United Energy Products Inc., a manufacturer’s representative of boilers, water heaters, pumps, and other commercial products.
As can be expected, one of the main reasons building owners and managers are willing to invest in condensing boilers is higher energy efficiency, which translates to lower utility bills and a faster return on investment. That energy savings can be fairly significant in commercial buildings — on the order of 10-15 percent or more, depending on the geographic region, said Smollon. “We have fairly lengthy shoulder seasons in the Mid-Atlantic region, during which buildings can be kept warm for extended periods with lower loop temperatures using an outdoor reset sensor control system. When it’s 55°F outside, it makes no sense to supply 180° water when you can keep the building warm with much lower temperature water.”
After that, Schulte covers the other benefits, such as how condensing boilers have a physically smaller footprint, provide increased comfort, and offer advanced controls. “Condensing boilers usually have the ability to modulate heating output, which contributes to increased comfort and efficiency. The advanced controls also offer more information for service and maintenance, which is very useful.”
Many condensing boilers now come standard with advanced controls, which easily integrate into buildings’ existing networks, making it easy for building personnel to use them, said Bottorff. “In addition to better energy efficiency and advanced controls, condensing boilers are also generally constructed of high-quality materials, which leads to longer life expectancy and decreased maintenance costs.”
Condensing boilers absolutely lower the amount of maintenance required, noted Smollon, because there is no concern of thermal shock, as can be the case with cast-iron boilers. “In addition, you no longer have to clean tubes as you do with horizontal fire-tube boilers, and most condensing boilers have modern fiber-mesh burners, which are very simple to maintain.”