If you are looking for a new boiler for your Eden Prairie, Minnesota, home, you might be surprised by the number of options available. Each boiler type has a unique method to deliver heat to your home. Below is a brief guide explaining the different boiler types available.
What Is a Combi Boiler?
The combi, or combination, boiler is a popular choice for residential homes. They provide both hot water and heating directly from the main. Combination boilers supply hot water on demand instead of separately heating water in a tank. This is energy and space efficient because there is no separate hot water tank.
A combi boiler is fed water directly from the main water supply. The boiler activates when you open up the hot water tap by heating a stainless steel heat exchanger. This quickly heats the water supply, giving you a constant water supply at your desired temperature. You can purchase a combination boiler that has a small reserve tank.
The water source and the lack of a hot water storage tank set a combination boiler apart from regular and system boilers. A traditional boiler has a large cold water expansion tank and feed. With a combination boiler, the water comes directly from the main supply, so you have stronger water pressure.
The hot water is heated and stored in a tank with a traditional boiler. When the hot water tank is exhausted, you run out of hot water. This doesn’t happen with an on-demand combi boiler.
Fuel Sources for Combi Boilers
Combi boilers use natural gas, electricity, oil, or liquefied propane gas (LPG) as fuel sources. Gas combi boilers are by far the most popular. They connect to the gas supply and the water mains and are designed to keep utility bills as low as possible. Their ease of use and energy efficiency add to their popularity.
Electric combi boilers pull electricity straight from the grid. They heat the water using an electrical element, similar to a hot water cylinder. An electric combi boiler is beneficial when oil and gas are expensive, or it is impractical to deliver oil and gas. It is a green alternative because it doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. The downside is that electricity is often more expensive than gas, and electric combi boilers are somewhat limited in the water they can heat at once.
Oil combi boilers are less popular than the preceding two because it is difficult to get oil. You can’t tap into the mains, and you need to have an oil tank that needs to be stored outside your home. You need to reorder oil from a supplier, and so all of this makes oil combi boilers a less attractive option.
Finally, an LPG combination boiler uses propane as a fuel source. Like oil-burning units, you will need to have an LPG take on your property and keep it topped up. Propane is readily available in most places, so it is a good option if you have somewhere for a tank.
What Is a Conventional Boiler?
Also known as a traditional or regular boiler, these units are anything but run-of-the-mill. They are ideally suited for larger, older properties or properties where you want constant access to hot water regardless of how many people are using water simultaneously.
A conventional boiler is designed to heat your home and provide hot water using an additional hot water cylinder and cold water tank. The three components of a traditional boiler system are the boiler, the cold water tank, and the hot water tank.
The boiler is responsible for sending hot water through your central heating system. A cold water tank stores cold water that is fed into your hot water tank, so you have hot water to use in your home. The hot water tank stores the heated water in large amounts, allowing multiple baths, showers, or taps to run simultaneously. Like combi boilers, regular boilers can use several different fuel types, including natural gas, oil, electricity, and propane.
A regular boiler is a perfect option for busy homes with families that have a high demand for hot water, often at the same time. Unlike on-demand units, traditional boilers function effectively, even if the water pressure from the main is low. Thanks to their reserve tank, they can deliver a constant flow level regardless of the number of taps or showers running simultaneously.
Traditional boilers are easy to upgrade in older homes. They use existing pipework and function with classic radiators.
What Is a System Boiler?
System boilers are commonly found in large homes with significant hot water and heating demand. They have a separate cylinder for storing water. They can provide a constant supply of water throughout the house as opposed to combination boilers that only heat water on demand.
Since a system boiler has a separate hot water storage tank, it is often mistaken for a conventional boiler. However, there are some key differences. The system boiler is a sealed system with only the boiler and a cylinder. With a regular boiler, header tanks in the attic feed the hot water cylinder, keeping the water level in the radiators constant.
In a system boiler, the water is heated by a heat exchanger. The heat energy is transferred from the burning fuel source to the water. When the water is heated, it is delivered to the hot water cylinder. The water will sit in the hot water cylinder until it is needed. Because the hot water reservoir is large, hot water is always available.
Modern condensing technology makes newer system boilers very efficient. Many models reach a 90% efficiency rating when used in optimum conditions. Since all your showers and taps receive almost instant hot water at the same pressure, system boilers are a great way to optimize your home’s water consumption.
A system boiler can run out of hot water. However, You can minimize the cases of this happening by adequately sizing the hot water cylinder you choose for your home. The boiler professionals at BWS Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can help design a system with a hot water tank that is large enough to exceed your household demand. When things are correctly configured, you should not have to worry about your tank running out of hot water.
System boilers can use three types of fuel. There are natural gas, oil, and propane units. Most homes with system boilers will use natural gas.
Getting the Best in Plumbing and HVAC in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
At BWS Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we have built a reputation for helping Eden Prairie, Minnesota, residents with their plumbing and HVAC. We deliver fast, professional, and courteous service. Our team is backed by more than four decades of collective experience. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau accreditation and are proud of the positive feedback we get from our happy customers.
Our services include HVAC repair, replacement, and maintenance. We do home automation and commercial and residential HVAC. We offer leak detection, water heater repair, water softener installation, and general plumbing in bathrooms, kitchens, and throughout the home. Contact BWS Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today and see why so many people in Eden Prairie turn to us for their HVAC and plumbing needs.