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What’s the Difference Between a Condensing and Non-Condensing Boiler?

Posted: June 8, 2018

Condensing boiler maintenance

More than a decade ago, most of Europe banned the use of non-condensing boilers for use in existing homes and new construction.

In the US, however, you can still buy non-condensing boilers, which top out at about 80-85 percent efficiency (with many falling into the mid-70 percent range) – significantly less than the 90-95 percent efficiency of condensing boilers.

The question is, why would you want to? To understand the advantages of a condensing boiler, let’s take a look at some boiler basics.

Advantages of a propane condensing boiler

A boiler works by extracting heat from fuel as it burns. In both condenser and non-condenser boilers, that heat is sent through a heat exchanger, which transfers heat to the water that will run through your radiators or baseboards. The problem is no fuel-burning system operates at 100 percent efficiency; some of the heat produced will be lost as exhaust.

In a condensing boiler, however, the exhaust from the fuel burning process is routed to a secondary heat exchanger, which extracts more heat and diverts it back into your heating system (this process is skipped in a non-condensing boiler). By pulling more heat from the fuel burning process, your condensing boiler typically improves operating efficiency by 10 percent more, which means lower bills for you.

So why aren’t all boilers condensing?

Two reasons: First, non-condensing boilers are cheaper to manufacture – primarily because they don’t use the upgraded parts needed to handle exhaust during the second heat exchanger phase. The second reason? Because it requires an expert to install a condensing boiler in a way that ensures you’ll spend less on fuel than with a non-condensing boiler.

Fortunately, you’ll find those experts at Murray-Heutz Oil and Propane.

Our highly trained technicians will assess whether your home heating system will be able to keep you comfortable while operating at the lower temperatures that provide a propane-powered condensing boiler with its advantage. And as with all our propane appliance installations, we’ll get it done quickly – and get it done right the first time.

Summer is the time for a heating system upgrade – especially when you can get $100 off a Rinnai Condensing Boiler installed by the pros at Murray-Heutz. Contact us today to learn more – or claim your Rinnai rebate by downloading the application form here.