What Is A Condensing Boiler

Condensing boilers have been hailed as the must have high efficiency boiler system compared to the more tradiational style boilers. In 2005 the Government announced that all new central heating boilers within England and Wales must be high efficiency condening boilers. Consequently the Government launched the boiler scrappage scheme in 2008 providing a £400 grant towards the installation of a new high efficiency condensing boiler. Although how efficient are they? Is the efficiency gained really worth the cost of scapping millions of already working boilers. It is important to approach the question from an objective view - Non condensing boilers efficiency are around 75% where as a condensing boiler provides over 87% efficiency. The additional efficiency from a condensing boiler is achieved through their ability to extract heat from otherwise wasted gasses within the flue. Transferring hot exhaust gases into water reclaims 20% of the heat energy, as opposed to regular boilers that simply vent the exhaust gasses to the outside 25% of heat is steam and C02. The UK Government is keen to massively improve the Carbon footprint of every household in England and Wales, which is why they have launched a large number of Government grants to help towards the cost of home improvements, ensuring that every home is energy efficient through free central heating grants, free loft insulation grants, free cavity wall insulation grants and free draught proofing grants.

Condensing boilers can be fuelled by gas or oil, the CO2 water vapour produced during the combustion process is condensed into water and passed outside through the condensate waste pipe. There are two basic types of condensing boilers: Wet condensing boilers or dry heat condensing boilers.

Wet Type Condensing Boilers
Wet type condensing boilers require a purpose made system, these type of boilers are currently only produced commercially

Dry Type Condensing Boilers
Dry type condensing boilers are widely used for domestic use.

Disadvantages With Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers are more complex then other boiler types, because of this there repulation is less reliable. Condensing boilers require professional installation and regular services in order to maintain it reliability. Another huge disadvantage with condensing boilers is the frozen condensate waste pipe issue. During cold temperatures the condensate pipe that carries waste liquid out of the house can freeze and instantly shut the boiler off leaving you with no heat or hot water. A frozen condensate pipe can leave many vunerable people and families with no heat or hot water in the cold winter months.