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Conventional vs Condensing Boilers

As homeowners now have to make the switch from conventional to condensing boilers, we look at each in a bit more detail and the main differences between them.


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How do traditional Conventional Boilers work?

First up, conventional boilers. These are also referred to as non-condensing boilers and work by distributing the by-products of the boiler as fumes into the flue. The flue then allows the fumes to exit your home and dissipate into the atmosphere. The fumes themselves are superheated vapours and therefore conventional boilers lose a portion of the energy generated.

Due to the way conventional boilers operate, they end up wasting energy, and end up polluting the air more so than other alternatives.


The Advantage that Conventional (non-condensing) Boilers had over Condensing Boilers

  • Cheaper to install and maintain – There was only one thing going for conventional non-condensing boilers, and that was they were typically cheaper to install due to having less parts. This also meant they were typically cheaper to maintain.

Following new building regulations that are now in place, new gas and oil boilers must be condensing. However, in some properties and in exceptional circumstances, a condensing boiler may not be a viable option and in those instances following an assessment by a Gas Safe registered installer such as Aren Heating & Plumbing, an alternative boiler system may be allowed.


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How do the latest Condensing Boilers work?

Condensing boilers allow for more efficient use of the system including being able to recover and use some of the heat that would be lost in a conventional boiler system.

The recovery of some of the heat is what gives these boilers the name condensing boilers. Superheated vapour moves through two heat exchangers as opposed to straight out of a flue and it is here that the vapour then cools to the point where it changes state from a gas to a liquid. This all happens within the boiler itself as the liquid formed is corrosive and needs to be kept contained within the high-grade stainless steel to prevent damage.


The Advantages of Condensing Boilers over Conventional (non-condensing) Boilers

  • Improved Efficiency – A higher proportion of the heat generated is retained and used, resulting in improved efficiency in heating the home. In turn, this reduces the total cost needed to spend on an ongoing basis to keep the home heated over long periods. On average, condensing boilers are 90% efficient where conventional boilers are only 75%.
  • Better for the environment – Boilers, whether gas or electric are far from nature’s best friend. However, condensing boilers are a little more accommodating and produce less carbon dioxide than conventional boilers.

The reduction in energy waste also allows condensing boilers to be much more efficient in the amount of electricity, gas, and oil if you have an oil boiler. This will be reflected in your monthly energy bill, so you spend less to maintain the same level of heat for your home when using a condensing boiler.


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Looking to have a new boiler installed in your home? Please head to our Contact page and fill out the online form or alternatively, you can call us directly on 020 8287 7194.

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