The Difference Between Condensing and Non-Condensing Boilers

April 14, 2022 –

A little more than fourteen years ago, Europe banned the use of non-condensing boilers in existing homes and new construction.

You can still buy older, non-condensing boilers in the US, which top out at about 85 percent efficiency, with many falling into the mid-70 percent range (condensing boilers’ efficiency ranges are 90 to 95 percent).

But the disadvantages don’t make it a wise decision.

To understand the advantages of a condensing boiler, here’s a little background.

Boiler basics and the propane condensing boiler advantage

A boiler works by extracting heat from the fuel it burns. In both condenser and non-condenser boilers, heat is first pushed through a heat exchanger, which transfers energy to the water that runs through your radiators and baseboards. The problem is no combustion system is 100 percent efficient, and some of the heat produced by the fuel-burning process is lost.

However, in modern boilers, the exhaust from the fuel-burning process is routed to a secondary heat exchanger (a process that doesn’t happen in a non-condensing boiler), which extracts more heat and diverts it back into your heating system. By pulling more heat from the fuel burning process, your condenser boiler uses more of the fuel’s latent energy, giving you more heating bang for the buck–about 10-15 percent more, on average (which means lower bills every month).

There are two reason not all boilers are condensing:

First, non-condensing boilers are cheaper to manufacture–primarily because they don’t require parts, materials, or mechanisms to deal with handling and rerouting the exhaust (which at lower temperatures is a liquid or condensate). The better metals, extra fan, larger heat exchanger cost more to make.

The second reason is that it requires an expert to install a 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 Paraco.

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.

Ready to replace your old boiler with a high-efficiency, propane-powered condenser boiler? Contact us for a free estimate today.

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