Exploring the Advantages of a Combination Boiler
If you heat your home with a hot water-based system, typically a natural gas or propane boiler using hot water baseboards and/or radiant floor, learning about the advantages of a combination heat-and-hot-water boiler (also know as a ‘combo. boiler’) could be worth your time. In certain cases, this type of hot water boiler could be just the high efficiency, space-saving solution you’re looking for.
What is a Combination Boiler?
A combination boiler, as the name suggests, serves more than one purpose: hydronic central heating for the entire home, plus domestic hot water heating for dishwashing, laundry, showers, and all your other home hot water needs. A combination boiler serves both of these needs with just a single piece of equipment (no separate hot water tank).
For domestic hot water, combo. boilers heat the water instantaneously, as needed, similar to a tankless water heater. A properly sized system is able to provide ample hot water supply to satisfy the needs of most homeowners. For heating the home during the winter, a combination boiler also functions as a high-efficiency central home heater, with most models featuring a modulating capability that allows the boiler to adjust heat output to match outdoor weather conditions. Boasting efficiency ratings in the 95% AFUE range for both home heating and hot water makes this type of equipment a great choice for low operating costs.
During the summer months, when home heating is rarely needed, the combo. boiler operates as an instantaneous whole-house water heater, efficiently burning gas only when hot water is needed at an appliance, the tap, or elsewhere around the house.
Top reasons to consider a combination boiler
- High efficiency operation
- Small footprint, combining heat and hot water in one wall-hung unit
- Modulating design adjusts BTU output as needed
Other Advantages of Combo. Boilers
In addition to excellent efficiency, combination boilers take up at least half the footprint of a traditional system that uses a separate boiler and hot water tank. Many models are designed to be hung in the mechanical room on an exterior wall, venting right out thru the wall (no flue chase needed) in standard PVC plastic pipe. They also typically feature two-pipe, sealed combustion venting, which eliminates the risk of damaging the equipment by using potentially ‘contaminated’ indoor air (from laundry or workshop, for instance) in the combustion process.
Planning and Purchasing Considerations
Does a combination heat-and-hot-water boiler make sense for your home that’s heated by hot water radiant floor or hot water baseboards? Many factors go into answering this question, and every home and family has their own unique set of considerations. For example, how old is the existing boiler and the existing water heater, and what shape are they in? Is conserving floor space a high priority? How high are your monthly utility bills? How long do you plan to remain in your home? What role does budget play in your plans? The list of factors goes on….
The best advice we can give our customers when looking seriously at combination boilers – or any work being performed in their homes – is to consult an experienced, reputable professional, explore a variety of options, and ask lots of questions. Work with a contractor who informs you in a low-pressure fashion, and take the time to make an educated decision that you feel comfortable with.
Your Denver Area Heating Pros
In the Denver-Boulder metro area, our team at Save Home Heat Company checks all of the above boxes, and more. Looking out for your best interests and earning your trust every time you give us the opportunity to work in your home, these are at the top rung of our company’s ‘philosophy ladder.’ Please give us a call today for friendly, professional assistance with your home heating needs, or for any of your plumbing, electrical, cooling, or indoor air quality projects or repairs. We think you’ll be glad you did!