Everything you need to know about condensing boilers and non-condensing boilers

Purchasing a right boiler has always been a challenge. With different types of boilers i.e. conventional, combination and system boiler there comes a choice of condensing and non-condensing boilers which should also be considered while buying a boiler.

Don’t worry if you are unaware of the difference between condensing and non-condensing boiler. We are here to assist you and tell you the difference between these boilers. Keep reading to know more and more information about these boilers.

When a boiler burns the fuel, combustion process releases water vapour. This water vapour steams contains heat in it and the money you are paying for the heat has been literally gone out of the window. The main difference between the condensing and non-condensing boiler is that condensing boiler don’t let that water vapour steam go to waste which gets disused by the non-condensing boilers. Instead the condensing boilers draw so much of heat out from the vapour that it gets condenses again into water. This condensed heat is then used for heating the rooms and water tanks.

As a result condensing boilers need less fuel to produce the same amount of heat and less carbon emissions than non-condensing boilers. Thus they are environment and pocket friendly boilers.

Which boiler is more efficient between the two?

Condensing boilers are more efficient than non-condensing boilers as they captivate and reuse the heat unlike the non-condensing boilers. We can get 90% efficiency rate from the condensing boilers and only 70% from non-condensing boilers. Whereas in earlier days the efficiency rates falls down to 50-60% which means a huge waste of money and heat.

The quality of using heat in flue gas to pre-heat the cold water and boosting the efficiency makes the condensing boiler an ideal boiler for the users.

Which boiler does the condensation well?

Both Non-condensing boilers and condensing boilers can do the condensation. But condensation done by the non-condensation boilers reduces its lifespan. On the other hand, condensation boilers are designed and manufactured to tackle the condensation process of the boilers. Condensation is occurred when the water vapours cools down and turn into moisture during the heating process.

 Which boiler operates the temperature better?

The operating temperature of a condensing boiler is lower than that of non-condensing boiler; it affects the heat emitters and distribution system of the boilers. Whereas at the time of condensation, consider outdoor air reset during the boiler selection. The cooler we store the boiler, the more it will condense. Thus, it is always advisable to change the radiators and piping whenever you shift to condensing boiler from non-condensing boiler. As the condensation will still happen even in the lowest temperature.

Which boiler has a proper venting layout?

Venting for both the boilers is different from each other. Due to high operating temperature, a metal type B vent with vertical termination is required in non-condensing boilers. This type B vent is negative pressure, is not air tight and does not prevent it from corrosion. Whereas, in condensing boilers PVC pipes are used that can be terminated to side wall. These PVC vent is positive pressure, is air tight and provides corrosion resistance as well.  Therefore, unlike the non-condensing system where the air combustion for condensing burners is taken from the room, condensing boiler takes it directly from the outdoor environment.

Which boiler is safer for my place?

Condensing boilers are perfectly sealed for heat insulations. Unlike the non-condensing boiler, it captures the air directly from the outdoor environment. So there is no risk of anything clogged in the boiler. Also the risk of inhaling any toxic air has been prevented with the condensing boiler. As it directly disposed of via pipe connected with the drainage system.

Which boiler has the best quality material?

Non-condensing boilers use type B vents material which can easily get corroded and on the other hand the condensing boilers have stainless steel or PVC vent which is the best choice for condensing boiler or water heaters heat exchanger.

Which boiler is best to install?

The UK govt. says that when you get a new boiler it should be a condensing boiler unless there is a strong reason why not. Though, non-condensing boilers can also be installed where the heating engineers has determined that condensing boiler is unsuitable for the property. Whereas installing a non-condensing boiler requires a legal certificate that is provided by the engineers to the users. It is important for the homeowner to keep the certificate safe as whenever they wish to sell the property this certificate will confirm that existing installation of non-condensing boiler is legal. 

Boiler efficiency

Difference between condensing and non-condensing boiler

Condensing boiler Non-condensing boiler
One or more heat exchanger Single heat exchanger
Water vapours is recycled through the condensing heat exchanger Combustion gas go into flue and heat is wasted.
Higher initial cost, but lower maintenance needed Lower initial cost but high maintenance is needed
Less carbon footprint High carbon footprint
Lower  temperature of combustion products Higher temperature of combustion products

Some best condensing boilers

  • Viessmann Vitodens 200-W
  • ATAG iC Economiser Plus 35
  • Vaillant ecoTEC exclusive with Green iQ combi
  • Worcester Bosch Greenstar CDi Classic

Therefore a condensing boiler operates more efficiently in homes with low system temperature and is easy to install and use. Condensing boiler has always been the ideal choice for the users as it allows them to reuse the heat and minimizes the energy bills as well.

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