Choosing the boiler is not always easy, it is a valuable investment that can not be done lightly.
In addition to the cost of the boiler must consider the impact on your energy bill and savings opportunities offered by new technologies. How to proceed to choose the best suited to our needs boiler? We see some issues.
Analyze your needs
The first step and perhaps the most important is a careful analysis of needs. We must keep in mind a number of variables:
- Location of the building. Depending on the climatic zone in which is located the property we can choose the boiler with the adequate power.
- Requested services. We can use the boiler only for heating, or only to produce hot water. If, however, the boiler will be used for both functions is well pick one with more power.
- Type of fuel available. The availability of the fuel is a determining factor in the choice of the boiler. If the gas can be either not available to evaluate other solutions such as heat pumps or biomass boilers
- What will be the type of radiating bodies. The latter may influence or be influenced by interior design that we're going to heat the home. However the modern condensing boilers can ensure excellent functionality and energy saving and in case of floor heating systems or radiant panels, which in the case of classic radiators.
From the climate of the area in which is located the building, more precisely dall'escursione heat between inside and outside, depends on the sizing of the heating system. Based on this data we have to choose the boiler able to produce the amount of heat required.
The law divides the Italian territory into climate zones, For each defines its minimum outside temperature, obtained on the basis of statistics of the minimum temperature observations that actually can have and to the behavior of the buildings. Similarly, the law sets the internal temperature, throughout the national territory. It may vary based on usage of the building, in the case of residential dwellings is 20 degrees centigrade.
Depending on the climate zone in which we are the minimum outside temperature can vary from 5 -20 in degrees centigrade and the temperature range can vary from 15 40 in degrees centigrade. So if in the warmer climate zone I need some power to heat the rooms up to 20 °, in the coldest climate zone I will need more than twice the power to achieve the same result.
- Dimension.The first characteristic of the building to be evaluated to choose the boiler is the magnitude of the environments of house. Obviously the rooms are large the more energy is required to heat them, but there are other things to consider. For example in the presence of large double height loft environments it is preferable to provide an underfloor heating system to obtain a more uniform temperature. The underfloor heating requires water at low temperature, we can then choose a condensing boiler, That under these conditions provides better energy efficiency.
- Centuries of construction.If you're renovating an old building, built before 1975, this will not have a good thermal insulation. Unless they are not provided, or have already made interventions to improve energy performance. Because of the greater ease of dispersion of the heat we must oversize the heating system to achieve the desired thermal comfort.
- Exposure.If the environments to be heated are exposed to the north, or in a position which determines a low solar radiation, will require more energy for heating, so we choose a boiler with a higher wattage.
- Degree of thermal insulation. The newly built buildings in general are made with materials and technologies that determine a good thermal insulation. We will, however, evaluate the heat demand for our case in order to calibrate the power of the boiler correctly.
heat pump or boiler?
In recent years technological development has made it attractive to the plant using another domestic heating technology, heat pumps. The heat pump can withdraw heat from water, air or land and make it usable to operate the heating. The consumed electricity is not directly used to be converted into heat, but to activate the mechanism that extracts heat from external sources.
In summer, the direction of heat can be reversed, so the heat pump can also be used to cool the rooms.
There are three types of heat pumps: air-water, water-water, ground-water. The most common type of heat pump is that air-water, it is more simple and economical installation, extracts heat from the outside air, but this is precisely its limit, in fact when the outside temperature drops close to or below zero the performance undergoes a sharp decline.
The other two types by extracting heat from elements that have a much more constant temperature are less affected by this problem. By contrast needing piping inserted in depth, drilling through the soil, they are more difficult and expensive installation.
The heat pumps produce water at low temperature, are suitable for plants with radiating panels or underfloor heating systems. They are well suited to operate in environments where the heater is turned on for many hours, without interruption.
Unlike the heat pump, the boiler is the component in which occurs the passage of heat from a fuel in the combustion phase to a liquid. The liquid has the function of conveying the heat to the radiating elements which distribute in the environments to be heated.
The evolution of the boiler is closely linked to that of fuels. Starting from coal, fuel in the solid state, it is passed to liquid fuels, then the gas. Remarkable are the differences both in the mode of supply and storage, either in the combustion mode.
The condensing boiler is the most advanced type of gas boiler, choose the condensing boiler means Also save up to 40% on your energy bill, If the boiler is combined with radiation systems. The savings account is a greater energy efficiency. The condensing boiler via a component precisely said capacitor, is able to recover the residual heat of the exhaust fumes.
A condensing boiler typically has a higher price than a traditional, is around 1000 - 2000 euro, excluding installation, this initial outlay, however, it is cushioned by the energy savings.
Parameters to be compared
Technological advances have allowed to equip the boiler with many new features that improve the management of the heating. The ultimate goal of this evolution is that the optimization of the consumption, thus energy saving.
There are many technical aspects that must be evaluated when choosing the boiler, for example, the modulation ratio, the compatibility with the thermoregulation accessories, the possible areas of management for large environments, the use of an external boiler for the production hot water. These issues clearly affect both the complexity of the system that the price, so you have to make an optimization of price and benefits on the basis of what are the needs.
False myths to debunk
That being a condensing type of boiler appeared on the market recently, many do not know the characteristics in detail. This promotes the dissemination of statements but are not reflected in reality. Let the false myths.
- Conventional boilers are better.
In reality it is not so, condensing boilers provide higher performance, greater savings and less environmental impact. Their level of technology is much more advanced, this allows a much more detailed parameter control and the optimization of consumption. The characteristics of the condensing boiler, when combined with the external probe that allows you to anticipate any changes in temperature (also sudden) during the day, ensuring customers maximum savings in the bill.
- Condensing boilers cost much more.
This is partially true. Condensing boilers have a much higher technological value, which surely justifies a higher initial cost. During the course of their lives provide high bills long after that, in time, they provide a guaranteed and substantial investment.
- Condensing boilers are only saving with underfloor heating systems.
False. Even in the presence of old plants with radiators, the condensing boiler, combined with thermoregulation, allows to obtain a substantial saving in the bill (compared to an old traditional boiler), ensuring a greater environmental comfort.
- Condensing boilers are noisier compared to an old traditional boiler.
False. The noise level of condensing boilers, thanks to the technology, it is much lower compared to the old traditional boilers.
Hoping that these guidelines can help you select the most suitable boiler for your heating system, please also read insights on: room thermostat, Revision of the boiler and on New EU rules on energy efficiency standards.