Commercial Boiler FAQ’s discussed by BPS Facilities
What is a Commercial Boiler?
Commercial boilers are normally pressurised systems that either burn combustible fuel or use electricity. Inside the boiler, the burners or electric coils generate heat that is transferred to the water by the heat exchanger. Depending on the type of boiler the heating process creates either hot water or steam which is circulated via pipes or radiators throughout your commercial property.
What is the difference between a Commercial Boiler and a Domestic Boiler?
Most commercial boilers have a range, including input of over 70kw net and are suitable to heat larger commercial properties compared to a domestic boiler which is normally less than 70kw net. A commercial boiler will have gas pipework of over 35mm in diameter to ensure the effective and safe running of the boiler.
What types of Commercial Boilers and Heating Systems are there?
Choosing a commercial boiler for your property or business can be really confusing so it’s really important that you use a qualified gas engineer who has the experience of planning and installing commercial boilers as they will know which type of boiler will give you the heating that you need most efficiently. Here are a few systems that will provide heating for your property.
- Combi boilers
- System boilers
- Conventional boilers
- Condensing boilers
- Energy-efficient boilers
- Warm Air heating systems
- HW heating systems
- Indirect gas and oil-fired warm air heaters
- High-efficiency gas-fired radiant tube heating systems
- Radiant plaque heating
- Underfloor heating
- Steam heating systems
- Heat pump systems
What types of Commercial Heating are there?
1. Forced-draft or “Warm Air Heating” Commercial Heating Systems
Warm air commercial heating systems can be the most cost-effective way to heat large commercial spaces. The air is heated via a heat exchanger or boiler and is then circulated through the building through vents that have been installed in the areas and spaces that will optimise the heat. A warm air heating system is more of a cost-effective way to heat larger spaces compared to radiators and boilers.
What are the benefits of Warm Air Heating systems?
- The warm air heat is circulated throughout a building instantly making it easier to control
- The warm-air produces a drier heat which removes moisture in the air
- Warm air heating is good for buildings which have large amounts of computer equipment or stock that needs to be kept moisture-free
2. Wet Heating Commercial Heating Systems
If a commercial property has large open spaces with high ceilings and minimal insulation then a wet heating system is often more beneficial as it is more cost-efficient and economical to run. Wet heating systems work where water is heated via a boiler and pumped through sealed radiators systems to heat different areas, much like a domestic boiler does.
3. Indirect Gas and Oil-Fired Warm Air Heaters
Indirect gas and oil-fired heater systems are reliable and highly efficient heaters which are ideal for commercial properties where there is limited ventilation and people are present. They offer huge volumes of dry, clean and fume-free heat which are distributed into defined areas. They are commonly used to heat marquees and temporary structures without creating any noise, smells, fumes or moisture. Indirect gas and oil-fired heater systems are also used where combustible materials are being stored as the flame is kept completely separate from the airflow so there is no risk of fire.
4. High-efficiency Gas-Fired Radiant Tube Heating Systems
Gas-fired tube heaters offer maximum efficiency from lightweight radiant heating tubes providing direct heat and warmth in commercial, industrial and retail applications properties.
The combustion of the gas-air mixture takes place within a long steel tube and the tube heats up and emits infrared radiation. The infrared rays convert into heat at the points where they fall and therefore only where they are required making it an efficient heating system, Surfaces absorb the thermal energy which circulates it into the air which results in a micro-climate made up of air and radiation heat. A gas-fired tube heating system can reduce energy costs significantly and improves the feeling of consistent warmth in large open plan properties.
5. Radiant Plaque Heating
Radiant Plaque Heating reflects and directs the infrared radiation where you want it and can heat an area to the required temperature at different times of the day making them cost-effective and efficient for many different properties and applications such as factories, warehouses, sports halls, retail outlets, supermarkets, churches, distribution centres, workshops, garages and many more. They can also be used to heat outdoor areas such as; gardens to much larger sports facilities.
6. Under Floor Heating
There have been huge advances in heat pump technology which is making underfloor heating a popular way to heat new builds both domestic and commercial. If underfloor heating is installed as the building is being constructed it can be a cheaper alternative to traditional wet heating systems. The underfloor pipes have water flowing through them which is heated and this distributes heat evenly into each room. Underfloor heating is a cost-effective solution for heating new buildings whatever their size and gives warmth in the lower areas of a space rather than wasting it higher up.
7. Steam Heating Systems
A steam heating systems boiler heats water with a gas or oil-fired burner and turns it into steam. The steam is distributed through pipes and or radiators or convectors which warms a room or area. When heating is turned down or off the steam cools and condenses back into water which flows back into the boiler to be heated again. If used in the right building they can be one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of heating.
8. Heat Pump Systems
If you need minimal heating and cooling needs then heat pump systems can offer an energy-efficient alternative to boilers and air conditioners. They work much like a fridge does in that the heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space making it cooler and making the warm space warmer. A heat pump system is seen as an air conditioning system that also provides heat during the winter.
How efficient is a Commercial Boiler?
New commercial boilers are far more efficient than older boilers which will consume far more energy to give heat output. An outdated boiler system wastes energy and results in a higher energy bill as well as the potential of breaking down and increased carbon dioxide and monoxide emissions.
The EU has released multiple directives to control its carbon footprint and to ensure they meet their ambitious energy-saving target of 20% by 2020. Subsequently, commercial boiler systems have been the focus of new regulations due to their high energy usage.
The Government’s Energy Act set the timeline out as follows:
- Landlords of privately rented non-domestic properties cannot grant new tenancies or renew existing ones if their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below E as of 1st April 2018
- Property owners cannot let their building to existing tenants nor allow new lets and renewals if they do not meet the minimum EPC of E as of 1st April 2023
EPC is an energy-efficient rating (Energy Performance Certificate) and is determined through an energy survey conducted by an accredited Non-Domestic Energy Assessor. Items such as loft insulation, hot water tank, radiators, and commercial boilers are examined and energy efficiency is scored on a scale of A to G, A being the highest and the one in which your energy costs will be the lowest. Recommendations to improve the properties energy rating are recommended by the assessors.
What do I need to consider when thinking about a Commercial Boiler?
Even thinking about replacing your commercial boiler is a minefield, they are expensive, complex and you need to think about a lot of factors to ensure you choose the right boiler. Our advice would be for you to contact a Gas Safe Registered Commercial Boiler or Commercial Gas Engineer who will be able to assess your needs, your building and recommend the best boiler for you. A good Commercial Boiler company will work with the best brands on the market and be able to provide you with a detailed plan of which boiler will be most efficient for you, an installation plan to ensure your business is not impacted, maintenance and repair services as well as a boiler warranty.
Experienced and qualified gas engineers will ensure the boiler system they install complies with all the UK regulations and you will have the documents to prove that it has been professionally installed and tested by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.
How big are Commercial Boilers?
Boiler sizes depend on its heating capability and your requirements. Always remember that a boiler that has to work really hard to heat an area and meet your heating requirements will overwork which will decrease how long it lasts. A boiler that is too big for your property will increase your electricity bill and running costs without there being any need for it. This is why a professional gas engineer is crucial in aiding your decision when you are thinking about installing a new commercial boiler.
About BPS Facilities
- At BPS, we offer fully planned repair and maintenance services that will keep your Commercial Boiler running efficiently and safely
- We will come out and complete a regular maintenance service which helps to prevent issues with your systems before they become a problem
- Our Planned Maintenance services and contracts are designed around your requirements, systems and business needs and always carried out by one of our suitably qualified gas engineers in line with all current Health & Safety regulations. Full Risk Assessment and Method Statements are always provided
- We have comprehensive, practical experience and expertise in the installation and maintenance of Mechanical Services Heating systems ranging from smaller systems through to full-scale commercial property systems
- We install and manage Commercial Boiler control systems which make it possible for our team to pinpoint problems with your heating or cooling systems long before you do. Through an online network, our team can keep track of precise faults, diagnose them and frequently resolve them remotely
- We offer a consultancy service to advise you on the industry’s most up to date, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient and cost-saving products. This service includes the planning and design stage, through to installation and project fulfilment, together with planned aftercare
- Our Commercial Gas Engineers qualifications and practical experience make it possible for us to deal with all types and brands of systems, and whether it is a routine inspection or a repair we can assist.
- Our customer-focused company ethos means that every team member at BPS is focused on delivering the best service every time, we only do a job if it needs doing and complete all work to the highest of standards