Commercial Boiler FAQ’s discussed by BPS Facilities
What is a Commercial Boiler?
Commercial heating and 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. You should only use a commercial plumber and qualified gas engineer who has the knowledge and experience for installations, repairs, boiler servicing and maintenance for your commercial heating as they will have the right skills and understand the sometimes complicated UK legislation. Anyone you use should always have the right type and up to date gas safe registration.
What is the difference between Commercial Heating and a Domestic Boiler?
Most commercial heating systems 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. Both types of heating systems legally need a commercial gas engineer who is Gas Safe Registered to install, maintain or repair any gas fuelled systems and a qualified commercial plumber for any plumbing work required.
What types of Commercial Heating Systems are there?
Choosing a commercial heating system replacement for your property or business can be really confusing so it’s really important that you use a qualified gas safe registered engineer who has the experience of planning and installing boilers as they will know which type of system will give you the heating that you need most efficiently. Using a qualified commercial plumber will ensure you have the right plumbing systems in place to support the running of your boiler and its efficiencies. Here are a few systems that will provide commercial heating for your property.
Commercial Boiler Types
Commercial Heating Systems
- 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 system is more of a cost-effective way to heat larger spaces compared to radiators and systems.
What are the benefits of Warm Air Commercial 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 systems 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 commercial 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 the heat water is pumped through sealed radiators systems to heat different areas or rooms, much like a domestic system 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.
You must always use a qualified engineer who is on the gas safe register for any systems which have a gas supply when it comes to installation, repair, maintenance and servicing as well as a fully qualified commercial plumber.
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 microclimate 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. These systems must all be gas safe checked and signed off and inspected every year.
5. Radiant Plaque Heating
Radiant Plaque Commercial 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. Underfloor Commercial 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 it is installed as the building is being constructed it can be a cheaper alternative to traditional wet heating systems. The 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. A qualified commercial plumber is needed when installing and repairing underfloor heating systems.
7. Steam Commercial Heating Systems
A steam heating system 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 system 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 have minimal commercial 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.
You must have a gas safe registered engineer install, maintain, service and repair any gas systems, a qualified electrician for any electrical work needed as well as a commercial plumber for these types of systems.
Always check if a gas engineer is qualified to carry out your installations, repairs and boiler servicing via their gas safe registration card for your own peace of mind and the safety of your business and property.
You should always ensure you have a qualified expert on hand who can get to you quickly to repair heating and hot water systems within your operation to minimise any disruption.
What is a Commercial Plumber?
- A commercial plumber will have the experience of working in or on larger sites or properties which have larger scale plumbing systems
- A commercial plumber will carry out repairs for piping or fixtures due to damage or general wear and tear
- A commercial plumber will assess and conduct a routine inspection for water heaters, water pressure sensors, and other modules to ensure all the plumbing aspects are working as they should be
- A commercial plumber will carry out preventive maintenance and inspections and working to a planned schedule of work for commercial building services
- A commercial plumber will consult with commercial property owners and businesses to assess and provide guidance on any potential issues
- A commercial plumber will plan, design, cut and assemble commercial plumbing pipes and features above or under ground and within property structures
How efficient is a Commercial Heating System?
New heating and boilers are far more efficient than older boilers which will consume far more energy to give heat output. An outdated 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. A commercial plumber and engineer will be able to tell you how efficient your current system is and its energy rating after a full inspection.
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 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) for commercial and domestic properties which is determined through an energy survey conducted by an accredited Non-Domestic Energy Assessor. Items such as loft insulation, hot water tank, radiators, and systems 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 should you consider when replacing your commercial heating system?
- Always use a qualified commercial plumber and heating engineer installer who can offer you a full replacement or new installation service
- Only ever use a contractor or business who has commercial gas safe registration as a heating engineer for your commercial property or commercial business heating system
- Most professional heating companies will only work for within the commercial industry as specialise in commercial heating and not domestic
- Look for a business who offers a range of services including installation, servicing, maintenance and repair on an ad hoc or contract basis, as well as what types of emergency service that they offer
- If you are looking for a new heating system to be installed check their installers are all fully qualified and insured
- Check they have public liability insurance
- Ensure all of their heating engineers are on the gas safe register
- Ensure their commercial plumber’s are all qualified and have the knowledge and experience to work commercial property heating legislation
- Check that they offer a 24/7 emergency service for your commercial business
- When you are planning for a new heating system ask them how they will assess your commercial property to offer the most efficient heating running costs
- Ask how they keep up to date on gas safety and business care
- Find out how their heating engineers are trained and how often
- Ask a business how they follow the necessary legal requirements when it comes to heating systems and how this is measured in their contracts for businesses
What services would you expect a Commercial Boiler Specialist to offer?
- Heating system and boiler servicing
- Heating system and boiler repairs
- Commercial plumber services including plumbing repairs
- Boiler care services
- Commercial boiler control systems so they are able to remotely monitor your boiler and often fix remotely
- Services for water heating systems
- Boiler control systems
- Repair or replacement boiler services including decommissioning
- Heating system and boiler installation services
- Planning and design of complete new central heating systems for any business premises
- Installation, repair, maintenance and servicing of gas boilers
- Heating systems general maintenance and heating engineer services
- Routine maintenance for commercial systems
- Emergency repair services
- Planned maintenance contracts for businesses as well as a regular maintenance service
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