how to choose the right commercial boiler system for your business
How to Choose the Right Commercial Boiler System for Your Business
Though it might not be the most glamorous part of your business, your commercial boiler is an incredibly important part of the day-to-day running of a company. If your building isn’t properly heated, all sorts of problems could occur that could damage your business. These issues may affect your workforce, for example with people getting cold and becoming unhappy, ill and unproductive. Or they might affect the actual building and lead to problems such as frozen pipes, which are costly and inconvenient to fix.
Here are the things you need to consider when choosing a commercial boiler.
Firetube Boilers vs Watertube Boilers
There are two main types of boilers that are usually used in commercial properties: firetube and watertube. Neither one is definitively superior to the other as they both have advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick rundown on both:
In a firetube boiler, hot combustion gases produced by the burner are passed through tubes arranged in a pressurised cylindrical drum and surrounded by water. The energy transfers to the water which heats up until it becomes steam. Firetube boilers are a lower cost option and are generally used in smaller buildings with lower operating pressures. The main advantages are that they are simple to install and operate, and compact in size.
Watertube boilers work in the opposite way, with water circulating inside tubes that are surrounded by hot gases. These boilers are larger in size, and capable of generating higher temperatures, but the downside is that they are much more expensive. A watertube boiler is a good choice if you need high heat and pressure.
Whole Life Costing
Whole life costing looks at the cost of a new boiler over its entire life, from determining the need for it through to its eventual disposal. This will take into account the purchase price, how much it will cost to run and anticipated maintenance costs, such as installation and servicing. Finding out the whole life cost of a boiler enables you to make an informed choice about which is the best value for money.
Energy efficiency is an important consideration when choosing a boiler and is only going to become more so. The UK government is committed to bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and environmentally friendly heating options will play a big part of that. As well as contributing towards climate targets, an energy efficient boiler cuts down on bills. Due to the Energy-related Products (ErP) directive, boilers in the UK are clearly labelled with performance and efficiency parameters. Choosing a boiler that is at least 85% efficient will save you money and help the planet.
Getting the right size of boiler for your building is crucial. Most boilers produce between 24 and 42 kilowatts of energy, with bigger boilers producing the higher kilowatt output. If your boiler is too big you will end up paying out more money for bills than necessary, but if it’s too small it won’t provide enough heat. Consider factors such as the size of the spaces it needs to heat, the number of radiators there are, and the layout of the building. You also need to consider the size of the space that the boiler will be installed in, as there should be approximately 20cm of space above and below the boiler and 60cm around it.
The work involved in installing different types of boiler can vary, with some being more complicated than others. A difficult installation can end up costing more than the boiler itself, and you will pay less for a technician to fit one that is light and compact. You should also consider whether you’ll need to pay extra to have existing pipework altered to be able to connect the new boiler. It may be necessary to shut your building down to have your boiler fitted, so factor in the potential loss of productivity when deciding which boiler to choose.
The warranty offered on a product is an essential part of choosing a new boiler, as it can potentially save you thousands of pounds in repair costs. It will also offer the peace of mind of knowing that if something goes wrong you can get your boiler working again quickly, and with no additional cost. The longer the warranty is, the better, so it might be worth initially paying a bit extra if you know that your boiler will be covered for a longer period of time. Look carefully at the small print of the boiler you are considering to ensure that it comes with a lengthy warranty.
If it’s properly maintained, a boiler can last between 10 and 15 years, or sometimes even longer. You must have it regularly serviced by a qualified professional to check the individual parts of the boiler and replace them if necessary. A good engineer will also be able to assess when parts are likely to wear out, and order them ahead of time. Parts that take a long time to obtain can put your boiler out of action, which will have a negative impact on your business. Rather than waiting for the minimum service appointments to roll around, schedule in regular maintenance appointments to ensure your boiler remains in good working condition and won’t unexpectedly break down. Many manufacturers offer a regular maintenance plan, which you should consider carefully before making your purchase.
There is a lot to think about choosing a boiler, and it’s important to take the time to evaluate all your options in terms of cost, efficiency, installation and servicing. By carefully considering all of the points above you will be able to choose a boiler that will help your business run smoothly, efficiently and warmly.
At Mobius Works, we can install and maintain a commercial heating system that will ensure your business runs smoothly, efficiently. Get in touch today for more information.