Condensing vs. Non-Condensing Boilers

Posted 19th August, 2021

When looking for a new boiler to replace your old one, you need to make sure the new one gives you more efficiency and features than earlier. Your home boilers could be condensing or non-condensing type. But what's the difference? Knowing the difference between condensing and the non-condensing boiler will help you most efficient home heating.


Condensing boilers are typically water heaters fueled by either gas or oil. They can achieve high efficiency by condensing water vapour in the exhaust gases and thus, recovering its latent heat of evaporation. This condensed vapour leaves the system in liquid form via a drain. Condensing models are considered to be much safer. While non-condensing or also called open vent boilers, take in air from within the room. A non-condensing boiler also has a single heat exchange chamber, where all the hot gases pass through, to heat the water within the walls of that exchanger. Venting for both these types of systems is different. A non-condensing boiler has a higher operating temperature.


Condensing boilers are up to 99% efficient, while non-condensing boilers lack efficiency, which is only up to 78% efficient. It means you can save a lot of money with condensing boilers than non-condensing boilers.


Condensing vs Non Condensing Boilers in Detail

Let's have a close look at some of the key differences between the two.


Condensing Boilers

• These require one or large heat exchangers.

• Usually have a lower temperature of combustion products (in the range of 50 to 55°C).

• Exhaust gas recycles through the condensing heat exchanger.

• Effective in fighting climate change by reducing CO2 emissions significantly.

• Higher initial cost but are cost-efficient when you look at the long run.


Non Condensing Boilers

• Have a single combustion chamber and also a single heat exchanger.

• Releases combustion gases often go into the flue, therefore 25% to 30% of the heat is wasted.

• Have a significantly higher carbon footprint thus, it is harmful to the environment. (Read: ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning)

• Much lower initial cost, but there can be high maintenance and costly venting.


Condensing and Non-Condensing Boilers: Pros and Cons Explained

Pros of Condensing Boilers:


Increased Energy Efficiency- One of the key reasons why condensing boilers are the first choice of homeowners is because of their higher efficiency. This high level of efficiency is possible due to its ability to store maximum heat within the boiler, which also helps in heating the water.


Lower Carbon Footprint- Condensing boilers have significantly fewer carbon emissions, and hence, you can contribute to a greener planet. You can save around 1000 kgs of carbon every year by choosing to install one in your home.


Safer for Your Home- Condensing boilers are a lot safer than non-condensing boilers. They are fully insulated and take the air outside the room, so there is less chance of any accident. There is also no risk of any toxic substances or gases leak.


Cons of Condensing Boilers:


Complexity of the Systems- Some of the condensing boilers could be very complex. These systems may shut down in freezing temperatures because the external pipe is exposed to chilly weather and can freeze. They may also start to corrode with the deposit of acid condensate. But an expert installer can minimise such issues.


Expensive to Maintain- Condensing boilers may be slightly expensive to maintain because of the complex systems. However, this maintenance cost is still less than non condensing boilers in the long run.


Pros of Non-Condensing Boilers:


Cost Effective- Non condensing boilers are much cheaper to install. It can save you a lot in the initial installation.


Installation is Quick and Easy- The installation process of these types of boilers is pretty straightforward.


Maintenance is Easy and Cheap- It is cheaper to maintain and repair. It may save you a lot more than condensing boilers in the short run.


Cons of Non-Condensing Boilers:


Energy Efficiency is Less- Efficiency is significantly lesser than condensing boilers which leads to higher energy bills. Hence, the initial savings would add up to the electricity bills.


Less Environment Friendly- If you are someone who cares for the environment and wants to do your bit towards building a greener future, then a non condensing boiler is definitely not for you.


Condensing or Non-Condensing Boilers, which one is more useful?


Looking at the efficiency, savings, sustainability, and ease of use, you can easily conclude that condensing boilers are a good buy. Condensing boilers give you better efficiency, optimal cost savings and are easy to operate.


If high installation cost is worrying you, The Boiler Installation Specialists have easy boiler finance options to get the best central heating system without spending a lot. Call us for free on 0345 262 49 89 to know more about boiler finance options!


We have a highly-skilled in-house team of technicians for replacing old boilers and installing new boilers efficiently. Our experts can also guide you with boiler maintenance. Contact us today!

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