Does your boiler need some air? Boilers get hot, and all the things that get hot need room to breathe. Depending on the boiler you have, understanding boiler ventilation does bring you not only safety but also peace of mind.
Understanding Ventilation VS Circulation
First, understanding the difference between ventilation and circulation is important.
Ventilation means the air that is required to burn fuel. On the other hand, circulation means some space should be left around your boiler.
There is a safety regulation about where boilers and flues are installed and also how much space should be left between them and other objects. Even if you are keeping things around your boiler, ensure they are non, inflammable and moisture-resistant.
What is Boiler Ventilation?
Gas boilers need oxygen to burn and keep the parts cool. But some boilers are room-sealed, meaning the combustion chamber is sealed off from the room. And this room-sealed boiler gets all the air through a balanced flue pipe; this pipe lets air into the boiler and gets waste gases out.
Older boilers don’t have a sealed compartment and have an open flue that releases waste gas. Therefore, they require good ventilation. As long as your boiler is room-sealed and has a balanced flue, boiler ventilation shouldn’t be an issue.
What is a Balanced Flue Pipe?
A balance flue system works with a special kind of exhaust pipe. It has two tubes:
- One tube releases waste gas into the atmosphere and remove it from the boiler
- One to let oxygen into the boiler.
These balanced flue pipes will provide your boiler with all the necessary ventilation.
If Your Boiler is in the Cupboard, Does it Need Ventilation?
Open Flue Vs Sealed Flue
As mentioned above, an open flue has a pipe to carry combustion gases away from the boiler. Whereas, in a sealed flue, there is no airflow between the room where the appliance is fixed and the combustion air delivered by an air duct straight to the device.
If your boiler is roomed sealed rather than an open flue, you can easily fit it into a cupboard. In such instances, you should not worry about boiler ventilation. However, when it comes to service or maintenance, ensure the engineers have easy access to the boiler’s cupboard
Here are a few things to consider before placing your boiler in a cupboard:
- Cupboard’s door should be easier to open
- There must be a 30cm (98 ft) gap between the top of the boiler and the cupboard.
- The boiler must have a 10 cm space between your boiler and the bottom of the cupboard.
- There should be at least 60cm of a gap between the cupboard and the wall for engineers to easily maintain and repair the boiler.
Ventilation of Boilers According to their Types
Although there are many types of boilers, we mainly talk about two things when we talk about ventilation – condensing or non-condensing boilers.
Non-Condensing VS Condensing Boilers
Both non-condensing and condensing boilers use fuel, such as gas, but the significant difference is that non-condensing boilers have an energy efficiency of up to 78%. In comparison, condensing boilers have only up to 95%. efficiency.
Types of Boilers and Ventilation Requirements
To clarify things, here are some ventilation requirements for each type of boiler.
- Combi Boilers: Combi boilers are smaller and compact in size. They heat water directly from the main pipe. As a result, they take up little room and are simple to place in cabinets or beneath sinks. But do they need ventilation? Combi boilers are sealed room boilers, so they do not need extra ventilation.
- System Boilers: System boilers are larger in size because they are designed for larger homes with greater hot water demands. But do they need ventilation? If you installed your boiler more than 10 years ago, this means it’s a condensing boiler and does not need to be ventilated. However, ensure you leave enough space for air circulation.
- Heat-Only/ Conventional Boilers: These boilers consist of two storage tanks –cold and hot water. Like a system boiler, if your conventional boiler was installed more than 10-15 years ago, it indicates it’s a condensing boiler and does not need ventilation.