Commercial Boilers & How They Work

Air Dynamics HVAC | Greater Philadelphia HVAC Services | Boilers

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Commercial boilers are pressurized systems that work by burning combustible fuel or by using electricity to heat water. The hot water produced is then carried and used to provide heat within a building.

Today, natural gas is the most common fuel type used in commercial boilers. This, however, is not your only option when it comes to modern boilers, there are many other models that use fuel oil or electric resistance coils in order to produce heat.

How Do They Work?

It is important to note that there are two different types of boiler systems. First, boilers designed to utilize the hot water itself. Second, are boiler systems that rely on water that has been turned into steam.

Air Dynamics HVAC | Inside of a Boiler

Inside of the boiler, burners or electric coils generate heat that is transferred to the water from the heat exchanger. This process thereby creates either “hot water” or “steam”, depending on the type of boiler in your facility. The hot water or steam created is then circulated via pipes and carried throughout your commercial building. Thus, effectively providing the necessary heating required to keep your facility comfortable throughout the season.

Commercial Boiler Parts Overview

Air Dynamics | Boiler Repair
Boiler Components Breakdown:
  • Burner: The burner is responsible for creating a mixture of fuel of oxygen that produces a consistent, efficiently burning flame.
  • Combustion Chamber: The part of the boiler where fuel is burned to heat water. It is also the area that safely contains the boiler’s burners. Combustion chambers are most often constructed of cast iron, steel, or another heavy-duty metal.
  • Heat Exchanger: A vital component that is necessary in order to transfer the heat produced by the burners to the water in the boiler. Heat exchangers are typically made of cast iron, bundles of steel tubes, or copper.
  • Controls: System controls allow users to set the water temperature, ignition, air & fuel supply mixtures, as well as the internal pressure. These controls regulate when and how often the burner fires. This allows the user control over water temperature, the rate at which fuel is used, as well as the quality of the mixture of fuel and oxygen.
  • Safety Controls: Exist to ensure that the internal pressures within the boiler do not get too high and that the water temperature stays within a safe range. This added safety measure aids in ensuring that your boiler system continues to operate properly.
  • Exhaust Stack:  The exhaust stack, also commonly referred to as the flue; is constructed of a series of pipes. These pipes are designed to carry dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide away from the inside of your facility; venting them to the outside air.

Boiler Safety and Maintenance

Remember that boilers are volatile systems containing very hot water or steam which is kept under high pressure. Care should always be taken in keeping your facilities boiler clean and properly maintained. This simple practice can provide great assurance that your boiler units safety systems are functional and ready to go if necessary. Hot water or steam leaks can quickly cause serious injuries or damage.

Air Dynamics HVAC | Boiler Safety

It is important to note that ill-maintained boilers put you and your staff at a higher risk of an unexpected boiler explosion.

This lack of maintenance can cause serious injuries or death as well as catastrophic damage to your commercial facility.

At Air Dynamics HVAC, we recommend ensuring your boiler receives regular preventive maintenance. Keeping up on your boiler’s routine maintenance effectively ensures that your system continues to work properly, safely and at its highest level of efficiency. Contact us today for more information on boiler maintenance or to schedule maintenance for your boiler equipment.

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