Getting The Most Bang For Your Buck With Your Commercial Boiler

With so much to worry about in the workplace, from profits to employee happiness, many small business owners forget about their company's heating system. Too many business owners adopt a "fit and forget" mentality when it comes to machinery - installing the components and then forgetting about them until they fail. However, if your commercial boiler isn't working at a high efficiency, you are essentially leaking money out of your own pocket to keep the system going. Instead of this, consider the following tips to maximize your boiler's output at minimal cost: 

Insulate Your Boiler

The majority of modern boilers will come insulated to keep in heat; however, this insulation layer can degrade somewhat over the boilers lifespan. If the insulation is allowed to deteriorate significantly, it can result in massive amounts of heat escaping. Over time, this will eat away at your business' profits as you have to pump more heat into the system.

As such, your boiler's insulation should be regularly inspected and repaired. Small signs of wear are easily fixed if picked up on early, so you should schedule regular maintenance checks on your boiler. Similarly, the insulation on all pipes and valves running from the boiler should be regularly checked. Although you may have to pay for repairs or replacements, this will be much less than if you were to run your boiler with damaged insulation. 

Upgrade Your Speed Drives/Pumps

Every commercial heating boiler will come equipped with a number of speed drives that dictate the speed at which the internal turns. However, the speed drives typically used on older boiler systems are grossly inefficient, and by upgrading your drives you can greatly increase your boiler's efficiency. 

Most modern force-induced boilers come equipped with variable speed drives. These variable pumps allow the internal fan to operate efficiently at lower speeds when less air is being drawn into the system. Although the reduction in speed is small (typically around 10%), the savings in energy consumption can be significant. If your boiler is currently equipped with constant speed drives, consider replacing them with variable drives that can be fitted to match your boiler's energy demand. 

Install a Flue Damper

All boilers come with vents that allow fumes to escape without trapping the gas in the boiler. This is vitally important, as toxic build-up could be extremely dangerous to your employees if not protected against. However, some heat will also be lost if these fumes are allowed to leave through an open chimney. 

One way to protect against this (and save yourself money), is to install a mechanical vent flue damper. These components work autonomously, opening when the boiler starts up to allow fumes to escape, but closing after the boiler is working to stop valuable heat from escaping. Mechanical vent flue dampers are extremely easy to install, and will prove invaluable at curbing your energy costs before they spiral out of control. 

The quantitative effect of a mechanical flue damper will depend on how much heat your commercial boiler is releasing in the first place. However, regardless of this, they are valuable components that will save your company money in the long run. 

Practice Proper Maintenance

Maintenance is the key to keeping any mechanical system operating efficiently, and commercial boilers are no different. With a complicated array of moving parts, you'll have to schedule regular maintenance checks to keep your boiler performing at peak performance. Of course, full services should be carried out at least once a year, but you should pencil in more regular checks to stop any small problems growing out of control. 

When carrying out maintenance, you should also clean your boiler to improve efficiency. Limescale build-up is extremely common in commercial boilers, and this layer can inhibit the transfer of heat to the water. Effectively, this increases the amount of energy required to heat the water, which will leak money out of your company profits over time.