Ultimate Guide To Residential Boilers: Types, Terms And Technology

September 16, 2021

Ultimate Guide To Residential Boilers: Types, Terms And TechnologyMost homes in Canada either use a furnace or boiler to keep the temperature of the home at a comfortable level. If you want a system that will help you save money yet will keep the temperature of your house at the level you want, boilers are your best option.To ensure your boiler system runs efficiently throughout the winter, you should have proper knowledge regarding the different parts of the boiler, the types of boilers available and the technology used. This will not only help you make an informed decision but also help you understand what went wrong if your boiler stops working.In this blog, we have compiled an ultimate guide to help you understand the different types of boilers, the terms commonly used to describe boiler parts and the tech used in them.

How Does A Boiler Work?

The water is heated inside the tank attached to the boiler. This hot water then flows through the pipes, radiators, radiant floor systems or a coil to produce warmth. The tank of the boiler sits over a burner that usually runs on natural gas.

High-Efficiency vs Standard Efficiency Boilers

As the hot water passes through the radiators or coil, some of the energy is lost in the process. High-efficiency systems are designed to prevent the loss of energy and direct it back to the system. The lower the efficiency of a system, the more fuel will be lost.Boilers that are over 10 years old have a 50 percent to 70 percent efficiency. This means that 50 to 70 percent of the fuel used goes into heating the house, the rest of the fuel is wasted.According to Energy Star, this is how boilers are divided based on their efficiency:
  • Old, Low-Efficiency Boilers have 56% – 70%
  • New, Minimum Efficiency Standard Boilers have 78%
  • New, Mid-Efficiency Boilers have 80 – 83%
  • New, High-Efficiency boilers have a 90 – 98%
Moreover, new guidelines now require boilers to display their fuel utilization efficiency to make it easy for consumers to compare them.High-efficiency boilers prove to be more cost-effective in the long run. However, when it comes to their installation, they will cost more. Statistics show that replacing an old boiler with a new high-efficiency one may cut your fuel bills in half.

Common Terms Associated With Boilers

Shopping for a new boiler system can be confusing, especially due to the plethora of technical terms associated with them. To help ease the process of buying a boiler, here are some of the commonly used terms related to boilers.
  • Heat Exchanger: Converts energy into heat
  • Electric Ignition: Automatically ignites the pilot
  • Boiler Pressure: Valve: Releases pressure from the boiler
  • Vent Damper: Automatically closes the boiler when it is in idle mode to save energy
  • LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas): Term used for propane
  • Outdoor Temperature Reset: Electronic thermostat that adjusts the temperature

Types Of Boilers

All types of boilers are either condensing or non-condensing. A condensing boiler concentrates water vapor produced in the heating process. It uses the wasted heat to preheat cold water entering the boiler. These types of boilers provide an efficiency higher than 88 percent.On the contrary, non-condensing boilers typically operate at higher temperatures, and some heat ends up being wasted. They are mostly 80 to 88 percent efficient.

Factors To Consider Before Buying A Boiler

Some of the factors that you should consider before investing in a boiler include:


Decide on a boiler that will suit the climate of your locality and the size of your residence. A boiler too large for your house will cause a sudden spike in your energy bills and a boiler too small will not provide enough warmth.


How well ventilated your house is will affect what type of boiler you choose. A boiler that vents extra heat using a chimney can be located in smaller, closed-in areas. However, boilers that are vented by forcing air have to be installed in an open area.


Keeping your budget and your required heating level in mind, choose the system efficiency you want. You want to look for an oil boiler that has at least an 80% rating, or a gas boiler that runs at an 89% to 98% efficiency.

How Can Pro West Heating Help?

At Pro West, we are pleased to offer our customers high-quality, high-efficiency boiler systems from the industry’s leading manufacturers. Our experts are trained to deliver the best services backed by a 100 percent guarantee. If you are unsure whether your boiler system needs to be replaced or repaired, our team can help you make a viable and budget-friendly decision. For more information on our services, contact us.