What Is A Commercial Boiler?

June 02, 2022 | Commercial Boilers, Commercial Gas Boilers

What Is A Commercial Boiler?

Commercial boilers are much larger and more powerful than traditional domestic boilers intended for use in homes. Commercial boilers will be needed in properties which have a large footprint, with thousands of square feet to heat as opposed to just a few hundred inside the typical home.

This can include everything from office blocks in city centres to schools, colleges, leisure centres even hospitals, high rise flats and workshops.

A commercial boiler is not that different to a boiler installation in a domestic property, however there is a lot more work that goes into assessing the size you’ll need. Not only does the square footage need to be taken into consideration, but how many radiators, windows and hot water outlets there are.

This will determine the full piping system that should be installed, as well as the size of boiler and type of fuel consumption you’ll need. Based on all of these factors, you should be able to decide which commercial boiler is right for your unique requirements.

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When Is A Boiler Classed As Commercial?

Many boilers which are smaller in size can be classed as commercial boilers rather than residential, as it depends on the output given. Small homes may only need a 24kW boiler, and many homes such as three-bed semi-detached will opt for around 42kW.

However, it is not uncommon for larger homes to require a boiler up to around 70kW in output to ensure that all rooms are adequately heated without too much pressure on the boiler.

Anything larger than 70kW can fall into the category of a commercial boiler, suitable for use in a wide range of business premises like warehouses, educational establishments like schools, large office spaces or any other large building which is non-residential. These places have a bigger need for heating and hot water, so it is not uncommon to find commercial boilers with an output of anywhere from 200kW up to as large as 1500kW.

This huge boiler size allows businesses to provide their workforce, customers and visitors with a warm environment in the colder months, as well as hot water on demand whether that is for taps or showers. As the range is so wide, there are commercial boilers to suit every business, so the choices are fairly unlimited, and ones can be found to suit whatever budget has been allocated.

It’s important to remember that some boilers which are less than the recommended 70kW can still be classified as being used for commercial purposes, such as portable boilers that can be used on construction projects, for example to dry plaster and screed in large-scale projects. These smaller boilers can also be useful in buildings which are larger than a typical house, but smaller than huge open spaces – garages and shops for example.

How Do Commercial Boilers Work?

Commercial boilers don’t differ that much from the types used in a domestic setting and are essentially systems which can be pressurised so that fuel is burned or electricity used so that water can be heated. Many boilers will use only the water which has been heated to a high temperature, but other systems make use of the steam that is produced to heat the system.

Inside, the water is heated by either burners using oil or gas pumped into the system externally, or an electric coil can have a current passed through it which causes heat transfer to surrounding water. The result is hot water which can be pumped directly around the system to showers, taps and radiators, or it can be heated past boiling point until it turns into steam. Either way, water molecules in liquid or gas form are passed through pipes to provide heat.

What Size Of Commercial Boiler Do I Need?

As discussed, your boiler size should be directly related to the size of the premises you wish to heat and the demands on it. A general rule is that each square foot of space you wish to heat should equate to 50 BTUs. So if you have two office buildings you need to heat which are approximately 5,000 square feet each, 10,000 in total, then your boiler should be capable of delivering half a million BTUs.

A boiler that has a 120kW output should provide around 400,000 BTU as an estimate. Also, take into consideration how well insulated the building is, for example, does it have double glazed windows and spray foam insulation? Older buildings generally will have less insulation than newer buildings, and if you have a workshop with fibreglass for sections of the roof, heat will generally escape faster than if you have a traditional tiled roof and ceiling.

If you’re unsure of what kind of commercial boiler installation you need, or if you simply need repairs or servicing to your existing commercial boiler, then get in touch with us today and we will happily provide you an accurate quote based on all of your requirements.

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