Frequently Asked Questions about Commercial Boiler Installation
While nearly everyone will encounter a domestic boiler, most people have limited experience with commercial boilers. Commercial boilers and the installation these are, in fact, quite different from domestic boilers.
If you’re running a business it’s likely your premises will need a boiler that provides reliable heating and hot water, and ensures that your employees, clients and customers are comfortable all year round.
What are commercial boilers, how do they differ from domestic models, and what type of boiler are you likely to need on your premises?
Here we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have about commercial boilers and their installation.
What is the difference between a domestic and commercial boiler?
Your average domestic boiler is designed for use in a family home or apartment. It will have a typical output of 10 to 60Kw of power, and this will usually be sufficient to heat up to 12 radiators in a property of 6 or fewer inhabitants. They’re increasingly efficient, streamlined and designed to effectively meet the needs of your average household. When regularly maintained by a qualified engineer they have a likely service life of between 10-15 years.
The intended use for commercial boilers is for large domestic homes, hotels, offices, care homes, and other establishments. A heating engineer that holds a domestic gas qualification can usually carry out work on commercial boilers if it’s a relatively small project. The total installation output must be below 70Kw, with gas installation pipework below 35mm.
Commercial boilers, on the other hand, will usually be called upon to provide heating to a larger building with more occupants and with different energy requirements. Commercial settings can vary considerably, from small shops which may be heated with a domestic boiler to large factories, office buildings, schools and hospitals.
Commercial boiler systems may comprise one large boiler that’s capable of outputs above 60Kw or a number of small boilers that are used in a cascade system.
It’s important to remember that what determines whether a boiler is commercial or domestic is largely its size and power. Larger boilers may be installed in large domestic properties, or in buildings with multiple occupancy with a centralised heating system. Likewise, small premises may only need a domestic boiler to provide them with the heat and hot water that they need.
When does a boiler become commercial?
The difference between a domestic and commercial boiler is usually determined by size. Domestic boilers will have smaller output than commercial installations. What this means in practical terms is that any boiler with an output higher than 60-70kW will usually be classed as a commercial boiler.
More demands are placed on commercial boilers that need to provide heat and water to larger premises. Commercial boilers can range in size from relatively small boilers just above the 60kW power threshold to large and gas and oil-fired boilers in the 250kW to 1,500kW range. This large spread of available commercial boilers ensures that businesses and organisations can find the right commercial boiler systems for their particular needs.
While on average individual commercial boilers will tend to be in the 30Kw to 150Kw category, their components can be significantly different to the domestic range of boilers. Commercial boiler installations are rarely just more powerful domestic boilers. This is because these boilers tend to have an increased workload compared to those in a domestic setting.
What size commercial boiler do I need?
Determining the size of boiler that you need for your premises will depend on a range of different factors. The most important factor is the size of your premises. You will need to measure the square footage of your building to give you an idea of the kind of power and capacity your commercial boiler will need. Your specific requirements in terms of heating and hot water will also be a factor, as well as seasonal load requirements.
Your boiler not only needs to be an adequate size to handle your requirements and the size of your property, but it should also be as efficient as possible. Inefficient and ineffective boilers can lead to spiralling energy costs.
An experienced heating engineer will be able to advise you about the type and size of boiler installation that will be best suited to your premises. They will take detailed measurements of your premises and look at your particular energy requirements throughout the year.
Often, in commercial premises, when an old boiler is being replaced, the selection process for a new boiler is relatively straightforward. In new buildings or on premises that are being converted to commercial use it can be more complex. Either way, your heating engineer will be happy to provide advice and guidance to ensure that your boiler installation is efficient and effective whenever you need it.
How much does a commercial boiler cost?
The cost of a commercial boiler installation will depend on the square footage of the premises and the required output. An average 2-3000 sq. ft commercial unit would normally have a commercial boiler installed with an output of 60-80 KW. For this size boiler, you should expect to pay around £8-10,000 (ex VAT) for a full commercial installation.
This cost can escalate significantly in larger commercial buildings and in those where several boilers are required to meet demand. Other factors such as whether a vertical flue needs replacing to comply with current specifications can also increase installation costs. It is interesting to compare this with how much a domestic boiler costs to install.
How long does it take to install a commercial boiler?
A commercial boiler installation can take anywhere from one day for a straightforward replacement to a week or longer for larger and more complex systems. The more work required during the installation, the longer the process will take.
Your heating engineer should be able to give you an indication of how long it’s likely to take to complete the commercial boiler installation prior to the work being carried out.
If you’re looking for a new boiler installation, or you are not sure whether you need a commercial or domestic boiler, get in touch with Bumblebee Plumbing & Heating. Our professional, reliable and friendly team have a wealth of experience and may help you save money in the process.
If you’re looking for boiler installation in Greater Manchester or beyond contact Bumblebee Plumbing & Heating today.