Mckenzie Corp: Points to consider when buying a boiler

Buying a packaged boiler is kind of like buying a new car. You need something that will get the job done within a given price range. There are some features that you must have and others that you would like to include if it fits that budget. Style counts for a lot in the purchase of a car; not a real critical factor in the boiler world.

Whether your boiler is to be used for process duty or for heating purposes there are some basic points that you must consider. This listing was adapted from HVAC Systems and Components Handbook edited by Nils R. Grimm and Robert C. Rosaler. (McGraw-Hill Companies, 1998)

We have included some additional points that we believe should also require careful consideration.

  • Just exactly what do you want the boiler to produce? Low Pressure Steam, High Pressure Steam, Hot Water, High Temperature Hot Water.
  • How big a boiler do you need? How much steam or hot water is required to satisfy your needs?
  • What duty will the boiler serve? Will it be used for space heating, process steam, humidification or any other number of duties?
  • How critical is it to have the boiler on-line? If it were extremely critical it would be advisable to have built in redundancy included in your plans.
  • How about the type of fuel you have available? Natural Gas, Fuel oil (no. 2, 4 or 6) Propane, Coal, Wood or a combination of fuels. What is readily available and what is economical for your application?
  • What type of combustion air system would you like? Forced draft systems are inherently more efficient and also more expensive than the atmospheric burners. Outside influences such as emission controls, boiler location and space availability will all contribute to this selection.
  • How will you vent the boiler and how will you bring in fresh combustion air? These are two key points that will influence your burner selection. You may wish to consider including an Exhausto fan assist system in your design.
  • Who will take care of the boiler after it has been installed? After sale support is a critical factor to consider. This includes the availability and price of aftermarket parts.