Radiant Floor Heating Maximizes Efficiency with Prestige Condensing Boiler

The popularity of radiant floor heating has skyrocketed in the last decade.  New materialsRadiant Flooring and installation methods have allowed radiant floor heating for wood, tile, and concrete floors.  Radiant floor heating can be used on carpeted floors in many cases as well.   There is no more efficient and more pleasing heating method.

Prestige Condensing BoilersModern condensing boilers have spurred the use of radiant floor heating.  The boiler water temperature in radiant floor heating applications is much lower than in traditional radiator or baseboard installations.  This lower water temperature improves the efficiency of the system by 5 to 10% by allowing the boiler to condense.  Traditional cast iron boilers cannot take advantage of this because they cannot operate at condensing temperatures as the condensate will cause the boiler to rust.

The Prestige Condensing Boiler and the Challenger Combination or Solo Condensing Boilers are perfect for these applications.  The low water temperature maximizes the system efficiency and the heat exchangers are built to handle the condensate.  The new Prestige TriMax control helps further maximize efficiency in homes with multiple temperature zones.  For instance, many homes have radiant floor heat on the first level and baseboard heat on the second level.  The Prestige TriMax is built to manage these different temperatures.  If the radiant flooring is calling for heat, the Prestige will operate at the lower temperature, maximizing the efficiency. 

It is easy to enjoy the warmth of radiant floor heating when you know it is minimizing your fuel bills.  Specify Triangle Tube's Prestige with TriMax control for maximum efficiency and reliability.

The four keys to Boiler Replacement

There are four keys to successfully replacing your boiler.  By following these keys, you will ensure a fast trouble-free installation and much lower utility bills.  Prestige Boiler

1)  Selecting the right product - Craftsmen will tell you that building a fine piece of furniture starts with selecting the right wood.  The same is true in boiler replacement.  By selecting a reliable, highly efficient boiler, you will ensure that the project will be a success if the three other keys are followed.  Choosing a poorly designed product will ensure long term dissatisfaction, even if the other keys are correct.  Triangle Tube's Prestige and Challenger boilers are industry leaders in reliability and efficiency.  For more information on this, see the end of this post.

2)  Select the right contractor - Once again, a good contractor will make or break the project.  There is much more involved in replacing a boiler than simply removing the old boiler and inserting a new one.  The boiler must be sized and the piping layout reviewed to ensure that the heating system works in harmony.  A good contractor will have experience and proper training to know how to join all of the parts of the heating system into an efficient, effective, heating machine.  Click here to find certified Triangle Tube contractors in your area.

3)  Size the boiler properly - A lot has changed in your home since the last boiler was installed.  Perhaps you have new windows and/or doors.  Perhaps radiant floor heating was installed.  An addition may have been added, the attic has been insulated.  A proper heat loss analysis must be performed to select the proper boiler for the house.  An boiler that is too large will cause excessive cycling and drive up energy costs.  One that is too small will not keep the house warm on the coldest days.

4)  Use outdoor reset - One of the biggest efficiency gains in new boilers is the ability to use computer technology to adjust the hydronic system to the heating load.  As the weather gets warmer, less heat is required.  By lowering the system temperature, the house is able to be heated much more efficiently.  Please make sure this important feature is being used.  For more information on outdoor reset, click here.

Challenger Boiler
Triangle Tube's Prestige and Challenger boilers are modern, highly efficient, natural gas or propane boilers that have excellent track records in reliability.  With AFUEs of 95% or higher, and low NOx emissions, these are responsible, green choices for both the environment and your budget.  When paired with a Smart Indirect Fired Water Heater, they form the right solution for your residential heat and hot water needs.  


Efficient Pool & Spa Heating from your Existing Boiler

How soon do you want to jump into your pool?  Spring is around the corner, so it's not too early to think about opening up and ePoolnjoying the pool.  It's possible to do that weeks earlier without breaking the budget on a new pool heater or the energy costs that go with it. 

By using your existing boiler, the installation costs can be minimized.  And if your boiler is a high efficiency condensing boiler like Triangle Tube's Prestige or Challenger boilers, your fuel bills can be minimized as well. 

Triangle Tube's Maxi-Flo  pool and spa heat exchangers were custom designed for pool and spa heating by residential boilers.  Their high flow designs minimize pressure drop through the heat exchanger to keep the water flowing with minimal pump load.  They have been designed to maximize heat transfer by encouraging turbulent water flow.

Maxi-Flo Heat ExchangerMaxi-Flo Pool and Spa Heat Exchangers are available in stainless steel and titanium for long life.  The titanium models are built specifically for use in salt water pools and spas.  They are available in several sizes to handle any size pool.  By working with a natural gas or propane boiler like the Prestige or Challenger, they can be sure to heat your pool much quicker than heat pump pool heaters.

Why not Maximize the use of your backyard pool by investing in a Maxi-Flo pool heater?  You will be glad you did every spring and fall for years to come.  Contact Triangle Tube for more information.


Outdoor Reset - One of the Keys to Energy Efficiency

Outdoor reset works hand-in-hand with modern modulating, condensing boilers to drive significant gains in energy efficiency.  The principle is simple to understand, and easy to implement.  The basic principle is that a hydronic heating system should operate at higher temperatures when it is colder outside.  This allows the system to transfer more heat to the building and keep up with the increased heat loss due to the colder weather.  The simple formula is Lower outdoor temperatures = Higher heat loss from the building = Higher hydronic temperatures to transfer more heat to the building.

The great thing about Outdoor Reset is that it is easy to implement.  A small outdoor temperature sensor is placed on the exterior of the building and wired to the boiler control.  Today's modern green boilers use advanced controls that can read the outdoor temperature and adjust the temperature of the boiler system water by using an outdoor reset curve that is set by the installer. 

Outdoor Reset maximizes the effectiveness of a modulating boiler.  Modulating boilers have variable outputs rather than traditional on-off boilers which do not have adjustable fire rates.  you can think of Modulation as the adjustment knob on your stove.  Modulation allows the boiler to run between "warm" and "high fire".  You can see more about modulation in the "Modulating Boiler" blog page.    By modulating the firing rate down, the boiler is able to run longer and actually runs more efficiently at lower firing rates.   

Triangle Tube's Prestige Modulating Condensing BoilerOutdoor reset will increase the efficiency of most residential and commercial radiant heating systems.  It will increase the efficiency of most boilers including gas boilers such as Triangle Tube's Prestige or Challenger boilers, as well as modern electric boilers such as Triangle Tube's Century boiler.  If you are not currently using outdoor reset, call your contractor today to see if it start saving you money today.

Combination Boilers - Heat and Hot Water from One Appliance

Combination boilers are a popular option for many households, especially where there is limited space for heating equipment.  Combination boilers are so named because they are a combination of a boiler and a water heater.  This is a relatively new term even though boilers have long been used to provide hot water directly from the boiler. 

Traditional cast iron boilers often used a hot water coil that was inserted into the water reservoir in the boiler.  Domestic hot water was heated as the water passed through the hot water coil.  Triangle Tube had been a significant supplier of these inserts for over 60 years. 

Today's high efficiency boilers are designed with much lower water content than traditional boilers which eliminates the space for a hot water coil.  Instead, most high efficiency boilers are paired with a seperate indirect water heater such as Triangle Tube's Smart Series.  These water heaters provide hot domestic water by circulating boiler system water around the domestic water. 

Prestige ExcellenceMany homeowners desire to produce both space heating and domestic water heating from the same appliance.  The product that does this is a Combination Boiler, such as Triangle Tube's Prestige Excellence model.  Most combination boilers on the market today utilize a small heat exchanger built into the boiler to produce domestic hot water.  These boilers do not store hot water and are designed for homes where domestic hot water use is limited.

The Prestige Excellence combination boiler is unique in that it contains a 14 gallon hot water tank that provides fast and reliable hot water.  The unique tank-in-tank design rapidly heats incoming water to ensure a continuous flow of up to 180 gallons of hot water per hour.  Unlike instantaneous water heaters, the Prestige Excellence can provide immediate hot water from its integrated tank.

The Prestige Excellence is the perfect solution for homeowners looking for a high efficiency boiler, with an AFUE of 95%, with plentiful hot water in a compact, reliable appliance.  The Prestige Excellence uses natural gas or propane and works with residential radiant heating systems.


High Efficiency Boiler Basics - The Benefits of Modulation

There have been significant gains in the energy efficiency of hydronic heating systems in the last decade.  Many of these gains have been made possible by the use of microprocessors to better control the boiler's function.  Modulation is one of the functions that modern boiler controls have made possible that is driving energy efficiency gains.

Modulation is the term used to describe the ability of a boiler to fire at varying rates.  If you think of a gas stove, modulation is your ability to control the burner's heat output - anywhere from "warm" to "full boil". 

Traditional boilers do not have the ability to modulate.  They are either at "full boil" or they are off.  Now, think how efficient it would be to cook your dinner with this type of control.  You would be constantly turning the stove on and off, trying to maintain the right temperature.  If you consider that boilers are inefficient during the start-up periods and are actually least efficient at "full boil" otherwise known as "high-fire", you will quickly realize that this is not the best way to run a boiler.

Modern controls such as those in Prestige boilers, use a variety of sensors to monitor the boiler system and adjust (modulate) the output of the boiler to meet the heating needs of the home.  This modulation allows the boiler to run longer (fewer on and off cycles) at lower fire rates (for improved efficiency) while still maintaining the desired temperature in the Prestige Excellencehome.  Modulation is effective in residential radiant heating applications.   This is especially true in modern radiant floor heating, where the system temperatures are lower. 

Triangle Tube's Prestige Solo boilers utilize modern features such as modulation, outdoor reset, low NOx burners, and a unique stainless steel heat exchanger to deliver outstanding efficiency with an AFUE rating of 95%.  The Prestige Excellence combination boiler provides both heat and up to 180 gallons per hour of hot water from within the boiler, eliminating the need for a seperate domestic hot water tank.

Smart Water HeaterIf a seperate hot water heater is desired, Triangle Tube's Smart Indirect Water Heaters are the perfect companion to the Prestige Solo.  With a unique stainless steel tank-in-tank design, the Smart indirect water heaters heat water quickly, with standby heat loss costs as little as $0.05 per day.  With a limited LIFETIME residential warranty, the Smart indirect water heaters are a sound investment.

Radiant Heating - the Healthy, Efficient Solution

As we get further into the fall and winter heating season, the advantages of radiant heating become a reality for many people. Most of America lives in homes heated with forced hot air heat. While this is the easiest heating system for a builder to install, it also is one of the least comfortable. Forced hot air heating produces extremely dry air, which some systems try to remedy with an in-line humidifier. In addition to the noise and drafts, forced hot air systems also create more dust in the house. Finally forced air systems send hot air to the home that quickly rises to the ceiling, requiring that the entire room be kept at a high temperature for the room to feel comfortable.

Radiant heating systems eliminate all of the problems listed above, which is one of the Radiant Flooringreasons they are gaining in popularity.   Radiant heating uses a boiler to heat hot water that is then circulated through the home, heating as it goes.  Many people think of radiant heating as the traditional cast-iron or baseboard radiators. However, today the fastest growing form of radiant heating is radiant flooring. These systems are invisible once installed and can be added to existing homes by attaching the heating tubes to the underside of the flooring.

Radiant heating eliminates the noise, dust, and drying effect of the forced air systems, immediately making the home feel more comfortable. And because the radiant heat transfers heat to people and items in the room, rather than the air, it is much more energy efficiPRestige Boilerent. 

  The heart of a radiant heating system is the boiler. Triangle Tube’s Prestige boiler is designed to provide the heat in a radiant heating system with maximum efficiency.   The Prestige boiler uses a condensing heat exchanger to maximize the heat recovered from the fuel to achieve an AFUE of 95%. In addition the advanced control of the Prestige modulates the firing rate to meet the heating needs, and uses outdoor reset to align the heating system temperature with the outdoor temperature, eliminating waste. In addition, the Prestige boiler can be used to heat domestic hot water by pairing it with the Smart indirect fired water heaters.

Whether you are considering a renovation or new home construction, you should consider radiant heat. The small investment up front will pay dividends with a healthy, efficient heating system.


Condensing Boilers - Why are they more efficient?

We all expect to see a flue taking exhaust gases out of a working boiler, but unless you are using a condensing boiler it is also taking away your money.   One of the gases in the exhaust is steam, which carries unused heat energy with it out of the flue and out of your wallet. Condensing boilers convert much of this steam into water, releasing this heat energy into the boiler and into your home. This increases the energy efficiency of the boiler by more than 10%.   

We all understand that to convert water into steam, we need to add heat. The opposite is also true. If we convert steam into water we can recover that heat. This heat energy is known as latent heat. This latent heat is retrieved from the steam and used to heat the boiler water in a condensing boiler. Much like a cold glass of water condenses the humidity in the air; a relatively cold return section of a boiler will condense the steam in the fluePrestige Stainless Steel Heat Exchanger gas. This happens when the water returning to the boiler is less than 130F.

Traditional boiler systems have avoided condensing the flue gas steam by keeping the return water temperatures above 130F. Traditional boilers are made from cast iron which will rust and fail if the flue gas steam condenses.   Condensing boilers are designed in aluminum and stainless steel to resist corrosion. Triangle Tube’s Prestige condensing boilers utilize a specialized grade of stainless steel to withstand the heat and corrosion in its condensing heat exchanger.  

Prestige High Efficiency Condensing BoilerTriangle Tube’s Prestige Condensing Boiler is able to achieve an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) over 95% by recovering the latent heat of the flue gas. In addition, the Prestige boiler uses other advanced “green” technology such as modulation and outdoor reset. The Prestige boiler is designed to use either natural gas or propane and burns clean enough to meet California' Low NOx emissions requirements.  Contact Triangle Tube to find out how the energy efficiency of Prestige Condensing Boiler can help lower your fuel bills.


Hydronic Heating Basics

“It’s hot, but it’s a dry heat,” is something that we often hear about the weather in the Southwest. A dry heat in the summer may be considered a good thing, but in the winter, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for “wet” hydronic heat. Hydronic heating systems use water instead of air as the heat transfer medium.     

For decades, millions of homes have been heated by boilers, baseboards, and radiators by water circulated from a central boiler. The result is a silent, clean, and reliable heating system that is energy efficient and hygienic. Without the need to circulate air throughout the house, there are fewer drafts and less dust, while the humidity is maintained at a much more comfortable level. 

In addition to radiators and baseboards, radiant floor heating systems have become very popular in recent years. Radiant floor systems circulate hot water through tubes that are attached or embedded under the floor. Radiant floor heating delivers heat where it is most needed, at the coldest part of the room. Hidden underneath the floor, it is invisible and allows the maximum freedom in furniture placement.  Radiant floor heating can be used under carpeting, wood floors, tile, or even embedded in concrete slabs.

The heart of the hydronic heating system is the boiler. While traditional boilers were large objects consuming space in the basement, the modern high efficiency boiler is more compact and much more efficient. Modern boilers such as Triangle Tube’s Prestige high efficiency boiler use advanced control technology to maximize their efficiency. Advanced features such as outdoor reset and modulation enable the Prestige to best match its output to the heating needs. And the use of advanced materials allow the modern boilers to maximize the heat extracted from the fuel being used. The Prestige boiler uses a high grade stainless steel heat exchanger to extract heat by condensing the combustion gases, which was not possible in older cast iron boilers resulting in a 10% improvement in efficiency. 

Smart Indirect water heaterFinally, hydronic heating systems can heat not only your home, but your domestic hot water, and even your pool as well. Indirect fired water heaters are recognized as the most energy efficient and reliable domestic water heating options available. Triangle Tube’s Smart indirect fired water heaters lead the group in efficiency with their unique stainless steel tank-in-tank design. And Triangle Tube’s Maxi Flo pool and spa heat exchangers allow you to extend your summer using the efficiency of the Prestige boiler.

Whether in new construction or renovation, today’s hydronic heating systems are leading the way in efficiency. Contact Triangle Tube today to discover the benefits of hydronic heating for yourself.