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FAQ

Question : Are Hot Water Heating Systems Efficient ?

The efficiency of the water heating systems like boilers  is determined by the ratio of generated heat energy and the consumed fuel energy per unit time. In the case of traditional water heaters, the ratio remained lower due to various factors including wasted energy, lower temperature & pressure of input water, higher fuel consumption, storage mechanism etc. The invention of condensing and anti-frost water heating systems has led to dramatic transformation in energy conservation, output volume, automated controls, protective devices, and maintenance procedures. The net benefits for the users are reduced costs, enhanced usage, safety and eco friendly functionality.

Energy Consumption – New Technology Benefits

Condensing Equipment – Boiler Heating

Condensing Equipment in the gas heater reuses the heat from the exhaust gas (at the exhaust point) for pre-heating the incoming cold water. Hence, the energy required to heat it is relatively lesser in the main unit. Since the system uses two heat exchangers (primary and secondary) for the same volume of input fuel, the efficiency of the system may reach up to 95% as opposed to the 75% efficiency of the conventional water heater.

Auto On/Off Controller- in floor heating boiler

The in floor heating Calgary AB uses a temperature controlled heating element. You can set the maximum and minimum temperature through an automated controller according to your choice. The system turns off heating when the temperature reaches maximum, and turns on when it goes below minimum.

Self Modulation Controller– Electric Heater

Self modulated system for the electric water heater is useful when the input water temperature is below the normal levels (less than 2-degree-celcius). The system offers precise temperature control without having to auto on/off mode. The energy loss in the system is reduced to the lowest possible levels.

Flow Rate Control – Temperature and Pressure Management

Every in floor heating boiler repair Calgary   manufactures a specific inlet water pressure for the equipment to function efficiently. If the pressure reduces below the limit, it may result in uneven or no heating.

  • Pressure Regulator: The pressure regulator in the water heater can adjust the water pressure depending on your specific requirement. It can moderate the pressure at an optimum level to keep the flow rate constant. It can also avoid wasting of water at high pressure. It works efficiently within the range of 15.5bar to 5.5bar. The design of the flap valve has evolved considerably in the modern water heaters to allow better performance. The diameter of the valve depends on that of the incoming water pipe. The modern water heaters use automated pressure regulating valves at the inlet and outlet points to achieve higher efficiency.
  • Heat Exchanger: The design of the primary heat exchanger in the gas water heater is the key factor that determines its efficiency. The tank-less water heaters work on the principle of continuous heating as the water flows through the element. Using copper exchanger helps in transferring the maximum temperature into the water. The other common materials used in the heater are stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium etc. The design and construction ensure maximum heating within the specified time. Optimizing the water flow rate can result in better heating.
  • Heating Thermostat: The design of the heating thermostat in the electric water heater can have a great impact on the output water temperature. The exterior part of the assembly is preferably made of heat resisting element to prevent loss. The heating element is made of copper, titanium or bronze to save on energy consumption.
  • Relief Valves: The temperature and pressure relief valves in the water heaters (especially in the gas powered systems) act as safety valves. They protect the system from overheating and excess pressure. The excess of water released through these valves can be recycled back into the heater through the inlet valves or it can be tapped for other utilities.
Water Heater Efficiency – Utilization Factors
  • Hot Showers: The number of showers you use in your bathroom(s) determines the heating requirements. An average flow rate of 10 to 20 liters per minute can work for two to three showers working simultaneously at rates of 7.1 liters per minute. If the number of showers increases, you may have to opt for higher flow rate which means lower heating. Then you have to increase the heating capacity accordingly to reach 30 liters/minute or more.
  • Hot Washers: Utilizing the hot water for dish washers and washing machines (simultaneously with the shower(s)) can also increase the demand on the flow rate. In such circumstances, you may need to opt for storage water heater instead of tank-less systems. The modern water heaters with water storage system also work efficiently to supply large quantities of hot water on demand. These systems can also regulate the water temperature at the outlets, depending on the required value. For example, the average water temperature for the showers is between 42-degree to 45 degree-Celsius, while the washers require higher temperature.
  • Room Heaters: The multipurpose water heaters can also be used for room heating during winter and cold climatic conditions. You must calculate the volume and time of heating. If you wish to operate all the three systems listed here simultaneously, then you need to opt for a higher capacity water heater. That means your power bill /gas consumption rate will naturally go up.
  • Pipe Length: The pipe lengths between the heating unit and the outlets determine the load factors on the heater. It is better to keep the distances within the minimum possible limits. For this you may need to install the system at a centralized location at equal distances from the outlets. The other way to minimize heat loss is to use heat preserving pipes made of PVC coated ABS. They are resistant to warping at high temperatures and durable over extended years.

The modern water heaters are efficiently designed and constructed to perform at varying external and internal conditions. When you optimize the utilization factors listed above, it is possible to get the best output from the moderately configured systems and save on your energy bills also.

Question : What are the common hot water heating systems problems

Gas heater –Burner

Common material used for the natural gas water heater is stainless steel and the LP gas is cast iron. It has a thermo-couple, pilot assembly and gas supply pipes.

  • Blockage: Consistent usage can lead to blocked pipes, orifice and the pilot burner. The obvious symptom is the change in flame color from blue to yellow or others. Then you need to clean the entire assembly.
  • Part Wearing: The parts can wear out due to extended utilization. The common symptom is reduced level of heating (in spite of clear blue flame) or leaking of gas (smell). In the latter case you need to turn off the water heater immediately and take the corrective measure for repair. You need to diagnose the system and determine the exact part that has worn out. A professional repairer will be able to identify and rectify the problem efficiently.

Gas Heater – Heat Exchanger

  • Fuse Failure: Common symptom is no heating. The device is wrapped on the heat exchanger. The only way to restore the functionality is to replace it.
  • Switch Trip: Common symptom is no heating. Modern water heater switches are designed for auto reset mode. It happens after the unit cools down to room temperature. If that doesn’t happen you may need to replace it.
  • Exchanger Problem: Common symptoms are reduced heating and no heating. Common causes could be coil breakdown or rust deposits. It is obvious that you need a professional repairer to fix the problem.

Gas Heater – Miscellaneous

  • Fan Problem: The ventilation and fuel mixing fan may malfunction. The common symptom is excess of water heating, excess output pressure or pungent odor from the heater. You need to clean the fan by removing the blocking elements like soot. If the fan has stopped working, the repairer can fix it or replace it.
  • Sensor Problem: The temperature and pressure sensors can malfunction, resulting in excess of heat or output pressure. It is a serious issue which can often result in critical damages and blowout conditions. You need to stop using the heater and call the technician.

Electric Heater – Thermostat

  • Tripping: Common symptom is excess water heating. Common cause could be loose wiring or worn out switch. You need to turn off the heater and check the thermostat switch. You can turn it on and test the heater. If the problem persists, you may need to change the switch along with the connecting wires.
  • Failure: Common symptom is low or no water heating. Common cause could be loose wiring, welding issues or component breakdown. The technician will know how to fix the problems if they are within the restoration limits. Otherwise he may replace the thermostat.

Electric Heater – Heating Element

  • Deposits: Hard water can cause deposits on the heating element(s). The common symptom is loss of heat or no heating of water. You could use a sand paper to rub out the deposits after dismantling the elements from the heater.
  • Brittleness: Aging and over-utilization can cause the heating element to become brittle. Common symptom is loss of heat. The best method is to replace the elements.

Electric and Gas Heaters – Generic Problems

  • Valve Problems: Pressure and temperature regulation valves can malfunction in the heater. Common symptoms are abnormal variation in the two values. Most of the mechanical problems could be solved by replacing the inner spring assembly or components.
  • Pipe Problems: Leaking pipes and valves, rusted parts and rusted pipe interiors are some of the common problems. Common symptoms are leaks, smelling water and change in water color to brown or black. The technician can repair or replace the parts or pipe, depending on the nature and intensity of the problem.

Question : What are the Hot Water Heating Systems Pros and Cons

The pros and cons analysis is best done based on the heating system, storage, working mechanism and capacity.

Heating System – Gas Water Heater (Tank-less)

Pros
  • Energy Saving: Condensing systems can help in saving on fuel consumption and energy utilization.
  • Wall Mounting: The wall mounted design can help in conserving space
  • Instant Heating: The system can supply hot water within a few seconds after switching on. This is made possible by the efficient design of the heat exchanger.
  • Insulated System: The highly insulated system of the gas water heater helps preserve the high water heating capacity during cold seasons.
  • Heating Time: The average time required to heat the water is faster compared to the other types of heaters.
  • Simple Maintenance: The maintenance procedures involved with the tank-less gas water heater are simpler compared to the others. You can use the instruction manual and carry out the basic procedures by yourself. You may need the help of a technician only when you face serious problems that are generally rare.
  • Cost Saving: You may opt for natural or LP gas system. The average cost you pay for the water heating per gallon is lesser than the cost you incur with the other systems.
Cons
  • Varying Temperature: The variation in temperature happens when the flow rate through the pipe varies. Higher flow rate results in lower heating and vice versa. You can avoid the issue by keeping the flow rate at optimum levels.
  • Installation Cost: The initial installation cost is generally high due to the setup. The ventilation system consisting of vents, exhaust fans, pipes and other related systems cost more compared to the electrical systems.
  • Utilization Limit: The simultaneous utilization of the hot water may be limited to one or two showers, especially when you wish to use the water for dish washing and cloth washing. You may need to use the appliances in sequence rather than in parallel to save on energy and get continuous supply of hot water.

Heating System – Gas Water Heater (Storage)

Pros
  • Water Volume: The volume of water supplied to the multiple outlets is more compared to the tank-less model. But you need to use maximum outlets in parallel for energy saving.
  • Water Pressure: It is possible to balance the water pressure at consistent levels since the water outlet is from the storage tank. You can also increase or decrease the value depending on your needs.
  • Uniform Heating: There is no variation in water temperature since the flow rate has no effect on the heating. The system mixes cold and hot water at the point of utilization. Hence, the temperature of the outlet water can be decreased while maintaining high temperature within the storage tank. Hence, the multiple requirements (for shower, dish washer, cloth washing machine etc) can be easily met using the same system.
Cons
  • Hard Deposits: The hard water can leave behind deposits of calcium and other chemicals within the storage, heating and supply units. Maintenance could be tough.
  • Excess Fuel: The fuel required to heat the storage water is more. If you don’t utilize the water within a specific time, you may need to reheat the entire volume of water again.

Heating System – Electric Water Heater (Tank-less)

Pros
  • Higher Safety: The electric tank-less water heater is relatively safer compared to the gas fired water heater. It is because of the elimination of gas vents and other probable risk factors.
  • Instant Heating: This feature is similar to the gas tank-less water heater. The only added advantage could be automated temperature control which may be more accurate than the gas based system.
  • Installation Cost: The Initial installation cost is relatively lesser compared to the gas heater model.
    Compact Design: The dimension of the tank-less electric water heater s relatively compact compared with the other models.
Cons
  • Inconsistent Temperature: This feature is similar to that of the tank-less gas water heater. The only way to avoid it is to have a moderate flow rate and optimum temperature setting.
  • Power Consumption: The average cost of water heating per minute is more compared to that of gas water heater. In some instances it could be nearly 1.5 times or more.
  • Limited Application: The average application of the electric water heater compared to the same capacity of gas heater is relatively low. The gas heater can be utilized for showers, washing as well as room heating. This feature in an electric water heater takes extra capacity and part specifications.

Heating System – Electric Water Heater (Storage)

Pros
  • Consistent Heat: The water supplied from storage electric water heater is consistently hot over the utilization time.
  • Flow Rate: The flow rate of the outlet can be controlled according to your requirements. There are no unexpected variations in water pressure.
  • Supply Volume: The supply volume of hot water is more compared to the tank-less model. But you need to utilize the water within a specified time to avoid re-heating.
Cons
  • Higher Cost: The cost of heating per unit volume of water is higher due to repeated heating of the stored water. The stored hot water can get cooler rapidly when the climatic condition is cold.
  • Hard Water: hard water can cause deposits of calcium and other chemicals (similar to gas storage water heater).
  • Maintenance Cost: The average maintenance procedure and cost are more compared to the tank-less model.

Question : What are Hot Water Heating Systems Maintenance Procedures

Regardless of the type of water heating system used, you need to balance the maintenance procedures by categorizing them into regular and preventive methods.

  • Regular maintenance: Weekly and monthly maintenance procedures involve cleaning of parts, checking pressure and temperature controlling devices and removal of rust from the pipes and valves. you will need to hire a mechanical contractors to take care of this job for you
  • Preventive maintenance: Preventive maintenance is a procedure to identify weakening parts and repair/replace them before they actually fail. As you are aware, any of the part failure doesn’t happen instantly. The part starts showing symptoms of fatigue once the initiation happens. Using the preventive maintenance you can identify the symptoms, diagnose the probable causes and take action.

Question :How to Maintain Hot Water Heating Systems

  • Regular Maintenance: You can clean the interiors of the gas water heater after disconnecting the gas supply. You need to open the top cover plate with the help of screw-drivers. Then you can disconnect the water inlet from the supply pipe and connect it to a water hose. Connect the outlet to another hose and direct the open end to an empty bucket and close the outlet valve. Connect the hose to a small water pump and then to the other hose. Fill an average size (3-4 gallons) and fill it with pure vinegar. Now, dip the free end of the hose into the vinegar and turn on the pump. The circulating vinegar cleans the interiors completely. After 30 to 40 minutes you can open the outlet valve and drain the vinegar completely. Now take clean water in the bucket and repeat the procedure. Then you can manually check the interiors of the heater and clean the dirt and other deposits with a dry cloth or a vacuum. Now you can examine the interior parts like the valves, pipes and other components visually. Close the upper cover and replace the screws.
  • Preventive Maintenance: The visual inspection can reveal details of any loose or rusted parts. You may tighten the loose parts and remove the rust using the sandpaper. If the device is making unusual noise or heating time is increasing, you need to inspect the mechanical and heating parts. Pressure variation can happen due to problems with valves. Temperature escalation could be due to sensor problem, while a drop in the temperature can be due to problems in the heating parts. Preventive maintenance can produce useful results when you take the help of a professional technician. If your heater is under warranty, the company personnel perform the procedures on call. They may repair or replace the parts. Preventive maintenance helps in avoiding safety hazards that may occur due to part failure. If your water heater has a display unit, you may be able to observe the error codes on it when a potential error occurs. You can note down that code and talk to the maintenance expert about it. He will be able to assist you over phone about how to fix the problem using the DIY procedure (if the error is minor or moderate). He can also visit your place and fix the problem if it is beyond the DIY procedure. Opting for a maintenance contract after the warranty can keep you safe technically and financially.

Question :What are Factors of Hot Water Heating Systems Vs Forced Air

Heating Methods/EquipmentHot Water heating systemForced Air System
Heating EquipmentWater Heater –It could be powered by electricity, Solar power or gas (Most of the systems use gas/solar (or combination) as it is economically feasible). It can be used for home heating as well as water heating applications, depending on the size and capacity of the heater. The other connecting parts are the storage tank, circulator pump, controller, and the pipes that circulate the hot water through your home.Furnace – The furnace is powered by a gas burner. It has other components like the air filter, air ducts, draft hoods, vents and heat exchanger.
Heat Transfer/Flow MethodThe hot water from the heater flows through the insulated pipes in all the rooms into designated radiators in each room, which heat the room air. After circulation and heat transfer into the radiator, the water can circulate back into the storage unit or it can be discharged through drainage depending on the design pattern.The furnace draws the air from an air filter and heats it to the specific temperature. Then it transfers the hot air through a fan that forces the circulation through your home to heat the interior air. The return air register passes the air from the room back to the furnace through the designated air ducts.
Room HeatingThe hot water heating system works well with radiant system of hearing the floors, walls, ceilings and other devices effectively. When the radiant system absorbs the energy and heats the room interiors, the temperature raises slowly, but uniformly throughout the room. The temperature near the ceiling is relatively lower compared to the area from the floor to the vertical center of the room. But the temperature remains constant over an extended period. There is no drop in temperature within the living space of the room.The forced air system works through an outlet in every room that heats the air inside. The circulating hot air is hottest at the source. As it moves up, the temperature starts decreasing. As it circulates down to the outlet duct, the temperature drops by more than 50%.
Stated BenefitsUniform and consistent heating, near zero loss of energy and technical feasibility are some of the stated benefits of the hot water heating system.Warming time is less. Hence, the system works faster compared to the hot water heating system. The system can be combined with humidity controlling deices easily.
Stated LimitationsContinuous supply of natural or HP gas could be tough in many of the regions where the availability may be lower.Cooling time is also faster. Hence the system has to keep running as long as you require hot air within your room. This could make the device more expensive compared to the hot water heating system.
Recommended forAll types of geographical locations from the coldest regions in the world to the moderately colder regions. Once the radiator heats the room to a certain temperature, you can turn off the heater while the temperature remains at the higher level over an extended period.Moderately cool to relatively colder locations. You may use it at coldest regions, provided you keep the furnace running continuously.

Question : What is the Cost for Hot Water Heating Systems in Floor

The cost of the hot water heating system on the floor depends on the nature of heating elements used. Generally the system used is radiant. The interior climate control works on the heat transfer principle from the floor into the interior air. You may need to mix the hot water with anti-freezing liquids to preserve the temperature even in coldest climatic conditions.

  • Tiles: The volume of required in floor heat boiler may be more when the floor is made of tiles from marble, granite or other hard materials. You need to insert the radiant elements just beneath the tile layer to make it more effective.
  • Concrete: Concrete floors can heat faster and maintain the temperature levels over an extended period.
  • PEX: The hot water circulates through the cross linked PEX laid out beneath the floor. The installation procedure could be slightly complex in nature, especially when you wish to do it after the flooring is complete. The initial effort and the cost could be relatively higher, but the long term benefits can help you save on the room heating costs by more than 50%.
  • Design: The radiant panels powered by the hot water heating system can be laid out on foam panels and fitted to the layer below the floor. The depth of the panels could be between 3” and 6” (or more), depending on the density of the heating elements. Once the layout s complete, you can cover it up with concrete or tiles. The ends of the panels are connected to the inlet and the outlet at single or multiple points. The average water pressure has to be maintained above the minimum levels in order to keep the flow consistent.
  • Heating: Once the system is installed and connected to the heat source (water heater), it starts working.
  • Cost: It includes the floor removal (if the floor is already installed) + heating system installation + re-flooring as the initial costs. Then you have the running expenses for heating. The maintenance costs could be relatively less if you install semi-permeable tiles on top of the radiant heating system. It is easy to remove and re-install during maintenance procedures.