The best gas boilers: how to choose a device – expert advice

Table of contents
MOSCOW, September 30 – Novosti. The safety and comfort of residents of a private house or apartment depends on the choice of a gas boiler. About how to choose reliable and high-quality equipment for heating and water heating, what characteristics you need to pay attention to, the rating of the best gas boilers and operating rules – in the Novosti material.

Gas boiler

A gas boiler is one of the main devices in a cottage or apartment with individual heating, which provides the premises with a comfortable temperature, and also heats the water. From a technical point of view, this equipment is the central element of a liquid heating system that burns gaseous fuel and converts it into heat.
“A gas boiler is a device that can use natural gas flowing through pipes to heat rooms and organize hot water supply in a house. As a rule, they are used in autonomous private houses (in a country house or in a village) in the absence of central heating,” Dmitry Kondrashov, lead manager of the fulfillment operator “FULEX” (LLC “Fuleks”), said.

Why do you need

The main function of a gas boiler is to heat rooms. And in the event that it involves connecting to a water supply system, then the equipment heats water for domestic needs. In addition, the use of a gas boiler helps to save money when paying utility bills:
“A gas boiler is an economical solution, since fuel is much cheaper than electricity or solid fuel options that run on coal, briquettes or wood,” says Dmitry Kondrashov.

Gas boiler device

The gas boiler consists of three main elements:
  • rectangular gas burner;
  • heat exchangers;
  • command and control system.
In addition, the equipment includes a combustion chamber, a pressure gauge and an ignition system.
Depending on the type of boiler, it can also be equipped with a fan, expansion tank, pump, safety valve, protection and much more.
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An employee of Mosoblgaz during the installation of a gas boiler in one of the houses - Novosti, 1920, 09/30/2022
An employee of Mosoblgaz during the installation of a gas boiler in one of the houses
Each of the details of the equipment may differ in different models of boilers. So, for example, they distinguish between an atmospheric burner (installed next to the chimney) or turbocharged (does not depend on draft in the chimney), a steel heat exchanger, copper or cast iron, etc.
“The principle of operation of a gas boiler is as follows – cold water from the pipe is supplied by a pump to the heat exchange circuit (coil), and heating is automatically turned on under it,” the expert added.
According to him, when the temperature of the water in the boiler rises to the required values, the heat supply is stopped and turned on again, based on the readings of special sensors, as soon as the temperature drops.

How to choose a gas boiler

When choosing a gas boiler for a home, it is important to take into account such characteristics as the type of equipment, type of installation, purpose (heating or water heating), number of circuits, type of combustion chamber and fuel, connected electrical network, type of heat exchanger, burner power, heating area, overheating protection , tank volume, etc. These parameters allow you to correctly assess the quality of the boiler – its reliability, power, volumes, as well as ease of management and control.
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“You need to decide on the purposes of purchasing the boiler, the period of its use and the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe premises, whether you are planning the system for a long time, or is it a temporary solution, how many people – consumers of warm water will live in the house and, of course, what is your budget,” says the expert.
According to Dmitry Kondrashov, this is the only way to understand which specific version of the gas boiler is needed. For example, at least 1300 variants of such products are sold on the Yandex.Market marketplace.
“However, do not forget that gas is dangerous, and in order to avoid undesirable excesses, you must definitely turn to professionals for calculations and installation,” the expert added.

Type of gas boiler

There are two types of gas boilers, depending on the efficiency of fuel combustion – convection and condensing.
This is a classic model of a gas boiler, which is a conventional device – a burner burns gas, heating a heat exchanger with a coolant, and that, in turn, gives heat. Such a boiler is more affordable from a financial point of view, as well as easy to install and use, but it has several disadvantages – most of the heat remains unused, as it leaves through the chimney. In addition, condensate from acids forms in this element of the heating system, which eventually destroy the chimney and reduce its service life.
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If you are guided by price, then domestic boilers of the most common class cost between 14-15 thousand rubles, and better ones from 25 thousand to 32 thousand rubles.
The condensing gas boiler is a modern system with an additional heat exchanger. Such equipment has a more complex principle of heat conservation – in the boiler, combustion products pass a longer discharge path. Condensation forms, which settles on an additional heat exchanger and gives off unused heat. Thus, the exhaust of such equipment is more environmentally friendly – combustion products do not enter the atmosphere, but are cooled and turn into condensate. However, it must be properly disposed of by a local waste disposal plant.
On average, condensing boilers produce 20% more heat, they are safer than convection boilers, but much more expensive – prices start at 50 thousand rubles. and higher. In addition, condensing is not entirely beneficial for small homes and warmer regions, as fuel consumption will be low. New generation equipment is justified if high fuel consumption is planned or gas prices are high. Then the difference in heating costs between boilers of different types will be noticeable.

Type of installation of a gas boiler

Models of gas boilers can be installed in different ways depending on the type of construction and the preferences of the owners of the house. There are floor, wall, table, hanging, wall-mounted, and boilers with mounting on the frame and pallet.
Gas pipe connected to a private residential building
Floor-standing gas equipment is larger and, as a rule, requires a separate room. The main advantage of such devices is high power. They are often chosen for spacious private houses from 200 square meters.
Floor-standing boilers are often installed in a pallet with metal sheets or with a concrete screed, which should be about 30 cm below the floor level.
Such models are more compact, attractive and suitable for apartments or small houses. They are installed in cabinets, built into a kitchen set, or simply placed on a wall (for this reason they are also called hanging or wall-mounted). However, their power is small, so they are not able to heat too large rooms.

The purpose of the boiler and the number of circuits

First of all, gas boilers are installed for heating. Such equipment can also generate hot water. But it is worth knowing that not a single boiler can simultaneously heat a room and heat water. In short, the device (double-circuit boiler) has a three-way valve that turns off the heating when water starts at the tap. After ignition of the gas burner in the boiler, cold water is replaced by hot water within a few seconds (if the distance from the tap to the boiler is more than 5 meters, you will have to wait a little longer).
Engineer regulates autonomous heating
To understand the purpose of the boiler, it is important to know that they are single-circuit (heating) and double-circuit (heating and hot water supply). The latter have in their configuration another heat exchanger, which acts as a flow heater. For small houses and apartments where 1-2 people live, double-circuit ones are often chosen, since they take up little space and allow you to use hot water without heating the house. But such devices have their drawbacks:
  • suitable only for two water intake points (moreover, if the boiler is more powerful than 25 kW);
  • if the house turns on water in another tap, then cold water will be poured onto the one who takes a shower;
  • relatively long heating of water if the tap is located at the other end of the house.

Combustion chamber type

The combustion chamber in a gas boiler is an important element of the device, on which the method of removing combustion products depends. In addition, it depends on the type of chamber what requirements must be observed when installing the boiler and what noise level the gas system will have.
An open combustion chamber is most often found in simple floor structures. The element draws air from the room through openings in the body and removes vapors through the chimney.
Boilers with an open combustion chamber, as a rule, are cheaper than others and are not noisy – only the burner makes a sound. But for such a design, ventilation in the room and a well-designed chimney are important so that the boiler lasts a long time. In addition, open chamber systems use more gas and are less environmentally friendly, so the initial savings from buying cheaper equipment can cost a lot of money in the future.
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An employee of Mosoblgaz during the verification of gas equipment after connecting to the main gas pipeline - Novosti, 1920, 09/30/2022
An employee of “Mosoblgaz” during the verification of gas equipment after connecting to the main gas pipeline
Boilers with a closed combustion chamber are more modern equipment, which is about 10-30% more expensive than other options, but at the same time more economical in terms of gas consumption and higher in terms of heat output and environmental friendliness. Such a system can be installed in any suitable place at home, and not equip a special boiler room for it.
The principle of operation of such boilers involves a closed combustion zone and air intake from the street using a fan. The system makes it possible to achieve complete gas combustion and, as a result, reduce heat losses. But devices with a closed combustion chamber increase energy consumption and are noisier during operation (due to the rotation of the turbines).

Fuel type

For gas heating, there are two types of fuel – natural and liquefied gas. Each is suitable for individual use, but differs in terms of use and characteristics.
Natural gas
A natural gas boiler is a standard device that is connected to the main gas pipeline, that is, the heating system works autonomously. Equipment on such fuel is used in standard and large houses, apartments and cottages. All existing models support operation with natural gas, while there are certain requirements for liquefied fuel.
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Liquefied gas
Liquefied gas is the same natural gas, but cooled to a liquid state (up to -160 degrees). Such fuel is more often used in places remote from the main gas pipeline, in small houses or residential premises, to which gas has not yet been supplied for various reasons (for example, the connection procedure is very delayed – there is not enough money, permission has not yet been received, etc. .).
The fuel is in special cylinders, which is connected to standard gas units with the ability to reconfigure to liquefied gas. It must be borne in mind that nozzles and a reducer will be needed for connection so that the gas flows in a moderate amount, and not in excess, otherwise there is a risk of overheating and deformation of the equipment.
To use liquefied gas in cylinders, you do not need a permit, which is a definite plus, especially for temporary use – you can store 1-3 cylinders on the site in a special steel box, but it is forbidden to lower the fuel into the basement, since a leak creates a risk of an explosive situation.

Connected electrical network

Connecting the gas boiler to the mains is necessary for the control unit and the operation of various sensors.
So, for houses in which the quality of power supply is poor (for example, frequent power surges), experts recommend purchasing a gas boiler with protective devices – stabilizers and UPS (uninterruptible power supplies).
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Type of heat exchanger

The heat exchanger is an element of the boiler system that is necessary for heating, which consists of various pipes and plates. It is designed for the movement of the coolant – passing through it, water is heated, heating and hot water supply are supplied. The service life of both itself and the structure as a whole depends on the characteristics and qualities of this unit.
Such a heat exchanger is popularly called “combined”, because the heating and hot water supply (DHW) circuits are combined. That is, in one pipe there is another one. In the first, water is heated for heating, the second – for hot water.
Bithermic heat exchangers quickly heat water (they heat up from a burner flame), save electricity well, are simple and therefore cheaper than others. This design detail requires good quality water, but this can be easily remedied by installing filters.
A plate heat exchanger is a part that includes two units: for heating water (primary) and for heating (plate). Such a heat exchanger is also popular on the market, like bithermic, due to its simplicity, economy and durability. However, a significant disadvantage of such an element is a longer wait for water heating in the primary heat exchanger. In all other respects, it is not inferior to bithermic.
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Heat transfer in such an element of the system occurs through the heat transfer surface of the tubes. A coolant flows through them, which transfers heat from one substance to another. Of the advantages of a tubular unit, there is a minimum requirement for water, a small temperature difference and high pressure characteristics. Of the minuses – large dimensions, low heating efficiency, difficult leak detection (can be determined only with a complete analysis), and thermal insulation is also necessary.

Burner power

Economical and efficient combustion of fuel depends on the power of the gas burner, so it is necessary to choose gas boilers with the most convenient characteristics for the owner. For example, there are single-stage burners, two-stage burners, etc. That is, they have one or more power modes. In the second case, you can more precisely regulate the operation of the boiler, as well as reduce gas and maintenance costs.

Heating area

When choosing a boiler, the power of the device is calculated according to the heating area, taking into account the size of the premises and the climatic zone.
The method of approximate calculation of the power of a gas boiler for a private house with a ceiling height of not more than three meters is as follows:
Rm = Mind * P * Cr
P – the sum of the areas of the premises that need to be heated;
Kr – coefficient of the climatic zone (for Moscow – 1.5, for the south of Russia – 0.9, etc.)
Mind (specific thermal power) – 1 kW divided by 10 square meters.
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overheat protection

When choosing a boiler, special attention should be paid to the security system, namely protection against overheating. This function is necessary in order to prevent sudden pressure drops, as well as to turn off the unit if the water flow has decreased. In another way, such a sensor is called a temperature sensor. Its main task is to regulate the combustion process. Such sensors come in different types – wired, wireless, overhead, submersible, indoor, outdoor, etc. For example, wireless ones are good because you don’t have to think about how to run wires between devices.

Volume of the tank

It is possible to find out the volume of the heating boiler only from the technical passport of the device. For example, floor gas boilers hold from 10 to 30 liters of water, and wall-mounted ones – up to 7 liters. These indicators directly depend on the capacity of the heat exchanger, which, in turn, is interconnected with the power and model of the boiler.

Gas consumption

The gas consumption is affected by the power of the boiler, its type, as well as the efficiency (k), room volume (V) and the maximum temperature difference (T). You can calculate the consumption of the device (Q) using the formula:
*V*T = Q
The result obtained will allow you to understand what the approximate gas consumption will be under certain conditions.
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The rating of the best foreign manufacturers of gas boilers includes at least seven brands:
  • Wolf ( Germany );
  • Vaillant (Germany);
  • BAXI ( Italy );
  • Protherm ( Slovakia );
  • Bosch (Germany);
  • Buderus (Germany);
  • Navien (Korea).
As for domestic manufacturers, Zhukovsky Machine-Building Plant and Conord Plant are distinguished.

Operating rules

Gas equipment – devices that require extreme caution and compliance with safety measures. For the installation of gas boilers in the house, there are norms that are mandatory. For example, the room must be non-residential (kitchen or boiler room) and with a window (with the possibility of opening), and the ceiling height is required at least 2.3 meters in height.
In the event of a gas leak in the room, which is characterized by an unpleasant odor, it is important to immediately close the valve, ventilate the room and call the gasmen. Do not light matches and turn on electrical appliances until the gas disappears.
Maintenance of equipment can only be trusted by professionals – gas service specialists. And for its part, regularly inspect the device for damage and monitor the level of coolant and water to prevent overheating of the structure.
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Boiler Care

In caring for a gas boiler, the most important thing is to be careful. No need to stack things on the device. Annual technical checks with the help of specialists, as well as light and gentle washing of the housing (without abrasive substances and brushes) are sufficient. It is advisable to keep the room with the boiler clean and avoid moisture – parts can be corroded and heavily clogged from dirt and dust.

Expert advice

According to the expert, it is more profitable to choose equipment on online trading platforms:
“The most affordable logistics options can be purchased on marketplaces, since there is a large selection of goods, and there is an opportunity to get a discount as part of any promotions,” recommends Dmitry Kondrashov.
According to the expert, this, in turn, will help with delivery, as it is often very difficult and expensive to transport this kind of equipment around the country, especially to hard-to-reach places. Whereas the marketplace can be considered a very reasonable option – the branches of the largest online trading platforms are now located in every regional center of the country.
In addition, there are sites – price aggregators, where you can find the cheapest offer for the product chosen by the consumer.
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