Boilers

A boiler is an appliance that heats water for distribution to a hydronic heating system. They run on propane, natural gas, oil, electricity or another source.

In a fuel-powered system, a pump pressurizes fuel, then a nozzle sprays and atomizes the fuel where it mixes with air. Electrodes ignite the fuel. The resulting flame passes over a heat exchanger and heats water that flows through the boiler.

Boilers come in a wide variety with many different designs and functions. The efficiency of boilers has improved, from around the 65-70% range in the 1970s to the 80-90% range today.

A boiler is one of the most common heating appliance in the world’s arctic regions. Heat and hot water are vital for living in the cold, making proper boiler size, maintenance and function essential. The arctic climate can take a toll on boilers, which can suffer from frost buildup on vents for example, and other factors not typical of warmer regions.

CCHRC offers information on boilers and a variety of links to help find what you are looking for.

To learn more about boilers, see the Consumer Guide to Home Heating.

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Projects

Combustion Air/CO Study This study looked at how homeowners provide combustion air for atmospherically vented appliances and assessed the performance of power-vented appliances.
Evaluating Residential Heating Systems This project measured the design heat load of houses by monitoring the runtime of the furnace in relation to outdoor temperatures. The study monitored 20 houses in the Anchorage area during very cold weather to better determine appropriate heating system sizing for the HVAC industry.
Combustion Safety Test Failure Analysis This project investigated why buildings fail the combustion safety test and how to avoid these failures, in both new construction and retrofits. It includes a literature review, preliminary data analysis, education video, project planning, and test protocol prove-out.
Fuel Use Monitoring Researchers are testing several methods of monitoring fuel use at the household level to identify a cost-effective and accurate method for monitoring heating oil consumption across Alaska.
Heating Appliance Use Survey This project observed actual patterns of wood heating appliance use at twelve homes in Fairbanks to quantify the amount of wood heating compared to other heating sources.