Use Your Oil Boiler to Cut Water Heating Costs
Who says oil and water don’t mix? These days, more people are using their oil boilers not only to heat their homes, but to produce domestic hot water too. (That means hot water for sinks, tubs, showers, washing machines, etc.)
This is commonly done through an indirect-fired water heater, which connects to your boiler. (Many of the boiler installations we do now include the addition of an indirect- fired water heater.)
This type of water-heating system provides a unique advantage for people with oil heat. Indirect fired water heaters are only practical if the water in the tank can be heated quickly. Oil heats water very quickly. Indirect-fired units are less common in gas-heated homes because gas-fired systems produce hot water at a much lower rate than oil.
How an Indirect-Fired Water Heater Works
- The boiler circulates hot water to a coil inside the water heater.
- The heat from the boiler’s hot water transfers from the coil to the water in the tank.
- This system is most efficient in the winter when the boiler is being used to heat both the home and domestic water. In effect, no extra energy is needed to heat your domestic water—as opposed to a traditional water tank with its own oil or gas burner or electric heating elements.
- Because the indirect fired water heater gets installed as a separate zone with its own thermostat, the boiler “understands” when it needs to produce heat for that tank only—and not send unnecessary heat into the home.