How does a Combi Boiler Water Heater Work?

July 10, 2017 | by Chad Sanborn

Boilers can provide heated water for hydronic heating systems as well as domestic hot water use. Although boilers have been around a number of years, not everyone is familiar with combi boilers as a reliable heating and water-heating option.

Combination—or “combi”—boilers are a European term used to describe a compact boiler that contains both an open loop domestic hot water output, as well as a closed loop central heating output.

Boilers can be coupled with baseboard heating or a radiant floor system, which uses a network of hot water tubing to heat the floors.

A boiler’s efficiency is measured by an AFUE rating—or annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE is a measure of how efficient the appliance is in converting its fuel’s energy to heat.

For example, an AFUE rating of 95 percent means that 95 percent of the energy from the fuel becomes heat for the home and the remaining five percent escapes through the exhaust flue.

If a boiler has an AFUE rating of at least 85 percent, it is also ENERGY STAR qualified. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR-qualified boilers use about six percent less energy than a traditional boiler.

Modulating condensing boilers are perhaps one of the most efficient and comfortable ways to heat a home. These boilers control or modulate the output of the burner to match the load and give best performance.

Bradford White's BruteTM LX Series can provide heat and domestic hot water from a single space-saving appliance. It's  fully modulating so it automatically adjusts how much fuel is used to match the demand for heat, from 20% to 100% of full power. Because it requires only a single gas connection, a single vent system, and includes a built-in recirculating pump, the Brute LX simplifies installation.

Contact your local plumbing professional to learn more about combi boilers for your home heat and hot water needs.

This blog was developed by Bradford White. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.


Topics: Heating & Cooling, Water Heaters

Companies: Bradford White Water Heaters



Chad Sanborn
Chad Sanborn is the Product Marketing Manager for Bradford White Water Heaters. He has been in the water heater industry for over 13 years, supporting the growth and development of Bradford White in various capacities. In 2001, Chad began his career in the production areas of Bradford White's Middleville, MI water heaters manufacturing facility. Using his hands-on product experience, Chad transitioned into the engineering department in 2007, where he expanded his knowledge and influence by working with the testing procedures and standards for residential and commercial water heaters. In 2011, Chad was promoted to the Sales and Marketing team, where he currently holds the position of Product Marketing Manager. In his current role, he manages all products for Bradford White Corporation and works collaboratively with the sales and engineering teams to develop Bradford White's short and long-term water heater product development and marketing strategies. Chad holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Management from Cornerstone University and is an active participant in many plumbing, engineering and manufacturing trade organizations. www

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