Knowledge is power, and that's never more true than when managing a large commercial structure. Understanding as much as you can about the systems that keep your building in operation can help you plan and prepare for maintenance and repair issues. When it comes to your heating system, few components are more critical than the boilers.

Most modern structures use multiple boilers arranged in a parallel configuration. This design has numerous advantages that may not be immediately apparent if you aren't an HVAC contractor or a building engineer. This guide will help explain these systems so building managers and owners can better understand the critical elements of their buildings.

The Basics of Parallel Boiler Systems

The purpose of your boilers is to bring the water in your hydronic heating system up to an appropriate temperature for heating usage. Buildings use a parallel system design when one boiler is insufficient to provide heat for the entire building. Since larger buildings have a heavier and potentially more variable heating load, extra boilers offer greater capacity to keep up with demand.

In a parallel design, each boiler connects to an input and output header. These headers allow each boiler to contribute hot water to the system and return cooler water to the boilers at the end of the loop. This single line then connects to a primary pump set that provides the pressure necessary to circulate hot water throughout the building.

The Advantages of Parallel Designs

Parallel boiler design is about more than just convenience. These systems provide numerous benefits to building owners, including easier maintenance, less disruptive repairs, and lower operating costs. While a single, larger boiler can often offer the same heating capacity, it would lack these other essential benefits.

Redundancy is one of the most significant benefits of using multiple boilers in your building. If one boiler fails, the others can continue to provide heat. Since most facilities only spend a small amount of time requiring maximum heating output, a single failed boiler will usually allow some amount of heat to still circulate through the building.

Technicians can also isolate individual boilers should one fail. In these cases, you don't need to bring your entire heating system offline to repair the problem. Instead, HVAC contractors can shut down the affected boiler and conduct repairs while the rest of the heating system remains online and provides heat for your building's occupants.

Finally, this design improves overall efficiency and reduces operating costs by allowing only some boilers to run during low-demand periods. As a result, you'll use less energy to heat your building since you won't need to operate an oversized boiler at all times. These many efficiency and maintenance advantages make parallel systems the clear choice for most modern commercial facilities.

Contact commercial heating services for more information.