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A Review of Advanced Boiler Technology

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Today, more than ever, there is a need for energy-efficient appliances.

Let’s face it…

                                   It’s Going To Cost More And More To Heat Your Home

If you live in an older home, there is only so much you can do to insulate and seal your home, so the next best thing is to modernize your heating system with advanced technology.

Today we are going to talk about the advanced gas boiler technology of Viessmann, a German company that has been leading boiler development for over 50 years in efficiency and durability.

In order to understand what makes a boiler efficient it’s important to know what makes one inefficient.

Boilers are assigned an efficiency rating called AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) – this is the percentage of money you spend for fuel that is actually converted to actual heat for your home.

Some older boilers lose 30% - 50% of heat available in the fuel.

Where does the heat go?

Chimney losses significant amount of heat goes up the chimney when the burner is on and even when it’s off.

High firing rate of the burner – when there is a call for heat, older burners turn on with their full power even though your home only needs this power on the coldest winter days (-10 in our area).

This is like stepping on the gas full throttle and then slamming on the brakes when you want your car to move.

High water temperatures – it’s no secret that it takes more energy to heat water to higher temperatures. 

Most boilers heat the water to 180 – 200 degrees.  The only time your heating system needs temperatures this high is on the coldest of winter days.

Jacket losses – a good portion of heat is lost through the boiler cabinet.  The larger the boiler and the hotter the water, the more heat it will lose.

This may be okay if you want to heat your basement but if you aren’t using it as a living area there is no need to heat it.

Having an inefficient boiler is no different than having a leak in the gas tank of a car.

The Anatomy of a High-Efficient Boiler

The biggest advancement in boiler technology is called “condensing technology” that has been proven to be the most efficient way of converting energy from oil and gas to achieve efficiencies of up to 98%.

It was about 16 years ago when I was in Germany at Viessmann Manufacturing. a German company that is recognized as a world leader in advanced heating technology that I was introduce to “condensing technology.” 

I was amazed at how far ahead of the curve they were.

When I asked when we would see this boiler in the U.S .the response was…

“When your environmental laws change and fuel prices get high, that’s when you’ll see them.”

That time came about six years later – that’s when our company installed our first one.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone whom I consider my hot water heating mentor, Paul Ross, founder of Hydronic Alternatives in Springfield, MA who for over 20 years has been the regional representative for Viessmann.

He told me Viessmann has been using this technology since 1985.

Compare this to the American market where condensing boilers have come onto the scene in only the last 5 – 7 years for most U.S manufacturers.

The latest generation of a Viessmann Condensing boiler is named the Vitodens 200, a 96.2% efficient, wall-hung gas boiler.

It Solves All The Inefficiencies of Outdated Boilers

No more high chimney losses – the Vitodens 200 utilizes almost all of the latest heat from the flue gases.

The flue gases in older systems can range from 400–600 degrees, compared to 100–200 degrees in the Vitodens - making more heat available for your home

V200 picThe firing rate of the burner can be reduced to 20% of its total capacity when heat demand is low instead of the waste of full-power stop and go cycling.

The Vitodens uses Lambda Pro burner – to get close to near-perfect combustion (perfect combustion happens in theory only)

It squeezes every BTU from the fuel as possible.

Lambda Technology produces extremely low emissions and an added bonus is it can automatically adjust to different gas qualities.  In fact, you can run natural gas, propane gas and even bio gas (used in Germany) without any field adjustments.

Extremely low water temperatures using a smart weather-compensated control that adjusts the system water temperatures according to outdoor conditions.

This money-saving concept also reduces jacket losses and makes your home more comfortable by eliminating temperature swings that can make you feel too warm one minute and too cold the next minute.

As the TV ads say - Wait, there’s more!

A Solid Return On Investment

Viessmann uses the best possible materials to ensure long service life.

The main and most expensive component of a hot water boiler is the heat exchanger.  The Vitodens heat exchanger is made out of high-grade 316 titanium stabilized stainless steel.

This is a must when using “Condensing Technology.”  Stainless steel is the only type of material that can withstand the corrosiveness of the flue gases.

How Much Can You Save?

If you live in a 2000 square foot home and plan on staying there for the next 20 years and have a boiler that is only 80% efficient you can expect to pay (based on today’s fuel prices) a whopping $54,000.

Condensing technology can save you 30%, or over $16,000.

This Is Not An Advertisement!

If this article seems like an advertisement I apologize – my goal is educate you about an advanced product you might not be aware of that is an outstanding investment in today’s energy environment.

I would be remiss in my duties as a heating professional if I did not share this information with you.  As a consumer, I advise you to investigate other companies and make your own comparison and decision. If you should have any questions, send them to me via my sponsor page here in our Community.

I enjoy sharing products and companies that have a long, proven track record and a great motto:

                                   “Nothing is so good that it can’t be improved”

Hopefully, this has shed some light on advanced boiler technology.


Ed Bishop
Enhanced Living, Inc.
868 8th Ave
Troy, NY 12182
Phone – 518-235-0311



PDF Document:   Vitodens 200 Flyer

PDF Document:   Lambda Pro Flyer

PDF Document 2000 KB:   Vitodens Tech Specs & Manual

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