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What is a boiler flue?

Boiler Flues, Gas Boilers

Boiler Flues are essential elements when it comes to the installation of your new boiler. Boiler Flues are installed in order to ensure combustion fumes are discharged carefully, efficiently and safely into the atmosphere. They are integral to the overall workings of the system itself and when installed correctly, will add an extra element of efficiency to the boiler.

With condensing boilers, the gases expelled through the flue actually pass through a heat exchanger which is built into the system. This warms the cold water which is on its way back from the radiators and this helps to reduce the amount of work the boiler has to do. A heat exchanger allows the transfer of heat from one element to another over a solid surface. The temperature of the gases expelled from a condensing boiler is around 60 degrees Celsius which is much lower than older systems that have a conventional, traditional boiler in place.  Flues that are fitted incorrectly or that are allowed to deteriorate could begin to leak, releasing poisonous carbon monoxide into the internal surroundings. For this reason it is vital to have your boiler and boiler flue installed by a registered professional who is trained in all current health and safety regulations and who is a gas safe registered engineer.

When upgrading an existing boiler, a practical aspect of the installation which must be taken into account is the actual location of the flue outlet. Due to the efficiency of condensing boilers the flues tend to have a lot more plumbing to them than older boiler types. You must consider that the flue outlet is not appropriate for placement under windows; near to doors or opposite other property walls or close to neighbours boundaries and such areas should be avoided. New condensing boilers utilise the heat from the flue gases that is usually expelled into the atmosphere. This is then used to heat water and this is why condensing boilers are considered to be much more efficient. The flue must be continuous with all joints safely and correctly assembled. As with all boiler maintenance and servicing measures, engineers must also inspect the flue system and access to the flue is very important. Where the boiler flue is fitted into the walls or ceiling of a property an inspection hatch must be fitted in order for it to adhere to current inspection regulations.

Condensing Boilers, Boiler FlueAs the gases expelled from the flue in a condensing boiler are not as hot as the gases expelled from a traditional boiler, a different type of flue is utilised. Modern flues generally have two pipes, one fitted inside the other. One of the pipes disperses the gases and the other actually draws in air from the exterior atmosphere in order to aid combustion. The boiler position is also important and as mentioned earlier in the article, it is very important to site the boiler in an appropriate position, taking into consideration the location of the flue. As the fumes expelled from a condensing boiler are not as hot as traditional boilers the expelled gases may cause some annoyance if positioned in a low area. Having the boiler installed in a high position also helps to remove the condensate which builds up. This is the left over liquid that is produced when the exchanger reuses waste heat. This liquid is connected to an existing water pipe in any utility room, kitchen or bathroom and uses gravity in order to drain away. It is best to source plumbing supplies and heating supplies for your household before you begin the installation process and definitely be sure to request advice if indeed you are unsure about any parts of the process.

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