If you’re looking for an option to heat your home, Burnham boilers are a simple and effective way of using water to generate heat. Whether you want to produce hot water or provide warmer ambient temperatures in your home or business, Burnham boilers are a popular option.
Burnham boilers are a type of home heating system that relies on hot water to provide heat for your home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
If you already live in a home with a Burnham boiler and may be wondering what you can do to maintain or replace it. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a home heating system, you may be considering the Burnham boiler.
While a popular and quality choice for home heating, Burnham boilers are not the only option. In many cases, they may not even be the best option.
Here’s what you should know about Burnham boilers.
What is a Burnham Boiler?
A Burnham boiler is a boiler made by the Burnham company, which is based in Pennsylvania. Burnham boilers, however, are just one brand of boiler.
Boilers are a type of home heating system that’s admittedly pretty old-fashioned. Like a furnace, boilers provide heat, but through a different mechanism.
True to their name, boilers function by heating up water and providing either heated water to your faucets or steam for whole-home heating. In the case of home heating, boilers generally distribute heated steam via pipes to steam radiators.
There are various types of boilers, too. They include cast iron boilers and condensing boilers. Cast iron, like you’d expect, makes use of cast iron in their design. Condensing boilers, on the other hand, are generally more efficient and are stainless steel or aluminum.
As mentioned, boilers are considered old-fashioned technology. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, they have efficiencies in the 56% to 70% range — well below the efficiencies of modern conventional heating systems.
However, they do let you control the heat in your home fairly accurately. Given their simplicity, boilers are also designed to last.
Who Makes Burnham Boilers?
Burnham Boilers are made by Burnham Commercial, a company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The manufacturer has been around for a while — according to its website, it’s been making cast iron, steam, and hot water boilers since 1873.
The Burnham Commercial company makes a range of quality scotch, firebox, and cast iron boilers for the commercial and industrial markets. Additionally, they also have residential options.
Burnham Commercial takes pride in its boilers. It claims that it leverages innovative machinery and highly trained engineers to make sure every boiler is made to its own high standards.
The Burnham company isn’t the only manufacturer of boilers. Other popular boiler brands include the U.S. Boiler Company and Viessmann.
How Long Do Burnham Boilers Last?
In general, a quality Burnham boiler will last you about 10 to 15 years with the proper maintenance. Of course, you may have family or friends with boilers much older than this in working order, but the rated lifespan of newer boilers is generally under 15 years.
There are several ways to tell if a Burnham Boiler is reaching the end of its lifespan. Your energy expenses might increase or the boiler itself could repeatedly suffer failures. Notice any yellow flames on gas burners or black soot on your boiler? Those are also signs that your system is about done for.
Of course, if a Burnham Boiler suffers leaks, or the air temperature in various rooms of your house varies wildly, then you probably know that your boiler is due for a replacement.
If you have a Burnham Boiler in your home that you’ve never maintained, then it might be time to look into purchasing a new unit or some type of alternative.
Burnham Boilers Parts
Of course, if your Burnham boiler has a problem or is aging, getting rid of it isn’t the only option. You can also purchase replacement parts for your Burnham boiler from a number of retailers.
As opposed to more modern systems, you can find and replace virtually any aspect of a Burnham boiler, given the simplicity of the technology.
For example, on a standard housing supply site, you might be able to find flame sensors and gaskets, ignitors, natural gas pilot assemblies, temperature gauges, and a wide range of other components to keep your boiler in tip-top shape.
Of course, replacing a component on your Burnham boiler may not be worth it if you’re looking to reduce your gas usage and save money on energy expenditures. To figure out whether it’s better to repair or replace your Burnham boiler, let’s go over some of the pros and cons.
Burnham Boilers Review
Interested in a Burnham boiler or deciding whether to replace it for a newer and more eco-friendly option? Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of Burnham boilers.
Burnham Boiler Advantages
Burnham boilers, and all boilers, have specific advantages over other heating options.
For example, boilers are very quiet when they’re operating, and they can distribute heat around a home very evenly. Boiler heat is also cleaner than some forced air options. Additionally, boilers are generally cheaper to run than forced air systems or other heating platforms.
When it comes to Burnham Boilers specifically, here are their advantages.
- Made in America
- Various options for residential and commercial use
- Easy to assemble and maintain
Burnham Boiler Disadvantages
When it comes to disadvantages specific to Burnham products, the company is known for producing boilers that are generally less efficient than some others on the market. Additionally, Burnham boilers are known for some issues such as cracked blocks.
Boilers themselves also come with a number of disadvantages compared to other home heating systems. Here are some of the biggest cons.
- They cost more to install
- Setting up the proper piper systems can be costly and complicated
- Can take a while to respond when the thermostat is changed
- Replacement parts generally more expensive than air systems
- Boilers cannot cool the air in your home — they’re just for heat
- Limited lifespan if not maintained properly
- Risk of water leaks from boilers
How Much Do Burnham Boilers Cost?
Burnham boilers have a range of prices, depending on the specific model that you’re looking for.
You can find a standard floor-mounted Burnham boiler for around $2,000. More expensive boiler products can range from $2,500 to upwards of $4,500. If you need a boiler for commercial purposes, the pricing can go up even further.
Additionally, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of getting a contractor or another professional to come and install the Burnham boiler in your home.
If your home doesn’t have the proper steam piping available, then the installation and retrofitting costs can go up even further.
Burnham Boilers Alternatives
As mentioned earlier in this article, Burnham boilers — or boilers in general — aren’t the best choice for everyone. For many people, a system like a PTAC or an HVAC.
If you’re looking to install a PTAC to heat your home, one of the most cost-effective and eco-friendly options on the market is the Alternative Sustainability Low Carbon PTAC. It’s a massive upgrade over boilers or traditional PTAC and HVAC systems that can save you money and help the environment.
Here’s what you should know about the Low Carbon PTAC, which is an excellent alternative to conventional home heating systems like boilers, furnaces, or HVAC setups.
Low Carbon PTAC
A packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC) is essentially an air conditioning unit that’s installed through the wall of a building. Think of the air conditioners in a motel or residential apartment building, for example.
Like boilers, many PTAC systems will generally rely on steam production to generate heat. The lack of steam power is the key differentiator of the Low Carbon PTAC.
The groundbreaking Low Carbon PTAC uses a highly efficient electrical coil to generate heat. Because of that, it can produce heat without steam, meaning you can warm your home without gas. It’s a PTAC like you’ve never seen before.
Compared to traditional gas-powered PTACs or boilers, Low Carbon PTACs are even quieter. While steam is generally considered a low-noise heating solution, you can still expect to hear tapping, knocking, or banging. That won’t be the case with the Low Carbon PTAC.
You also won’t need to worry about water leaks or the installation of complicated piping to move steam throughout your home. The Low Carbon PTAC is quick and simple to install, and can reduce your gas energy usage by as much as 70%.
Want to learn more about the Low Carbon PTAC? You can set up a free consultation with Alternative Sustainability.