Factors to consider when sizing a commercial boiler sadsad

Efficient heating is crucial for commercial spaces, and selecting the right-sized commercial boiler is essential for optimal performance, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Sizing a commercial boiler can be a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of various factors, such as heating load, system efficiency and space constraints. Let’s delve into the world of boiler sizing and discover the essential considerations for a successful heating system implementation.

Understanding the Heat Load of a Commercial Boiler

Properly sizing a boiler is essential for efficient and reliable heating in your commercial space. It all begins with a thorough understanding of the heating load of the building, or the operation you are using the boiler for. The heating load represents the precise amount of heat required to achieve your desired results. Factors such as the size of the commercial space, insulation levels, and the prevailing climate all contribute to the heating load.

Accurate calculations of the heat load ensure that you select a commercial boiler that matches the heating demands effectively, neither oversized nor undersized. Oversized boilers lead to wasted energy and inefficient operation, while undersized boilers struggle to meet the heating requirements, resulting in discomfort and excessive wear on the system. By accurately assessing the heating load, you can make an informed decision and choose a properly sized commercial boiler that optimises energy efficiency and ensures reliable heating performance for your commercial space.

Commercial Boiler efficiency ratings

When sizing a commercial boiler, it’s crucial to consider the efficiency ratings of different models. Boiler efficiency refers to how effectively the unit converts fuel into heat. These ratings represent the percentage of fuel energy that the boiler can convert into usable heat. Opting for a high-efficiency boiler ensures optimal energy utilisation and long-term cost-effectiveness. By selecting a more efficient boiler, you can significantly reduce operating expenses and minimise environmental impact through reduced fuel consumption. When comparing boiler options, consider the specific efficiency requirements of your commercial space and choose a model that aligns with your heating demands while maximising energy efficiency.

Space Constraints & Installation Considerations

When sizing a commercial boiler, careful assessment of available space and consideration of installation factors are crucial. With limited space in commercial buildings, it’s essential to choose a boiler system that fits within the designated area. Compact or modular commercial boilers are specifically designed to address space constraints while maintaining performance. Additionally, it’s important to account for ventilation requirements and accessibility for maintenance, ensuring proper operation and compliance with safety regulations. Consulting with a qualified boiler professional can help identify the most suitable installation location and address potential challenges. By considering space constraints and installation considerations, you can seamlessly integrate the commercial boiler into your building.

Load Diversity & Future Expansion

Considering load diversity and future expansion is crucial. Commercial spaces often have varying heating demands due to different zones, peak periods, or changing occupancy. It’s essential to account for these diversities to ensure the selected commercial boiler can effectively meet fluctuating heating requirements. Additionally, anticipating future expansion plans or changes in the building’s heating needs is vital. By selecting a boiler system with adequate capacity and flexibility, you can accommodate growth without the need for significant upgrades or replacements. Planning for load diversity and future expansion ensures the long-term efficiency and reliability of the boiler system, providing optimal heating performance and comfort for your evolving business needs.

Maintenance and Service Requirements

When sizing a commercial boiler, considering the maintenance and service requirements is crucial for its long-term performance and reliability. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the boiler operating efficiently and prevent potential issues. Prioritising proper boiler maintenance and timely servicing from an expert such as a member of the team at Tomlinson energy, extends the lifespan of the boiler, maintains optimal energy efficiency, and prevents costly breakdowns. By considering the maintenance and service requirements of the commercial boiler, you can ensure its continued performance and maximise the return on investment for your heating system.

Commercial Boiler repair, maintenance, and installation:

It is essential to have any commercial boilers installed and maintained by a qualified industry professional. At Tomlinson Energy, we offer 24/7 boiler and gas burner maintenance and repair services to ensure your workplace is operating at full capacity, always.

When you need boiler expertise, call us at your state-specific telephone number or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you.

Four signs that you may require boiler repair sadsad

Boilers are essential for the function of many industries, from food production to sterilisation and even paper production. You can expect to get on average 20-30 years of lifespan from a steam-powered boiler with good care and maintenance. But even the most reliable boilers can experience problems and breakdowns over time, causing inconvenience, financial burden, loss of revenue, safety hazards, and shutdown of operations. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of the signs that you may require boiler repair, so you can act promptly and avoid costly issues down the road.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most common boiler problems and their symptoms. Australian Standards AS2593 has a requirement for all steam boilers regardless of size to have regular service and safety checks. This involves a combination of in-house reviews from facility workers and external reviews from boiler specialists. If any problems are highlighted upon inspection, they should immediately be reported to a service technician to prevent any further issues.

Signs you need boiler repair

#1 – Strange Noises

Is your workplace boiler making strange or loud noises? While some sounds, like humming or clicking, are normal during operation, persistent strange noises such as water hammering, may indicate a problem. Banging, clanking, whistling, or gurgling sounds can signal issues like air in the system, rapid pressure changes, steam disruption, low water pressure, or incorrectly installed valves. If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to further damage and increase the risk of breakdowns. A trained technician can identify the cause of the noises and recommend the necessary boiler repair or maintenance to keep your boiler running smoothly and safely. Ignoring strange noises can result in costly repairs or even safety hazards.

#2 – Leaks and Drips

Leaks and drips around your boiler can indicate underlying issues that require prompt attention. Common causes of water leaks include a broken or damaged pump, corrosion, or a malfunctioning valve. Ignoring these leaks can lead to low pressure or even system failure. Drips may not always be immediately visible and may occur within air vent shafts. Gas leaks pose a more serious safety hazard and should be addressed immediately by a licensed professional. Workplaces should be upholding the highest safety standards, with gas detection systems to keep workers safe in case of any leaks. To ensure the safety and proper operation of your boiler, it’s essential to have a licensed boiler repair professional inspect and fix any leaks or drips as soon as possible.

#3 – Irregular Heating

If heat is being dispersed at irregular intervals or inconsistently across a space, it could be a sign that your boiler needs repair. Irregular heating can be caused by heat escaping the system due to inconsistent insulation, poor installation, or components working incorrectly. If these issues are not addressed promptly, they can lead to higher energy bills and increase the risk of chain reaction problems – in industrial settings, this may include inadequate sterilisation or incorrect product temperatures. It’s essential to act fast when you notice any irregular heating to avoid further problems.

#4 – Increased Energy Bills

If your business or workplace notices a sudden increase in your energy bills, it may be a sign that your boiler is not functioning efficiently. Inefficient boilers use more energy to provide the same level of heating, leading to higher energy costs. If left unchecked, it may lead to the point where the cost of repair is dwarfed by the increased cost of energy bills, especially given the large output of industrial-grade equipment. A combination of regular staff inspection and external maintenance audits can help prevent energy waste and ensure that your heating system operates efficiently with timely boiler repair.  

Boiler repair, maintenance, and installation:

It is essential to have any boilers installed and maintained by a qualified industry professional. At Tomlinson Energy, we offer 24/7 boiler and gas burner maintenance and repair services to ensure you are living and working in a comfortable and safe environment. Alongside our boiler repair services, our expert team also offers industrial steam boiler and burner installation services so you can ensure efficient operation, always.

When you need boiler expertise, call us at your state-specific telephone number or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you.

Boilers and carbon monoxide poisoning – safety tips sadsad

Boilers can produce carbon monoxide (CO) if they are not properly installed, maintained, or vented. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas that is toxic and can be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations. CO is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, or coal are burned incompletely, due to insufficient oxygen supply or incomplete combustion.

Boilers and Carbon Monoxide

Boilers can produce CO if the burners are not adjusted properly or if the heat exchanger is cracked/ damaged. This can allow combustion gases to escape into the living space. This is why it is important to have your boiler inspected and maintained by a qualified professional on a regular basis. Additionally, it is important to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home and workplace to alert you if there are dangerous levels of CO present.

In Australian household environments, the leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is old, faulty gas heaters. Most Australian households do not use indoor boilers for room heating, instead opting for ducted heating or gas heating systems for climate control. However, boilers are common for hot water systems; but are usually placed outdoors to improve ventilation. Additionally, many workplaces use industrial-grade steam boilers due to their large rapid heating capacity. These require regular maintenance by a boiler installation professional. 

Carbon Monoxide in the workplace

SafeWork NSW notes the most risk industries for workplace carbon monoxide poisoning at work are ones that involve the ‘burning of compounds containing carbon’ whilst working in an ‘enclosed or restricted space.’ These industries include: ‘cooks, blast furnace and boiler room workers, diesel engine operators, garage mechanics, brewery workers, pulp and paper workers, firefighters, glass manufacturers and coal miners.” Workers in these industries should remain alert and ensure all work safe practices are being followed to prevent hazards.

Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?

The colourless and odourless characteristics of carbon monoxide make it difficult to detect without special monitoring equipment, increasing the danger profile of the gas. Often people don’t realise that they are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning until the onset of symptoms has occurred.

Carbon monoxide binds to haemoglobin in the bloodstream, reducing the amount of oxygen that can be transported to the body’s tissues. Even low levels of CO can cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and weakness. In higher concentrations, CO can cause unconsciousness, brain damage, and even death.

CO is a serious health hazard, and it is important to take steps to prevent exposure. This includes properly maintaining fuel-burning appliances, ensuring proper ventilation in enclosed spaces, and installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home or workplace.

How to protect against carbon monoxide

To protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Have your boiler inspected and maintained regularly by a qualified professional. This includes checking the ventilation system, heat exchanger, and burner to ensure they are working properly.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home and workplace. This will alert you if there are dangerous levels of CO present.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in the boiler room if it is located indoors. Keep vents clear of debris and maintain strong ventilation.
  • Never use a gas stove, oven, or grill to heat your home, and never use a portable generator inside your home or garage.
  • If you suspect that you or someone else may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning; leave the property, take steps to ventilate the area by opening doors and windows if possible, and seek medical attention immediately. Call emergency services (000) in Australia.

Other sources of Carbon Monoxide within the home

Carbon monoxide poisoning most commonly occurs from faulty and leaky gas appliances, heaters, power generators and barbecues. In Australia, LPG appliances and heaters add a pungent chemical called Ethyl Mercaptan to ensure users can distinctly smell leaking gas. This is because LPG is naturally odourless. However, CO does not include this chemical addition. Carbon monoxide leaks can be impossible to detect within a home without a detection system or the onset of symptoms.

Maintenance, installation, and repair of boilers:

To protect your household and workplace from carbon monoxide poisoning, it is essential to have any boilers installed and maintained by a qualified industry professional. At Tomlinson Energy, we offer 24/7 boiler and gas burner maintenance and repair services. Maintain a safe work and living environment, access to heat and efficient workplace operation.

When you need boiler expertise, call us at your state-specific telephone number or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you.

Common Steam Distribution Problems in Steam Boilers and How to Fix Them sadsad

What is steam distribution in steam boilers?

Steam distribution refers to the process of delivering steam from the steam boilers to the various points of use in a system. In a typical steam boiler system, steam is generated in the boiler and then flows through a network of pipes to the points where it is needed, such as heating systems, process equipment, or turbines. Steam distribution systems can be of various sizes. Individual household systems may connect the boiler to a few key rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom, meanwhile, industrial-grade boilers can include far more advanced systems to provide steam throughout hundreds of rooms around a facility, such as a hospital, restaurant complex or factory.

The steam distribution system is an essential component of the overall steam system, and it is critical that steam is distributed evenly and efficiently to ensure maximum energy efficiency and maintenance of the desired steam pressure and temperature throughout the system.

A well-designed steam distribution system should consider factors such as the size and layout of the facility, the steam load variability requirements, and the operating conditions of the equipment being served. Proper pipe sizing, insulation, and valve selection are all critical components of a well-functioning steam distribution system.

However, steam distribution can be prone to several problems, which can compromise the performance of steam boilers.

Condensate build-up

Condensate build-up refers to the accumulation of liquid condensate in a steam boiler system. When the steam comes into contact with colder surfaces, it can condense back into the water, releasing heat in the process and reducing operative efficiency. Condensate can accumulate in low points of steam pipes, causing reduced steam flow and potential blockages. This can result in poor heat transfer, increased energy consumption, and decreased boiler efficiency.

Steam leakage

Steam leakage is another common steam distribution problem that can lead to a loss of energy and reduced boiler efficiency. Steam leakage can occur due to faulty steam valves, damaged steam pipes, or improper installation of steam distribution systems.

Uneven steam distribution

Uneven steam distribution can be caused by several factors, such as blockages or obstructions in the steam pipes, improperly sized pipes, or incorrect valve settings. The result is that some areas of the boiler or steam system will receive more steam than they need, while others will receive less. This can lead to inefficient operation, reduced steam quality and performance, increased wear and tear on the system, and potential safety hazards.

To fix this problem, the source must be identified. This may involve checking the steam pipes for blockages or damage, reviewing the pipe sizing and valve settings, and evaluating the overall steam system design. Once the source of the problem is identified, solutions may include adjusting valve settings, replacing damaged or undersized pipes, or installing additional piping to balance steam distribution.

Water hammer

Water hammer is a term used to describe a phenomenon that occurs when a sudden pressure change causes a rapid movement of fluid, creating a loud banging or hammering sound. In a steam system, water hammer occurs when steam and condensate are flowing in the same pipe, and a valve is suddenly closed, causing the momentum of the fluid to create a pressure surge that can cause pipes to vibrate, bang or even rupture. Incorrect valve sizing improperly installed steam traps, or incorrect system design can all lead to water hammering.


Corrosion is a common problem in steam distribution systems that can result in reduced boiler efficiency and increased energy consumption. This problem can occur from exposure to moisture, high temperatures, and chemical reactions. Corrosion-resistant materials should be used in steam boilers and distribution systems to avoid this issue occurring.

How to fix these steam boiler issues? 

The best way to fix most of these issues is by regular steam boiler and distribution system maintenance checks. Regular check-ups, cleaning of pipes, and installation and maintenance of steam traps are all essential parts of ensuring an optimally operating steam distribution system. Regular inspections can also help identify and prevent any leaks, blockages, or damage that has occurred to the pipe system, alongside any improperly installed infrastructure. Further solutions may involve adjusting valve settings and replacing incorrectly sized or faulty pipes.

Inefficient steam distribution can lead to exaggerated steam boiler operation costs. While it may seem expensive to fix the issue, the cost of inefficiency over time may balloon to be much greater if not resolved early.

Does your business need steam boiler experts?

Look no further than Tomlinson Energy Service. We maintain, repair, and install boilers whilst providing specialised and professional customer service. We are proud to offer you over 100 years of engineering and service expertise. In addition, as a member of the Environmental Group Limited (EGL), we are proudly committed to the preservation and protection of the environment.

When you need boiler expertise, call us at your state-specific telephone number or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you.

History of the steam boiler sadsad

Steam boilers have become an essential household item since their invention. They played a pivotal role in the industrial revolution, bringing the western world into the modern technological age. Steam engines have been experimented with or proposed in some capacity for centuries. The first recorded – ‘the Aeolipile’ – was mentioned by Vitruvius in 1st century Roman Egypt. However, steam boilers became more recognised in the 17-1800s with the invention of the kettle boiler. These simply involved placing water above a firebox, allowing it to boil into steam. Since then, boilers have had various iterations over the decades and centuries to improve efficiency and application. 

Denis Papin and the pressure cooker 

In 1679, French scientist Denis Papin designed the first pressure cooker. He organised a system that placed a sealed pot above a high heat source. Papin is credited with introducing valves to steam boilers to allow them to release pressure before systems become unsafe.  

Flooded Mines and Industrial Pumps

Throughout the late 1600s and 1700s, Europe was experiencing a coal mining boom. However, during this time, mining was completed by pickaxes, and transport of goods was achieved by pulley and minecart. The mines were often flooded when water veins were found or it rained, and it proved difficult to get the water out with hand labour. Various iterations of steam engines were patented during this time, beginning with Jeronimo de Ayanz’s machine that propelled water out of the mines using steam in 1606. Followed by Thomas Savery’s steam-powered pump in 1698. Savery’s machine had significant faults: safety concerns, a lack of durability, wasted energy potential and a requirement for operation, installation, and maintenance within the dark and potentially flooded mine. The machine also had a maximum height capability of 10m of pumping, not feasible when many of the mines travelled far deeper than this.

The Newcomen Engine – an early boiler

Due to the faults presented by Savery’s design, Thomas Newcomen invented the Newcomen engine. This design used atmospheric-level steam pressure (as opposed to requiring accumulated steam pressure). Newcomen’s design was very popular throughout 1700s Europe as it was more efficient than the alternatives, but still had issues. It constantly required cold and hot water to cool and heat the steam cylinder. However, this design eliminated the requirement for horse-operated pumps – a feature of Savery’s machine – drastically reducing operating costs.  

Boilers and the industrial revolution

Over the course of the industrial revolution, steam engines and boilers underwent multiple iterations and improvements attempting to solve some of the problems presented by earlier models. This included maintaining temperature and improving the pressure capabilities of the vessels. A notable example is the James Watt steam engine, which added a separate condenser unit to previous steam pump iterations. Steam engines became an essential part of the industrial revolution as they were used for powering trains, carts, factories, mills, and breweries.

Babcock & Wilcox Company – a modern boiler 

The first modern recognisable steam boiler design was patented by George Babcock and Steven Wilcox in 1867. This design has been described as the first ‘convection boiler’ and utilised tubes inside a firebrick-walled box. However, the initial designs were very small in size and capacity. Meanwhile, a different business, the Stirling Boiler Company, founded in 1891, began making larger industrial boilers labelled the ‘H-type.’ In 1907, the two companies merged to create the ‘H-type Stirling boiler’, a combination of the two designs that were large and incredibly popular.   

Since this inception, boilers have continued to increase in size, capacity, and efficiency. By the 1950s and 60s, boiler designs could generate 9,000,000 pounds of steam, (1,300 megawatts of electricity per hour,) compared to the H-type Stirling’s 50,000 pounds of steam. Modern-day boilers are used within a wide variety of industries for various applications.

Tomlinson Energy – 130 years of steam boilers. 

That’s right. Tomlinson Energy has over 130 years of experience delivering steam boiler services to a wide variety of industries. We specialise in the sale of high-quality steam boilers from world-renowned brands, as well as the maintenance of a wide catalogue of boiler types. Tomlinson Energy has been there to witness the improvement of boiler technology over the company’s lifespan and remains on the cutting edge of the market.  

When you need boiler maintenance or boiler repair, make sure to call us at your state-specific telephone number, or fill out our online contact form, and one of our industry experts will get back to you.