The global pandemic has a way of bringing a sharper focus to the systems and technologies that are truly essential to our lives. In Plumbing Engineer, reporter Linda Noir reminds us that without the steam and hot water that boilers create, hospitals would be out of operation, food processing would grind to a halt, and many of the manufacturing operations needed to address supply chain issues would be disrupted. So although the magazine collected responses for its annual boiler report before the pandemic became a national emergency, the responses shed light on why commercial boilers remain essential.

For example, while a push toward renewable energy adoption is a challenge for the boiler industry, propane boilers frequently continue to be the best option, says Kal Osman, director of product management (boilers) at Watts Water Technologies, in the article. “The drive across the U.S. and Canada toward other renewable energy sources does create a barrier,” Osman says. “In many cases, however, the solution comes down to selecting the proper high-efficiency condensing boiler. This becomes apparent in large cities where the heating energy requirement may be challenged when the electrical solutions may not be a viable option due to an aging grid, limited floor or roof space, or simply cost.”

Osman and other manufacturers also offer their perspectives on the move to condensing technology and the Department of Energy’s forthcoming adoption of more-stringent energy conservation rules for commercial boilers.

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