The Importance of Boiler Turndowns in Our Fight Against Global Warming

Daniel Paul
January 20, 2022

Our ancestors would not recognise the world that we live in. But it is interesting to note that they helped built the same world. We owe them the technological advancement that we enjoy today. Thanks to them, our lives became so much more comfortable.

This technological advancement tempts us to forego sound engineering principles. But we should not allow that to happen because we might make it into a habit. Thus, it weakens the tenets in which technology was built.

This discussion leads us to the question about our boilers. Modern technology helps us determine the health of our numerous boiler plants or even the overall condition of the HVAC system installed in our home. But this scientific advancement should not replace good old plumbing services. 

You might be wondering where this conversation is leading us. This article should help us remember that we should use technology together with sound engineering principles. 

What Is a Turndown?

In the world of plumbing services, a turndown is an operational range of a device. An excellent example is the maximum capacity divided by minimum capacity. Let us say that a box fan that spins at 50 per cent on its lowest speed has a 2:1 turndown (1 ÷ 0.5 = 2).

For several decades, people consider the two-stage heating system as “high tech” because others were simply on/off. Let us say that you upgraded your home’s HVAC system and install a top-of-the-line set that has a 98 per cent AFUE forced air natural gas furnace with modulating 2.5:1 turndown. Your will immediately see the results on your first use. If you opt for the low fire, low fan speed, you will be amazed that your HVAC system only gives out a whisper. 

During shoulder season, it cycles at two or three times per hour. This rate is well within the six-cycle per hour rule. Please take note that in this illustration, the R-value of your home did not change. Another important point to note that the furnace is sized properly.

How Can You Maximise Efficiency?

Let us apply this to maximise the efficiency of your HVAC system. In the past, people did not mind this especially if they were occupying thermally-efficient buildings. There was no need to call plumbing services for as long as the boiler remained hot, and the occupants were warm. Everything was right in the world. 

During that time, boilers had an efficiency rating of 70 per cent. Engineers had to make a lot of assumptions because boilers were designed without the use of CAD models and without heating load software. This process went on for several years. 

With our growing awareness of global warming and climate change, we became more conscious of our carbon footprint. It led to a call to conserve fuel and lessen our gas emission. The government is now even giving an incentive to property owners to make their buildings more energy efficient. In response, landlords added more insulation, replaced doors and windows, and switched to more energy efficient boilers.


In our quest to make life more comfortable, humans have pushed boundaries. It led to several inventions and scientific advancements that our predecessors can barely imagine. But it also led to the destruction of our planet.

To ensure our survival and that of Mother Nature, we must be vigilant of the health of our boilers. It is only by doing this that our HVAC systems remain efficient all throughout its useful life. Thus, it emits lesser greenhouse gases.

If you have noticed that something is wrong with your boiler, you must immediately seek professional plumbing services. There is no one better than Northern Oasis Plumbing because we believe that our job can indirectly impact the survival of Mother Nature. Call us now for an estimate!