The Many Sides of Clean

Today there are many methods used to deliver heat to a building or occupied space in order to make humans comfortable. Not only are there many types of fuels used to generate heat, such as wood, coal, electric, natural gas, propane gas, number 2 heating oil, and others, but there are also many ways to capture the heat output of combustion in order to deliver that heat to occupied areas. Tinbrook focuses on gas (natural or propane), oil, and wood based burners which use hydronic (hot water), forced hot air, or steam to transfer heat to the living space. New technologies enable each of these system to deliver heat with less pollution than ever before, but none of these systems will operate that way indefinitely. It's the home owners responsibility, and benefit, to take the simple steps needed to keep boilers operating in a clean and efficient manner.


The most popular method in use today to burn oil for heating purposes is via the "Retention Head". In this burner design, the flame produced by combustion is literally floating beyond the nozzle from which the oil is sprayed, held in place by the strong turbulent air flow generated within the blast tube. The flame produced by these systems is very compact and intense, and can typically provide combustion efficiency in excess of 83% on well adjusted systems. However this combustion efficiency is wasted if the heat exchange is covered with soot, which results in very poor appliance efficiency - the measure of an appliances ability to capture the heat of combustion and transfer it to a transfer medium such as water, air, or steam. As little as 1/8" of soot on a heat exchanger will create as much resistance to heat transfer as 1" of fiberglass insulation, resulting in approximately a 10% reduction in efficiency. With today's oil prices in mind, it really pays to have an oil burner properly cleaned each year, both in terms of real money saved as well as in terms of our environment. Extra oil burned to overcome a dirty heat exchanger, is extra pollution contributing to greenhouse gases.