Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Understanding Boiler Combustion: Atmospheric Burners vs. Power Burners

Combustion is the key element of any boiler. Without the combustion reaction, your boiler could not produce heat or hot water. Therefore, understanding boiler combustion is essential to helping your boiler run better and get the best fuel economy. If you’ve wondered what’s the difference between an atmospheric burner vs. a power burner, this post will explain it to you so you can choose the best type of burner for your boiler’s combustion for the highest level of efficiency.

What Is Combustion?

Understanding fuel burning

Before we get into a comparison of boiler burner types, let’s review the basics of combustion reactions. Combustion is the burning of a hydrocarbon, like natural gas, in the presence of oxygen. Heat is applied to speed up the reaction, and the result produces even more heat, as well as light and some byproducts, like carbon dioxide and water.

In a boiler system, the combustion reaction occurs at the burner. This is where piped gas meets with oxygen and a flame to produce the heat that warms water in the tank for radiator heat and hot water from the building’s taps.

What Is an Atmospheric Burner vs. a Power Burner?

Air mix ratios and more

While there are several kinds of burners, commercial boilers usually use one of two kinds: an atmospheric burner or a power burner. An atmospheric burner simply draws oxygen from the boiler room environment as part of the combustion reaction. A power burner, on the other hand, uses a mechanical blower to supply oxygen for boiler combustion.

Originally, power burners used single-speed blowers to provide air for boiler combustion with natural gas. However, more sophisticated models have been developed with variable speeds for the blower, as well as dampers to further control the amount of air allowed into the chamber. Some power burners also have modulating valves that control the flow of natural gas to the combustion area, allowing for further refinement of the reaction.

Power burners have become the new standard for commercial boilers in New York City, and most of our condominium and co-operative clients use this technology. Because you can get a very precise mixture of air and fuel, you can potentially maximize your gas consumption, plus utilize the boiler more effectively to create heat and hot water for building occupants. Hitting that perfect mix actually has a scientific name: stoichiometric combustion.

Which Type of Burner Is Right for Your Boiler?

Desired output is the key factor

Given all the information laid out above, is an atmospheric burner or a power burner best for your commercial boiler system? One prime determinant for which type to select is the size of your boiler output in BTUs (British thermal units). Atmospheric burners are acceptable up to about 500,000 BTUs per hour in certain applications. If you desire an output above that, a power burner is the better choice.

The Importance of Proper Maintenance with Both Burner Types

Preventing boiler disasters and worker hazards

All boilers require routine professional maintenance, but power burners need extra care with both checkups and installation. This is not a burner you want to adjust or put in yourself, as you could create a dangerous situation that could damage your boiler or injure building staff.

For instance, if not enough oxygen is delivered, an excess of fuel can build up. Then, when oxygen is added in a correction, an explosion can occur due the large amount of gas present.

Furthermore, the parts involved in a power burner can be exposed to the boiler room environment, making them more vulnerable to dirt and corrosion. They must be carefully tended and cleaned in order to prolong their lifespan and prevent combustion problems.

One of the most common combustion issues we see is incomplete combustion, indicated by large amounts of soot around the burner or a flame that burns yellow, not blue. Incomplete combustion has the inherent danger of producing too much carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide, abbreviated CO, can make a boiler room worker sick in mere minutes, and it can kill someone within an hour.

To prevent incomplete combustion and excess carbon monoxide dangers, follow these tips:

  • – Always have boiler professionals install and make adjustments to your power burner.
  • – Keep the area around the burner free of any other equipment.
  • – Make note of any soot accumulation or yellow flames in the burner indicating incomplete combustion.
  • – Install carbon monoxide detectors in your boiler room, and text them frequently.
  • – Have your boiler serviced and cleaned regularly — at least once per year — to catch any small problems before they become catastrophic.

Let Calray Boilers Advise You About Your Power Burner

New York City’s boiler experts

Whether you want to explore switching to a power burner for your boiler, or your power burner and boiler system are overdue for routine maintenance, reach out to Calray Boilers. We can consult with you on the best type and model of burner for your commercial boiler, and we can thoroughly go over your boiler to make sure you’re not at risk of any of the dangers discussed above. To schedule an appointment, simply call us today at 212-722-5506.

Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: