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The Important Role Nozzles Play In Your Heating System

The nozzle is a vital component of any heating system. It breaks the heating oil down to allow for combustion and delivers sufficient fuel in specific patterns into the combustion chamber for more efficient heating. Read on for a more in-depth look at these functions and how this small component makes a huge impact on your home comfort.

The process through which the nozzle speeds up the vaporization process by breaking up the oil into tiny droplets is known as atomizing. This process results in close to 55 billion droplets of heating oil at a pressure of 100 psi, expanding the surface area to approximately 690,000 square inches of burning surface. The size droplets range in size from .0002 inch to .010 inch – smaller droplets promote fast, quiet ignition and produce a flame front close to the burner head; larger droplets help fill the combustion chamber, taking longer to burn than the smaller droplets.

Metering allows the nozzle to dispense the proper amount of atomized fuel to the combustion chamber, with accuracy within +/- 5% of the combustion chamber’s rated capacity. Nozzles are available in different flow rates to satisfy the wide range of needs within the industry. For nozzles that dispense less than five GPH (gallons per hour), for instance, there are over 20 different flow rates and six different spray angles that are considered standard.

The spray through which a nozzle delivers the atomized fuel to the combustion chamber must be uniform and angled in a manner that best suits the requirements of the burner. This is known as patterning. Nozzle types offer different spray patterns that work better in certain burners than others. Hollow cone nozzles, for example, can be used in small burners (those which fire 1 GPH and under) and burners with a hollow air pattern. Hollow cone nozzles have more stable spray angles and patterns under adverse conditions compared to solid cone nozzles with the same flow rate. The fine droplets produced by these hollow cone nozzles greatly enhance ignition and create a stable flame for use with flame retention burners.

Ensuring the proper nozzle for your burner system takes field-service experience and a deep understanding of angles, rates and patterns. If you believe your nozzle needs replacing, our technicians can help test and choose the right nozzle to suit the needs of your heating system. Contact us to have your equipment evaluated today.