The Ray Story
Why Mestek decided to build a yellow boiler
All right, maybe we didn't set our sights on a yellow boiler just for the sake of the color yellow. But for all the ways Ray is a new bright spot in the residential boiler market, for how it's engineered to efficiently warm up today's fine home, and the way it shines a new light on the opportunity to save on fuel costs within a comfortable lifestyle, maybe Mestek making a yellow boiler was a totally fitting approach.
Why yellow is just one difference from other residential modulating condensing boilers
Besides being recognized as the yellow boiler from Mestek, there's a lot about how Ray looks that describes why it is unique in the residential modulating condensing boiler category. For one thing, it's tall and narrow, rather than boxy like other residential modulating condensing (or "mod con") boilers. That's because the heart of the Ray boiler is a cast iron heat exchanger rather than the loops of aluminum tubing common to nearly every other residential modulation condensing boiler. (In fact, many manufacturers all buy their tubular aluminum heat exchangers from the exact same manufacturer.) The housing for this tubular-type construction is bulkier, and takes up more floor space. But taking up less floor space and being a yellow boiler are by no means the only ways Ray by Mestek is different from other residential modulating condensing boiler.
Why cast iron is new to the residential modulating condensing boiler market
Anyone who grew up in a house with a boiler is probably familiar with the traditional cast iron boiler. They were very reliable, but they mainly only function two ways: on and off. Demands for energy efficiency gave rise to the residential modulating condensing boiler: "modulating" means that instead of just on and off, the boiler can adjust how much fuel it needs to burn to generate heat so that it never uses more than is necessary; "condensing" meaning that the water in the boiler heated only just enough and that all heat is captured, keeping boiler operating temperatures low enough for condensation to form in the exhaust vent and elsewhere.
These conditions led to the development of different engineering for modulating condensing (or "mod con") boilers. The old cast iron boilers could not deliver the same efficiency to the residential market as the modulating condensing boilers. But there was never a doubt about cast iron's longevity and ability to capture and retain heat: that had been proven as far back as the Franklin stove! By merging advanced modulating condensing engineering with the durability and longevity of cast iron, Ray brings a whole new opportunity to the residential boiler market.
Why Ray is the right mod con boiler for today's fine home
With this balance of cast iron's strength and mod con performance, Ray is uniquely able to meet the real-world demands for a residential mod con boiler. One advantage is in the piping it requires. For mod con boilers based on tubular aluminum, a constant steady flow of water must go through the boiler, requiring significantly more labor and materials for this water pipe circuit. Ray's cast iron, unique among residential mod con boilers, is able to withstand variable water flows and so requires no additional piping. This can save as much as a complete day of installation labor!
Why Ray is the residential mod con boiler for the long haul
The up-front savings of simplified installation is one thing: the long term savings of efficient performance is what makes a mod con boiler worth the investment. Once again, Ray's unique cast iron engineering gives it the thermal retention a mod con design relies on to keep fuel consumption down. You don't need to be a mod con boiler engineer to understand the difference: just think how different materials hold heat in the kitchen. Think of a cast iron pan and how once it's heated you can cook on that surface with the heat turned down low: what makes the pan so heavy is also what keeps in the heat and lets your burner operate on low. Compared to an aluminum pan, there's just no contest. Plus, that material density ensures that Ray's heat exchanger will last and last through the decades, just like old-fashioned wood stoves or Grandma's iron skillet.
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