While a furnace is responsible for heating air and distributing the heated air through the house using ducts, a boiler’s job is to heat water and provide either hot water or steam for home heating. This steam is circulated through pipes to steam radiators, and hot water can be distributed via baseboard radiators or radiant floor systems or can heat air with a coil.
Boilers usually last as long as twenty years, depending on the usage. However, if you have an older hot water boiler, it is no longer up to the job. There are units that have an efficiency rating of 65 to 70 percent, which means that at least 30 percent of the fuel you use to heat your home is wasted.
That is why investing in a new, high-efficiency boiler can be a wise choice. If you are looking for a reputable heating company in Franklin, WI, we can help you choose the right high-efficiency boiler that will benefit both you and the environment.
Understanding the Efficiency Ratings of Boilers
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the efficiency of a boiler is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). This is a measure of how efficient a boiler is in converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year.
A boiler with an AFUE of 90 percent converts 90 percent of the fuel into heat for the home and the other 10 percent is lost somewhere along the way. Other factors also affect the efficiency of your system such as quality of ductwork or piping, where as much as 35 percent of the boiler’s energy output can be diminished when ducts are in unconditioned areas like the attic and garage.
On the other hand, an all-electric boiler is more efficient since no energy is wasted in ducts or pipes. However, you must factor in the cost of electricity in your area when deciding to utilize a high-efficiency hot water boiler in your home.
Things to Consider Before Buying a High-Efficiency Boiler
The climate in your area plays an important part in sizing your hot water boiler. A boiler that’s too large will waste energy, and a boiler that’s too small will need to work harder in order to meet your heating needs. A heating expert can help you properly size your boiler.
Another thing to consider is venting. If the boiler is vented by a forced air system, it has to be located in an open area that allows it to collect air to use. If it is going to be vented directly through the chimney, it can be located in a smaller, closed area.
Your budget should also be considered as high-efficiency boilers cost a lot higher than standard ones. Having said that, the initial cost will be offset by lower energy consumption, saving you more money in the long run.
Types of Boilers
Gas-Fired boilers are fueled by either propane or natural gas. These boilers are highly efficient.
Oil-fired boilers are common in areas that have limited access to natural gas. This type of boiler requires heating oil stored in a tank.
Electric boilers are highly energy-efficient. Nevertheless, since electricity costs are much higher than fuel in many parts of the country, homeowners opt to heat pumps instead.
Benefits of High-Efficiency Boilers
High-efficiency boilers are space-saving as they offer a variety of venting options. They can be common-vented through the ceiling or individually-vented through a sidewall. You do not need traditional chimneys to use high-efficiency boilers. This reduces installation costs and adds more usable home space.
The main advantage of high-efficiency boilers is they give immediate savings on fuel costs. Consumption drops by up to 30 percent compared to an old water heating system.
High-efficiency boilers also help the environment. Since they use less fuel, less pollution is created. Energy Star says that 29 percent of your home’s fuel use is spent on heating. If you live in colder regions, that percentage can be much higher.
How New Berlin Heating and Air Conditioning Can Help
If you still have an old water boiler and realize that you have been wasting money on fuel, now may be the time to invest in a high-efficiency hot water boiler.
New Berlin Heating and Air Conditioning is one of the leading heating and air conditioning companies in Greenfield and Franklin, WI that can help you get the right equipment.
We carry a full line of the best brands in HVAC, including high-efficiency hot water boilers. We have the experience and the knowledge as well as the desire to keep you comfortable all year long.