When it comes to boiler replacement, there are a few things you need to know, including: how to tell when it is time to replace your boiler, how boiler efficiency is rated and how a boiler is sized to be the proper fit for your house.
When To Replace
Old, worn out or oversized boilers are generally very inefficient. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, it’s probably time to think about a replacement. To decide if it’s time for your boiler to go, look for a few signs, including:
- Frequent repair bills
- Inconsistent temperatures in different rooms throughout the house
- A noisy boiler
- Rising energy bills
Looking For Efficiency
When deciding whether to replace your boiler, efficiency is the key consideration. Efficiency is represented by comparing the energy used with the heat that the boiler puts out. This ratio is called the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE).
- If the AFUE is 80 percent, that means the boiler is converting 80 percent of its fuel into heat. The remaining 20 percent is wasted, probably escaping through the chimney.
- Because they don’t have a chimney, electric boilers are usually rated around 95 percent or more. But they can actually cost you more to operate per heating therm than gas or propane.
Energy Star Systems
Buying an Energy Star boiler is another great way to know that a new boiler replacement is an efficient and environmentally sound choice.
- Energy Star is a labeling program managed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Boilers began to be rated in 1996, and if a boiler passes certain efficiency requirements, it will have an Energy Star label.
- Energy Star boilers will be more efficient that conventional ones, and will have an AFUE of 85 percent or better.
- They will also have the energy-saving features of an electronic ignition and a sealed combustion chamber that uses air from the outside.
By evaluating your current boiler and looking at the energy use of new ones, you can make an informed choice on boiler replacement. Contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling for advice.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about boiler replacement and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.