Gas boilers for home heating can offer efficient heating of your home, saving energy and ultimately, your money. Saving money on home heating costs is especially important for those who live in colder, harsher climates where winter can take its toll on a heating bill. Gas boiler for home heating can help to solve high heating costs during the winter. Even if you already have it installed in your home, you may be able to make it more energy efficient by getting it serviced or by replacing certain parts with more energy-efficient ones through an authorized and trained boiler repair specialist.
The efficiency of this thermal system is measured by the AFUE rating. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and by law, this rating needs to be displayed visibly on all new furnaces and boilers. The AFUE rating is a measure of how much heat is produced by the boiler or furnace for the home compared to how much energy is used by the unit to produce that heat. For example, a gas boiler that has an AFUE rating of 90% brings in at least 90% of the heat it produces inside the home for warmth. An AFUE of 90% indicates that 10% of the energy used by the boiler produces heat that is not felt inside the home. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating doesn’t include heat loss from ducts or piping, which can vary by home.
Energy-Efficient Features of Gas Boilers for Home Heating
Condensing a gas boiler for home heating may cost a bit more at the initial purchase, but will save much more money over the fifteen to twenty-year life of the unit as it can have an AFUE rating of up to ten percentage points higher than a non-condensing boiler. Condensing boilers are much more efficient in colder climates as they condense the water vapor produced by the combustion heating process and they use this condensation heat as well to further improve efficiency. Gas boilers for home heating are more efficient with other features as well, such as having a second heat exchanger or being completely sealed. Having a flue (exhaustion) pipe with a small diameter can lead to less heat escaping through the exhaust, and a smaller furnace size overall can lead to less cycling, further reducing energy costs. With no pilot light, and having an electronic ignition instead, no gas will be burning to keep the pilot light lit while the boiler isn’t actually running. Having a continuous pilot light and a natural draft through the system can create a system with a very poor AFUE of less than 70%.
Maintaining Gas Boilers for Home Heating for Maximum Energy Efficiency
For any type of gas boiler system, you need to make sure that your chimney stays in proper repair. This can be for energy efficiency as well as safety as if exhaust from the gas boiler were to escape into the home, it could be dangerous. Chimneys can account for up to 20% reduction in efficiency, so maintaining a chimney is vital. Gas boilers for home heating use heat exchangers and when faulty, these heat exchangers can reduce efficiency and pose another safety risk. Controls on the boiler can be adjusted to ensure proper water and air temperatures so that you are not over or underheating the air or water in the home to make the system work harder than necessary.
For forced-air systems, it’s important to check the combustion chamber for cracks that can leak air and to check for carbon monoxide leaks in other areas of the boiler. The blower control can be adjusted for force and temperature to make sure that the system is running at optimum efficiency. Hot water systems should have their pressure tank inspected regularly to ensure that it’s not filled with water. Both types of systems should be cleaned regularly to remove corrosion, dirt, and soot from all areas of the boiler as well as have all nozzles and filters inspected to make sure the system is running cleanly. All maintenance of this thermal system should be done by a trained and licensed professional.
Gas Boilers for Home Heating: Replacement for Highest Efficiency
While maintaining a boiler system may increase its energy efficiency, if you have an older system then it may be more worthwhile to replace the system. Boiler systems that are over ten years old may have AFUE ratings in the range of 55% to 70%, while newer systems can have efficiencies of up to 97%. While the cost of replacing a system is rather expensive, the cost may be offset by the savings that you will see over the next fifteen to twenty years that you own the new gas boiler. If you were to replace a gas boiler with an efficiency rating of 55% with a new boiler that has an efficiency rating of 95%, then you could see a savings of up to $42 for every $100 in gas costs every year. This is an extreme saving that will have new gas boiler paying for themselves in no time.
Having an energy-efficient gas boiler in your home is vital, especially if you live in a colder climate and your winter heating costs are something to dread each year. If maintaining your system doesn’t give you enough of a boost in efficiency, then replacing it with one of the newer and more energy-efficient gas boiler for home heating may be the best way to go. Be sure to compare the AFUE ratings on new systems, or talk to your trained and licensed gas boiler repairman or installer to see what repairs or replacement can do for your energy costs each year. They can properly assess which new boiler would be best for your home and they can check the rest of your heating system, like your chimney and other exhaust ports, for areas that can be improved for even more energy efficiency when it comes to new gas boilers for home heating.