Rising energy costs, coupled with concerns about natural-resource consumption, have homeowners looking for ways to reduce the amount of energy they use to heat and cool their houses. One option to consider is upgrading your boiler to a high-efficiency model.
By choosing a model with a high AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating, you can lower your monthly power costs while reducing the carbon footprint of your home.
AFUE reflects the percentage of fuel that is converted into usable heat by your boiler. For example, a model with an AFUE rating of 85 percent would convert 85 percent of the energy it consumed into heat for the home, while the other 15 percent is wasted (escaping up the flue, for example). Higher AFUE ratings indicate greater energy efficiency.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right model for you home:
- Choose a unit that meets or exceeds the minimum allowed AFUE. For a fossil-fueled boiler, that’s 80 percent; for a gas-fueled steam boiler, it’s 75 percent.
- In general, high-efficiency models tend to cost more than their low-efficiency counterparts. If you are on a limited budget, you should buy the model with the highest AFUE that you can afford. Also, keep in mind that in most cases the initial investment can be recouped through energy savings over time.
- For the best energy efficiency, consider investing in a condensing boiler. As their name implies, these units condense the water vapor that is given off during the combustion process, extracting the heat from the condensation to provide a dramatic boost in efficiency.
If you live in Northern Indiana or Southwest Michigan and have any questions about selecting and installing a boiler, contact us at Home Comfort Experts. Our qualified technicians will be happy to answer your questions and help you find an affordable, energy-efficient solution for your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about high efficiency boilers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.