Looking to upgrade your old boiler before the Ohio winter sets in? If your unit is more than 10 years old, you’ll probably want to find a more efficient model to keep your utility costs down and the operating efficiency up. You’ll be amazed at all the cost-saving improvements that have been added to modern boilers. Here are three boiler upgrades you might want to consider.
Your older boiler may have been designed to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency rating (AFUE) of around 70 percent. As it has aged, its efficiency has probably gone down. Newer boilers, besides saving you money on your utility bill, are also safer and more reliable. In our climate, with our long, cold winters, it’s a good idea to invest in an Energy Star-rated appliance with an AFUE of at least 90 percent. Energy Star is the government’s program for recognizing and rating the most efficient appliances on the market.
A condensing boiler uses the heat from water vapor, or condensation, produced during combustion, rather than exhausting it through the flue. The AFUE for a condensing boiler is usually 10 points higher than non-condensing models. Condensing models are top of the line in efficiency and cost more, but they can save you money in utility costs over the estimated 15- to 30-year life span of the boiler. Condensing boilers do need to be vented in a special way because they produce acidic condensation.
A sealed combustion boiler draws outside air into the burner while combustion gases are sent outside, without needing a damper or draft hood. Non-sealed units draw hot air into the unit and then, after combustion, send it up the chimney, wasting the energy that heated the air. The sealed combustion process is more efficient and also safer, in that no dangerous combustion gases are introduced into the home. Backdrafting is always a possibility with non-sealed boilers.
To learn more about boiler upgrades, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve proudly served Greater Cincinnati since 1910 and look forward to handling your heating and cooling needs!