Replacing that old boiler with a new, energy efficient model can help you save money this winter. Here are some boiler replacement considerations to keep in mind when deciding which boiler is right for your family, climate and financial needs.
Selecting the Right Contractor for the Job
This is the first critical step in the process. A great piece of equipment poorly installed and improperly selected will perform miserably and often, largely be a waste of good money. Make sure that your contractor has experience and training with boilers. Many good contractors for other types of HVAC systems such as forced warm air furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioning units lack the specialized training, tools and staff to effectively install boilers.
Older boilers only had efficiency ratings from 56-70 percent. Newer models have efficiency ratings of 90 percent or more. By choosing a unit that has a high efficiency rating you will save more money over the life of the boiler.
The AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of a condensing boiler can be up to 10 points higher than that of non-condensing boilers. This increased efficiency makes them a particularly wise choice in colder climates. On the flip side, higher efficiency, condensing boiler cost more to buy and you must weigh this added cost against the savings and other benefits of these boilers.
Electric boilers can have a higher efficiency rating than their fossil fuel counterparts. However, because the cost of electricity in many parts of the country is so high compared to the cost of fossil fuel, they are generally not the most cost effective choice. If you are interested in electric heating for your home, consider an electric heat pump instead.
In order to purchase the right boiler for your home, have a heating contractor evaluate your home and help you choose the right size to meet your needs.
Specify to your heating contractor that you want a sealed combustion boiler. This type of boiler brings air from outside to heat and exhausts gasses to the outside as well. This will keep you from losing heat out the chimney, and will save you money.
Older chimneys are not designed to handle the exhaust produced by modern-day, highly efficient boilers. Generally, a new exhaust duct will be installed. Often this exhaust is made of plastic because most of the heat is claimed for your home by these new, efficient boilers.
For more information on choosing the right boiler for your home, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We have been serving the Greater Cleveland area since 1936.