Boilers are a very important part of a heat system that utilizes steam or hot water. They can also be the largest source of energy loss. It is very important to have the most efficient boiler that you can. But what is a high efficiency boiler? To answer that question, it is important to know about the ratings.
You boiler is rated by AFUE. This stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. This is the rate that the boiler uses up fuel in a year’s time.
This number comes from the amount of heat that is generated by consuming a set amount of fuel. For example, if you have a Geen warm water boiler with an AFUE of ninety percent. This means that ninety percent of the energy that is consumed by the boiler goes to make heat. Ten percent would be escaping out of the flue or chimney area.
However, this figure can often be misleading. Of that ninety percent or more that is heat, you may lose a great deal of it along the way. Some of it may dissipate in duct work and pipes. This can sometimes be a considerable amount and may be in excess of thirty percent.
Here is another way that the AFUE can be misleading. You may think about installing an electrically heated boiler. You will notice the AFUE can often be one hundred percent. There is no need to vent electricity as it is being used, as there are no combustion gases.
However, you need to compare the price of electricity to that of natural gas or propane. Most people may not be able to afford to heat a house this way. The price of electricity is usually too high to consider for household heat. Of course, this may not be the case with a heat pump in a warmer environment.
If you have a boiler that uses oil or coal as fuel, the minimum rating for it is eighty percent. If your boiler uses natural gas or propane the minimum is seventy five percent.
Lowering Your Energy Bills
The main reason for choosing an energy efficient boiler is to lower your energy costs. There are some things that you can do to help your efficient unit become more efficient. Call a professional out to completely check your system out. He will check things like your vent pipe. Any leaks in your vent system can affect your energy costs. They may also present a carbon monoxide hazard.
A heating professional will check all of the internal components. You may have a heat exchanger that is leaking. This can cause many problems and it is a large safety concern.
It is important that all settings in the heat system are set for optimum efficiency. This can make a big difference in your utility bills. Anything that you can do will help. It may involve some time and expense to have your system completely inspected. However, you will save money and be safer in the process.