Need to replace your old oil boiler? If that’s the case, you are probably hoping to find a high efficiency oil boiler that will last you a long time and use as little oil as possible in the process.
If you would like, you can utilize our convenient boiler selection tool. You will be prompted with three questions to determine which models are suitable for your home and heating application.
SPOILER ALERT: If you’re looking for a quick answer, The MPO-IQ is one of the most efficient and reliable cast iron oil boilers in the industry. Backed by a ENERGY STAR® certification, the MPO-IQ blends unmatched performance with long lasting durability and exclusive energy saving features. Beyond the high efficiency of the MPO-IQ, this model also has a control system that allows the installer to use plug-and-play upgrades to your system to further reduce your fuel bills. More on this later…
The rest of this article discusses oil boilers specifically, and helps explain your options. Keep in mind that just because you have an oil boiler does not necessarily mean that you must install another oil boiler. Propane is available almost everywhere, and natural gas is becoming more and more available across the country. In the heating industry, switching from oil to gas is often called an “oil to gas conversion.”
For this article, we will assume you want to stick with oil, and that you need a water boiler (as opposed to steam). Before you start to compare boiler models, it’s worth mentioning that both of U.S. Boiler Company’s oil-fired water boilers feature cast iron heat exchangers that are manufactured in the USA from recycled material.
Chimney or no chimney?
The first important consideration is whether or not your home has a masonry chimney. If you do, and it’s in serviceable condition, there are two different boiler models made by U.S. Boiler Company that would most likely fit your needs; the MPO-IQ and the V8H.
If you do not have a serviceable masonry chimney, which is unlikely if you already have an oil boiler in your home, the MPO-IQ with an optional direct vent kit would need to be installed.
With the MPO-IQ, you have the option of direct venting the boiler, which means that the boiler’s exhaust can be piped through a wall penetration and directly outside, instead of venting the boiler up and out of a chimney. This is not an option with the V8H.
The differences between the two boilers do not stop there, however. The MPO-IQ boasts an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 87 percent. The V8H provides an 85 percent AFUE, upgradeable to 87 percent with an ENERGY STAR® certified kit. Both of these boilers can dramatically reduce the heating bills in a home where an older, less efficient boiler was previously installed. Keep in mind that a lot of older oil boilers were oversized when they were installed, so there’s potential to save considerable energy expense by installing a new, properly sized oil boiler.
The MPO-IQ’s efficiency comes from the design of its three-pass, cast iron heat exchanger. This, combined with the heat exchanger’s hinged front door and removable cast iron clean out plates, also makes it one of the easiest boilers for a heating professional to service. The MPO-IQ’s control system includes a touch screen interface and the ability to add “IQ Cards” for low-water cutoff, high limit, and an outdoor reset. The latter is a system that allows the boiler to respond directly to the outdoor temperature, providing significant further energy savings.
In a nutshell, the high efficiency MPO-IQ is one the most advanced and reliable oil boilers on the market today. It provides a lot of options for homeowners and contractors alike, and can be easily upgraded (via the IQ Cards) any time after being installed.
As previously mentioned, the V8H can offer up to 87 percent AFUE, so it is also a very energy efficient option. Like the MPO-IQ, it has a swing-away door for ease of service. This boiler model can come equipped with a tankless coil for domestic hot water production. This means that a separate water heater is not needed as the coil heats your home’s hot water.
The V8H has a reputation as being a workhorse, and is designed for a simple replacement of an existing oil boiler.
Another important consideration when choosing between the MPO-IQ and the V8H is the capacity of the boiler. Having a boiler that’s too small for the home will result in less-than-ideal comfort. A boiler that’s too big for the home will short-cycle (fire up and shut down very frequently), which is very inefficient and can reduce the service life of the unit.
To know exactly what size boiler you need, a heat load calculation should be performed by a professional heating contractor. Selecting a replacement boiler to match the capacity of the existing boiler is not a good idea. That would be assuming that the existing boiler was sized correctly, and as previously mentioned, that’s a big assumption.
Once the appropriate capacity is known, looking at the different sizes available for the MPO-IQ and the V8H might eliminate one of them from the decision making process. The V8H is available in seven sizes, from 0.75-2.60 GPH (105,000 – 364,000 BTUh). The MPO is available in five sizes, from 0.60-1.65 GPH (84,000 – 231,000 BTUh).
If your home needs less than roughly 100,000 BTUh, which can easily be the case with the average American home, the MPO-IQ is likely to be the best option. If more than approximately 230,000 BTUh, is needed, the V8H is likely to better suit your needs.
> The intent of this article is simply to help educate you, the homeowner, and to help you to better understand your options. There are many factors to consider when choosing an oil boiler. Your professional heating contractor will be able to determine which boiler will be best suited for your home. You can find a reputable installer in your area by visiting our contractor locator tool.