The efficiency of a residential boiler is one of the most important factors to evaluate when upgrading your home heating system. Significant savings can be realized by upgrading an older, inefficient boiler to a more modern model. Replacing old non-condensing boilers with high efficiency boilers can lead to even greater energy savings.
A boiler’s efficiency is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). This is the ratio of the boiler’s annual heat output compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy it consumes.
An AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the fuel energy becomes heat for your home and the other 10% escapes either up the chimney or out through the boiler into the space where the boiler is located. The higher the rating compared to your current boiler’s rating, the greater your savings will be.
Older boilers had efficiencies in the range of 56% to 70% AFUE, but modern boilers can achieve efficiencies as high as the mid-nineties, converting nearly all of the fuel to useful heat for your home.
A reliable indicator of efficiency is the ENERGY STAR® label. For a boiler to qualify for ENERGY STAR® certification, the product must meet or exceed the EPA’s minimum efficiency ratings. For gas boilers, both the Burnham Alpine™ and K2™ condensing boilers are ENERGY STAR® certified, and our Alpine™ boiler, at 95% AFUE, is the highest efficiency product we manufacture. For oil boilers, the MPO-IQ is ENERGY STAR® certified at 87% AFUE.
U.S. Boiler Company, the leading brand in hydronic heating, offers the best engineering capabilities available anywhere, and an extensive line of American-made products that provide homeowners with interior comfort solutions.
Advantages of Hydronic Heating Systems
Hydronic heating is an energy efficient system that uses tubing to circulate hot water beneath the floor, along base board heaters, or through radiators to heat your home. This home heating system has become increasingly popular with homeowners who want more comfort and control in their heating zones, savings through lower heating bills, and decreased emissions. Hydronic heating systems offer a variety of benefits when compared to conventional heating systems.
Durability – A cast-iron hydronic system should serve your home for 25 years or more, both because of the cast-iron material used and the small number of moving parts. A forced air furnace, which has far more moving parts and requires frequent changing of air filters, will normally last 10 to 15 years.
Efficiency – The immediate effect of installing a hydronic system is the savings you will enjoy each month. Hydronic heat is more efficient than conventional heating. Water conducts heat better than air does, so heat can be more easily delivered throughout your home, and it takes less energy to make it happen. Hydronic radiant heating can produce a comfortable home at a 20-40% lower cost than traditional heat systems.
Comfort – Innovative boiler control systems allow you to heat zones within your home independently of one another so you’re not heating rooms that no one occupies. Rooms can be warmer or cooler based on personal preferences, and you don’t have to keep doors closed to trap in the heat.
Cleanliness – Forced air heating systems utilize blowers that create turbulence. This can cause dust to be deposited on walls, furniture, curtains and drapes, and allergens to carry throughout the house. With a hydronic system, air movement is not required to warm the house, and there are no sudden on-and-off cycles to create turbulence. The cleaner air provides a healthier environment.
Quiet – Forced air systems make a lot of noise as heated air moves through metal heating ducts. Radiant flooring and hydronic heating equipment work silently. Steady heat radiates into the rooms with no sounds of the heating unit kicking on and off during the night.
Browse our website to learn more about residential boilers, and find out how new high efficiency heating systems can cut your energy bills.