Replacing a heating system is never high up on a homeowner’s list of fun things to do. But the truth is that the service life of a residential boiler is 10-15 years. Even if your older boiler is still working, it may be so inefficient that it makes more financial sense to upgrade to a new, more-efficient unit now rather than dealing with high energy bills.
Purchasing a new boiler is a big investment, so you want to make sure you’re getting the right system for your comfort and budget. Here are four important tips to keep in mind.
Know the difference between condensing and non-condensing boilers
There are two types of boilers: condensing and non-condensing. The more traditional non-condensing type vents out combustion gases, which lowers the unit’s energy efficiency. New boilers are condensing, which means exhaust gas is recycled to preheat cold water as it enters the unit. While condensing boilers are much more energy efficient, they are also typically more expensive.
Get the right size for your climate
When it comes to a boiler, bigger doesn’t always equal better. If your boiler is too large, you’ll just be wasting energy and money. That’s why it’s important to factor in the climate you live in when selecting a system. Here in southern California, we don’t experience the extremely low temperatures like the northern or Midwest states do. So a boiler in the range of 20 BTUs is usually appropriate for our customers.
Don’t forget room for the venting
The boiler in your home needs to be vented to the outside. This is could be done directly through the chimney, which doesn’t require much extra space. On the other hand, a boiler that’s vented by forced air requires open space around it to pull in air for proper flow. So when choosing your new boiler, location and venting type are very important.
Compare energy efficiency ratings
Every boiler comes with an EnergyStar rating, which tells you how energy efficient the unit is. A new, high-efficiency boiler will have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) number between 90-95%. In comparison, a boiler that’s over 10 years old will likely be under 70%. One reason newer boilers are more efficient is that instead of losing heat through conduction, the unit traps escaping the heat and redirects it through the system.
When buying a new boiler for your home, you shouldn’t make a rushed decision without having all the information available to you. Do your homework and ask your heating professional any questions you have. In the end, you want to make a decision you can be happy with for over a decade.
At Liberty Plumbing, we have over 25 years of experience helping people select the ideal heating system for their home. We’re more than happy to take a look at your current boiler, and recommend whether it still has life or if it’s time for a new, high-efficiency unit. Give us a call today at (951) 760-4215.