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Heating season energy costs are a large portion of your homes overall energy consumption. Winter heating costs fluctuate based on several primary factors; home weatherization efforts, thermostat settings and regulation, current market energy rates, climatic weather patterns and boiler operation efficiency.
Even after spending time and money on weatherization, installing programmable thermostats and implementing energy conservation efforts, i.e. putting on a cozy sweater; homeowners still have no more control over energy market rates than they do winter weather patterns.
The replacement of an older hot water boiler system or steam boiler system with a high efficiency boiler may be the next logical step in controlling spiraling energy costs.
In 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established a minimum of 78% efficiency for newly manufactured boilers and furnaces. The higher the AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating of a boiler, the greater the boiler’s impact on reducing annual heating costs. The AFUE of a boiler is the total heat output compared to the total fuel consumption. A boiler with a high rating of 90% means that only 10% of the fuel input is lost during boiler operation.
Look beyond boiler manufacturer marketing material to the DOE required label on a boiler unit to determine if it is “really” a high-efficiency boiler. The DOE considers boilers that operate at a 90%-97% AFUE truly high efficiency and boilers operating at 80- 89& AFUE mid-efficiency.
Given your older central boiler system may be currently operating a less than optimal efficiency, due to simply being of an older generation of technology or wear and tear of many years of operation; replacement with a high-efficiency boiler can increase your home energy savings.
If your older boiler system is operating at 60% efficiency, it means for every 1.00 you spend for fuel to operate it you are getting only .60 cents of heat. Replacing your old central hot water boiler or old steam boiler central heating system with a high-efficiency boiler saves energy consumption. A high efficiency boiler will provide payback in energy cost reduction and continue to provide a long-term return on your investment for many heating seasons to come.