The need for warm shelter spans centuries and civilizations. The earliest evidence of a centralized heating system dates back to the Roman Empire. Select buildings were heated by heating air with a furnace and circulating this air through pipes in the floors and walls. While design and technologies used within the boiler industry have made leaps and bounds, the overall purpose hasn't changed - to efficiently heat a home and its water. Before investing in a boiler, it's essential homeowners understand the primary elements of an effective and efficient boiler.
Perhaps the most influential element of buying a gas boilers high efficiency is reviewing its efficiency. Much like any other home appliance, boilers come in a variety of features and efficiency ratings. While less-efficient boilers are often more cost-effective, homeowners end up spending more in monthly energy costs. Select high efficiency boilers, such as a vaillant boiler, that features a high AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, rating. The higher the AFUE rating, the higher annual fuel savings will be. For example, an 80 percent AFUE rating means the boiler utilizes 80 percent of fuel to create heat. The other 20 percent is released through combustion or venting. Any boiler that features an AFUE rating greater than 90 is typically referred to as a condensing boiler.
Combination boilers, or a combi boiler, provides instant access to hot water and home heating without the need of an expansion tank. All required components are located within a single unit. These models are ideal for small, compact spaces. When compared to gas boilers, combi units are not only more efficient, but are generally cheaper to operate. Because "waste heat" found in the flue is used to heat incoming cold water, it utilizes less fuel than its counterpart.
Buying a new gas boiler requires an understanding of home specifications and heating requirements. The installation of a boiler is the ultimate deciding factor on its efficiency and heating capabilities. To ensure the best boiler installation, it's best to follow the methods set forth by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. By reviewing six primary factors of a home, a homeowner or contractor can determine the best boiler location. This location is based upon influences that affect the amount of heat a home requires. These installation factors include:
Where the home is positioned in relation to direct sunlight
Efficiency of windows and doors
The level of air tightness around the home
Heating preferences of the homeowner
Home insulation quality
Number and location of heat-generating appliances (such as refrigerators, ovens, stoves, etc.)
While the ability to effectively heat a home based upon its unique architecture and occupant preferences is essential, the aforementioned method prevents oversizing a boiler. Oversized boilers are not only more expensive than necessary, but operational costs are increased while lifespan is decreased.