Are high efficiency boilers worth it?

A high-efficiency gas condensing boiler is one of the most economical and cleanest ways to heat your home, reduce your monthly heating bills and reduce environmental impact. In most cases, a condensing boiler can be used to replace an existing boiler in an older heating system. If energy efficiency, a lower carbon footprint, is important to you, then opt for the high-efficiency stainless steel boiler. Keep in mind that lower fuel costs may not offset the initial cost and lower life expectancy compared to a cast iron boiler.

The main benefit of a high-efficiency boiler is that it can offer immediate savings in fuel costs, potentially cutting your bill in half. These units are also better for the environment, with much lower emissions. Another benefit of a high-efficiency boiler is that it doesn't require a traditional chimney, but instead uses a short PVC tube inserted through the side of the house. Traditional boilers are quite large, while the new energy-efficient models have a more modern and space-saving design.

Not to mention that when it comes to installing boilers, high-efficiency boilers are easier. These boilers work by recovering heat from the flue gases that simply leave a house through the chimney of a conventional non-condensing boiler. Not only are these boilers more likely to need repairs, but repair costs are much higher with these units, often double the cost of repairing an average efficiency boiler. But there's no shortage of options when it comes to choosing what type of boiler is best for your budget and lifestyle.

The boilers heat the hot water and then send the steam to the radiators so that the entire house heats up properly. Companies use fuel efficiency ratings to determine if a boiler is standard efficiency or high efficiency. A high-efficiency condensing boiler will provide you with an additional 10 percent efficiency compared to a non-condensing boiler. Simple things like improving insulation and sealing air currents can go a long way in helping a high-efficiency boiler to operate at its maximum potential and to obtain the best possible numbers in terms of heating efficiency and energy costs.

The new regulations will require all gas boilers to operate at a minimum of 82 percent efficiency and 86 percent for oil boilers. Therefore, when you combine the higher purchase price with the higher maintenance and service costs, the payback period for a high-efficiency boiler is usually more than 10 years and often between 10 and 15 years. Combined boilers are sometimes preferable because they eliminate some of the requirements of conventional ventilated heating systems. The combis are like standard boilers without ventilation, but they have a second heating circuit, which is what gives you instant hot water when you need it.

The AFUE is the ratio between the annual heat production of a boiler (or furnace) compared to the total annual fuel energy consumed by a furnace or boiler. A standard efficiency boiler means that the boiler has an efficiency rating of between 80 and 84 percent.

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