Boilers are rated according to their annual fuel utilization efficiency or AFUE just like furnaces and other heating systems that burn fuel. This simple percentage-based scale shows you how much energy the system converts to heat, and it gives you a yardstick for comparing the system’s performance. If you live in Decatur, IL, here’s what you need to know about the equipment that keeps you warm all winter.
Efficiency Standards for Boilers
Boiler efficiency ratings start at 82 to 84% for gas or oil systems that meet federal minimums and go up to 95% for high-efficiency condensing units. As a general rule, natural gas has a slight edge overheating oil. Efficiency also depends on the system’s design.
- Low: Old cast iron boilers featuring continuous pilot lights and open combustion chambers are prime candidates for replacement. These bulky, inefficient systems typically have AFUE ratings below 70%.
- Mid: Modern boilers feature enhanced heat exchangers, improved insulation and sealed combustion chambers. AFUE ratings for Energy Star-qualified boilers start at 87% for oil systems and 90% for gas models.
- High: Today’s most efficient boilers achieve AFUE ratings above 95%. These systems use condensing flues, modulating fuel valves and intelligent combustion controls to extract every last drop of energy.
Optimizing Your Home’s Heating Efficiency
Investing in boiler maintenance services is one of the easiest ways to boost your system’s performance. The heat exchanger, expansion tank and pressure-regulating controls all require routine checks. If your boiler is noisy, using excessive amounts of fuel or heating your utility room instead of your home, we can perform a combustion analysis to determine how well the system is working.
Giving your heater a bit of attention now can save you money all winter. If you’d like to schedule boiler maintenance services or discuss replacement options, call Tica, Inc. Heating and Cooling at (217) 635-2230. You can also find more information about our heating services online.