Understanding Residential Boiler Efficiency Ratings

By in , ,
Understanding Residential Boiler Efficiency Ratings

Many Illinois and Northwest Indiana homeowners use boilers and radiant heating systems to keep their homes warm during the winter. Just like furnaces, today’s boilers are much more efficient than they used to be. Whether it burns gas, propane, fuel oil, or uses electricity, a new model can save money every month on utility bills. Merts Heating & Air Conditioning wants to help you understand the efficiency ratings for residential boilers.

Understanding the terms

Just like furnaces, boiler efficiency is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. In simple terms, this is the ratio of heat output compared to fuel energy consumed. An AFUE of 90% means 90% of the energy becomes heat for the home and the other 10% escapes up the chimney and elsewhere.

What about electric boilers?

Since there is no heat loss through a chimney for an all-electric boiler, the AFUE rating is between 95% and 100%. However, because of the higher cost of electricity in most parts of the country, electric boilers cost a lot more to operate than gas models.

Condensing vs non-condensing

If a high efficiency, Energy Star type of system is what you want, then you will want to choose a condensing boiler. They are able to utilize more energy from the burned fuel and will have an AFUE rating of more than 88%. Non-condensing boilers are only capable of 80% to 88% but will generally cost less upfront. 

Advantages of replacement

Older systems had efficiencies of 55% to 70%, while modern boilers can achieve efficiencies as high as the mid-nineties. A new high-efficiency heating system can often cut fuel bills and emissions by half, reducing your carbon footprint. If your current heater is old, worn out, or inefficient, the simplest solution is often to replace it with a modern model.

Merts is here to help

If you have any more questions about boiler efficiency ratings and what model is best for your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home, call Merts Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule a no-obligation estimate. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more great information.