The New Costs of Energy-Efficient Boilers

Posted by James Memije on Sep 24, 2015 10:03:00 AM
James Memije


Boiler design has come a long way in recent years as manufacturers work to conserve more energy. Residential boiler technology today is far different than it was 20 years ago. Boilers have evolved – from old natural draft boilers to mid-efficient boilers to gas boilers to wall-hung boilers to combi boilers (with hot water for taps, showers, and space heating) to high-efficient condensating boilers – in order to meet efficiency requirements. Natural draft boilers were 60% energy-efficient, compared to modern boilers with that can be as high as 95% energy-efficient. High-efficient boilers today save on energy because they allow for better heat transfer through the heat exchanger. energy-efficient-boilers

One way boilers have become more energy-efficient is the use of electronic ignition. Converting your standing pilot boiler to electric (spark) ignition increases efficiency and cuts costs. Boilers, like water heaters and clothes dryers, used to rely on pilot lights that burned around the clock, wasting fuel during those times when the boiler wasn’t generating heat. Energy-efficient boilers now use new technology to extract more heat from the same amount of fuel. Not only does this save money on fuel costs, it also reduces the need for fuel production, which reduces pollution. The type of fuel the boiler uses will also affect your costs. Experts say that natural gas is a good option because fuel oil prices tend to be volatile. Some boilers also feature changes in the combustion chamber, which reduces draft and increases energy-efficiency as well as safety.


It’s important to buy an energy-efficient boiler that has enough heating capacity – but not too much or too little. A boiler that’s too large will only use more fuel and cost you more money, even if it’s an energy efficient boiler. Conversely, a boiler that’s too small for your home or business will struggle to adequately warm it. That will cost you money, as the boiler runs constantly.


How Much Can Energy-Efficient Boilers Save You?

According to experts, an energy-efficient boiler earning the Energy Star rating can save consumers hundreds of dollars in utility costs over the course of a year. Moreover, the boiler can pay for itself through lower heating costs over the course of its life.  

In order to save money, you should replace an old or inefficient boiler – generally those over 15-years-old. All modern boiler systems need less fuel to run with the most efficient condensing boilers, using 30-40% less. Using a high-efficiency condensing boiler with heating controls could save you around $300 a year or around one-third of your heating bills. If you install the right heating controls, you could save up to 40% off your bills.

If you combine upgrading your boiler with other energy efficiency upgrades, you could cut both your fuel bill and your pollution output by as much as 50%. In an average cold-climate home, upgrading from a 56% to a 90% fuel-efficiency rating could save 1.5 tons of carbon monoxide emissions each year if you heat with gas. If you heat with oil, that could mean 2.5 tons of pollution savings. This table on Energy.Gov can help you estimate the annual energy savings you could realize from upgrading your system. 

An energy-efficient boiler will not only cut costs; it’s also a great way for people to conserve energy and help protect our fragile environment.


Want to learn more? Discover more solutions to bring back the heat!


Topics: Boiler System Tips

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