Once your boiler approaches the 15-year mark, you may want to start thinking about boiler replacement. Even though the system may be functional, you’re probably not getting the efficiency you used to due to wear and tear. A boiler older than 15 years wasn’t delivering acceptable efficiency by today’s more stringent standards even when it was brand new. Simply by upgrading to a new unit, you’ll get a higher AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of at least 82, lower operating costs, and the advantages of enhanced indoor comfort, increased reliability, and greater safety. Other questions you may want to ask yourself about boiler replacement include:
Is the room where the boiler is installed unusually warm? If so, you may be experiencing high heat loss from the boiler, a sign of low efficiency and age-related wear and tear. Energy consumed by the boiler should heat water, not the boiler room.
Is your boiler the right size? In the past, boilers were often sized by imprecise, “rule of thumb” estimates that resulted in installing an under-sized or over-sized unit. When a boiler’s too small for the needs of the home, it runs extended “On” cycles and uses excess energy. When it’s too large, it cycles on and off frequently, another sign of inefficiency as well as a cause of shortened service life.
Does the boiler incorporate efficiency controls? Probably not standard on your older boiler, new features like a hybrid energy recovery control increase efficiency by reducing idle heat loss. A separate control that adjusts performance to outdoor temperatures also helps cut operating costs.
Do you have a pilot light? Many technicians consider the glow of a pilot light to be the telltale sign of an obsolete, outmoded boiler. Pilot lights are old-school technology that continuously consumes gas and contributes to unnecessarily high energy use. Today’s systems save all that wasted energy by incorporating a flameless electronic igniter.
For more answers to questions about boiler replacement, contact the heating specialists at Pipe Works Services.