We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about furnaces, but today we'd like to focus on another home heating option: residential boilers.
In this week's installment, we'll look at how you can choose the best residential boiler, as well as the advantages of going with this option for heating your home.
What to consider when choosing a boiler
To choose the best residential boiler, you'll need to consider three factors:
When it comes to the size of your boiler, think like Goldilocks: everything needs to be just right. A boiler that's too small is, well, too small. And one that's too large will waste energy and cost you money.
Boiler capacity is measured in British Thermal Units, which you've probably seen abbreviated as "BTU." This is a measure of the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by a single degree Fahrenheit.
Every building has a unit BTU requirement that's based on its location, climate, the number of its doors and windows and the quality of insulation in the ceiling and walls.
Choose the boiler that works for your climate. If you live in a warmer part of the country, go with a boiler that has a thermal output of 20 BTU per square foot. That number should jump to 35 in more moderate climates, and 50 in colder regions.
If you want to choose the best residential boiler, you'll need to learn these letters: AFUE. That stands for "annual fuel utilization efficiency," and it's a rating that shows how good the boiler is at turning fuel into energy to heat your home.
Most modern boilers will have an AFUE rating of at least 80 percent. Anything above 85 percent will carry the U.S. Department of Energy's EnergyStar rating, which means they meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the federal government.
Finally, your choice of boiler will depend on the type of venting system that works for your home.
Chimney vented boilers use, as the name suggests, a chimney, while power vent and direct vent boilers have fans that move exhaust through a vent in the wall or roof. Because these boilers use air from inside the home, they must be installed in open spaces, not in closets or crawl spaces.
The benefits of choosing a boiler
But why install a boiler in the first place? Let's look at some of the benefits:
- Better air quality – A boiler doesn't use a forced air system, so there will be less dust and other allergens circulating.
- Comfort – A boiler will keep you warm, and -- because it uses water – prevent dry air in the winter.
- No ductwork required – That means less installation work, although you'll still need the help of a qualified HVAC professional.
- Efficiency – Although a boiler will cost more to install than a furnace, you'll make up for that cost in efficiency. Electric boilers can have an AFUE rating of close to 100 percent.
Are you ready to install a boiler in your home? Contact All Seasons Comfort Control. And if you already have a boiler and need it repaired or replaced, we carry the industry's most trusted brands.
Count on us to lower your heating costs this winter, while fitting you with the best residential boiler for your home - to ensure you and your family are comfortable.