Masters Heating & Cooling believes high-efficiency boilers are often the ideal heating choice, especially in cold climates. Instead of burning fuel to heat the air like a forced air system, a boiler heats water then circulates the water, or in some cases steam, through a series of radiators or plastic tubing installed under the floors of your home. The hot water radiates heat throughout the home hence the term radiant heat.
Heating water is much more energy efficient than heating air. Hot water loses heat at a much slower rate than air does. Additionally, the newest generation of boilers are very efficient at burning fuel with ratings as high as 98.5%, meaning only one-and-a-half percent of the heat created goes to waste. Masters always recommending buying the most efficient system you can afford. Increased efficiency costs money up front but pays for itself in the long run.
All boilers are either condensing or non-condensing. Without getting too technical, you should always choose a condensing type. It can use waste heat to preheat cold water as it enters the system which makes them much more energy efficient. Non-condensing boilers are 80% to 88% efficient. Condensing types have an AFUE rating of more than 88% and can be as high as 98.5% mentioned earlier.
Just as with forced air systems, this is a critical step. If the boiler is too small, it won’t produce adequate heating. If it’s too large you are wasting money up front and it may cost more money to operate. It takes a highly trained Masters technician using complicated formulas to determine what size boiler is correct for your situation.
This choice is often determined by your situation and/or location.
- Natural gas—This is typically the most cost efficient choice, but many residential areas do not have natural gas service available.
- Propane—This can be the best choice if gas is not available. Propane is generally more expensive, and the price can be volatile. It also requires a storage tank and on site deliveries.
- Oil-fired—These boilers are common in areas without natural gas service. You will need to have the storage tank filled regularly and the price can rise and fall during the heating season. Some models of boilers are able to burn biodiesel oil which is good for the environment.
- Electric—You can install electric boilers but in most parts of the country electricity is much more expensive than other fuels. If electric heat is your only choice you may want to consider a heat pump which is much more efficient.
Masters is here to help
To learn more about your choices for boiler replacement or a new radiant heating system with a high-efficiency boiler, call Masters Heating & Cooling.