Steam Boilers

A boiler uses either natural gas, oil or electricity to heat water or produce steam, which is circulated through a network of pipes into radiators, baseboard convectors, radiant floors or fan-forced coils. Conventional, older boiler systems may only be 60% percent efficient.

By upgrading to a new boiler, you could save considerable money on your heating costs. Boilers can be hot water or steam. Either type can be gas or oil burners however the piping systems are different for each type. The hot water boiler uses a pump to circulate the hot water while the steam boiler uses its own pressure to circulate the steam throughout the system. Both systems use a burner to heat the water to the temperature set on the thermostat. An equastat monitors the temperature of the water and turns the burner off when the temperature reaches the desired level.

Steam BoilersSteam boilers must heat the water to a higher temperature and therefore have lower efficiencies than hot water boilers. Natural gas-fired boilers are more efficient than oil fired boilers. Combination boilers combine water heating and heat generation inn one unit and can save considerable money on heating and water heating costs.

Boilers can achieve greater efficiency with improved features such as:
  • Electric ignition, which eliminates the need to have the pilot light burning all the time.
  • New combustion technologies, which extract more heat from the same amount of fuel.
  • Sealed combustion, which uses outside air to fuel the burner, reducing draft and improving safety.
  • High-efficiency pumps for moving heated water through the system.

Efficiency Ratings
The efficiency of new boilers is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), a measure of overall performance. The federal minimum-efficiency standards for boilers took effect in 1992, requiring that new boiler units have an AFUE of at least 80%. Many older boilers have AFUE ratings of only 55-65%. Some of the highest rated units are natural gas-fired with AFUE ratings as high as 99%.

Efficiency Benefits
ENERGY STAR qualified boilers have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 85% or greater when properly sized and installed. They use approximately 10% less energy than today's standard boilers. You could save up to 30% on heating bills by replacing a 10-year-old boiler with a new ENERGY STAR qualified boiler; . By combining your investment with advanced controls such as programmable thermostats, you can save even more. Honest Heating and Cooling will do a heat-loss, heat-gain calculation to ensure that the boiler you purchase is the right size for your home so you can realize maximum energy cost savings.

For all your home comfort needs, please call or email us today.