Four things to consider when selecting your next home boiler system
From boiler types, to installation teams and fuel options, there's a lot to consider when selecting the best boiler system for your home! Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting started.
1. What type of fuel is your current system using?
Oil, gas, propane, or something else entirely? The type of heating fuel that your current (or ideal future) system uses will mean a lot in the selection and installation process. While it's tempting to change fuel types to the cheapest fuel available, be aware that changing types can incur significant upgrade costs, including adding new fuel lines or removal (and if necessary, excavation) of oil tanks when present.
2. What size of boiler do you need?
Do you live alone, or is your home always bustling with activity? Are you in a 1,000 square foot condo, or in a house five times that big? Homes vary dramatically, and so do the boilers that best keep them cozy. Sizing is critical for selecting the best boiler to keep your home at its maximum comfort level. Selecting a boiler that's too large may lead to short-cycling, which can reduce the service life of a boiler. Selecting one that's too small may just leave you and your family in the cold, no matter how high the thermostat is cranked. Talk with a heating expert who can help you choose the right system for your home and its individual needs. They will consider your fuel type, home size and fixtures, and other methods of measuring the number of BTUs needed to properly and efficiently heat your home.
Another thing to keep in mind is your future needs. A typical boiler has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Are you planning on a new addition a few years down the road? These are all things to keep in mind while working with your installation expert to select your ideal system.
3. How important is efficiency to you?
The efficiency of modern boilers when compared to old systems is like night and day. Where outdated boilers may strive to reach 60% efficiency (or even less), modern condensing boilers are now easily able to reach well over 90% efficiency. Look for the EnergyGuide label on potential options to determine their official efficiency ratings.
While a mid-efficiency boiler (with an efficiency rating of 78-83%) may have a lower initial price tag than a top-of-the-line high efficiency model, the amount saved in fuel costs year over year will more than pay for itself with a high efficiency model. Do you really want to pay less once, only to pay more every month for years to come?
4. Future care and feeding
After your boiler is professionally installed, ask your trusted heating contractor to walk through the features of your boiler, and make a note on your calendar to give them a call a year from now, even if everything runs perfectly. All boiler manufacturers recommend yearly inspection and service, no matter how high or low the initial price tag or efficiency level. Just like regular tune-ups find small issues with your car before they turn into major problems, annual boiler inspections are a good way to reduce the risk of heating system failure, which is usually much costlier than regular maintenance.