A gas boiler replacement is needed when your existing gas boiler has reached the end of its life. Most gas boilers are designed to last for a period of 20 to 30 years before needing to be replaced. When a replacement is warranted, here are some things that you need to know regarding your gas boiler.
Measuring the Gas Boiler’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency
The efficiency of a gas boiler is measured in terms of its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. This measures the percentage of energy used by the gas boiler that is converted into heat that is usable by the homeowner. A newer energy-efficient gas boiler that you install should have an AFUE of 85% to 87%. The older gas boiler may be operating at an AFUE of 50% to 75%. The lower the AFUE, the lower the energy efficiency of the gas boiler and the higher the cost to operate.
Improvements to the Power Burners
The types of improvements that have been made to a gas boiler that helps to increase its AFUE includes the use of power burners that are designed to operate more efficiently. The power burners with newer energy-efficient gas boilers mix gas and air through a mixture that is injected in the gas boiler’s combustion chamber. The combusted air is driven by a small motor, which operates the blower. The control of the air and fuel mixture by the burners makes it operate more efficiently.
Elimination of the Pilot Light
Older gas boilers operate with a constantly burning pilot light that ignites the combustion necessary for the heat. This constantly burning flame is an inefficient way to operate and ends up costing the homeowner more. A newer gas boiler uses an electronic spark ignition that ignites the pilot light at the time heat is required for the home. An electrode receives the signal that starts the pilot in order to ignite the boiler and deliver heat.
Other types of gas boilers use a hot surface igniter, which does away completely the need for a pilot light. The igniter, when engaged, becomes hot quickly so that when gas hits the hot surface it ignites and begins delivery heat.
The Use of Vent Dampers
Vent dampers are used to lower the loss of heat from the furnace through the chimney. This is important especially during the times that the gas boiler is in the off cycle. The prevention of heat loss is another way that a new energy efficient gas boiler increases its AFUE.
Determining the Best Gas Boiler
A heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company can help you determine the type of energy-efficient gas boiler that is right for your home.