A boiler heats your home by burning gas, propane, or oil to heat water or make steam that circulates through radiators, baseboards, or radiant floor systems. ENERGY STAR-qualified boilers use approximately 10 percent less energy than standard boilers. They achieve greater efficiency with improved features such as electronic ignition (which eliminates the need to have a pilot light burning continuously on gas-fired boilers), combustion technology that extracts more heat from the same amount of fuel, and sealed combustion that uses outside air to fuel the burner, reducing draft and improving safety.
Buyer's Guide for Boilers
You should know these three things before buying a boiler:
- Ask for an ENERGY STAR® model. When buying a boiler from a retailer or contractor, request an ENERGY STAR-qualified model to ensure that you will realize the greatest savings.
- Check the yellow Energy Guide label. Use the yellow Energy Guide label to determine the model’s energy use, compare the energy use of similar models and estimate annual operating costs.
- Sizing and Installation. When buying a new boiler, sizing and installation are as important as product quality. Make sure you find a participating BPI-accredited contractor (Building Performance Institute) who will size your boiler based on the conditioned volume and specific characteristics of your house including insulation levels, window types and air leakage. Proper equipment sizing and installation will help provide maximum energy savings.
Follow these helpful guidelines to realize maximum energy savings:
- Consider regular cleaning and maintenance of your boiler to ensure peak efficiency and performance. Have oil-fired boilers serviced by a participating BPI-accredited heating contractor annually and gas-fired boilers every two years to maintain system performance.
- Request a combustion analysis from your contractor when your boiler is being serviced. This analysis will show the efficiency that the burner is operating at.
Information in this article is courtesy of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) . For more information, visit www.getenergysmart.org.