Boilers And AFUE: Synergy Defined

by Greg Leisgang on September 15, 2011

Posted in: Boilers

Boilers And AFUE: Synergy DefinedIf you use a boiler to heat your Greater Cincinnati home, take a moment to consider its age. If you have a boiler that's 16 to 20 years old, or older, you may be wise to look into replacing it. Maybe you hesitate to spend the money, particularly if yours is still working adequately. Consider, however, how much money you might be spending on wasted fuel.

AFUE ratings

AFUE stands for "annual fuel utilization efficiency," and it's a measure of how well a boiler uses the fuel it burns. The current minimum government AFUE standard for a fossil-fueled boiler is 80 percent, meaning 80 percent of the energy in your fuel becomes heat for your home -- and 20 percent is wasted. Your old boiler's AFUE is likely around 70 percent. In short, that means 30 percent of your fuel goes out the flue as waste. Translate that into dollars used to buy that fuel, and you may be losing serious money over the course of the winter. New, high-efficiency boilers have AFUE ratings of 90 percent to 97 percent -- offering home comfort while reducing your fuel bills.

Modern boilers

New, high-efficiency units have advances that old systems lack. Among them:

  • New boilers have a second heat exchanger to capture heat from escaping gases in the flue. This uses more heat from your burner and results in less fuel waste.
  • New boilers have sealed combustion, resulting in higher heat concentration for your home and less heat escaping outdoors.

Here's another factor to consider: Your old system may be larger than you need. If you get a new unit, make sure you have it sized for your unique home. You may find that your new boiler will be smaller than your old one.

Saving significantly on your fuel costs could pay for a new boiler within a few winters. If you would like more information on the efficiency of new boilers, contact the experts at JonLe Heating & Cooling. The combination of efficiency and fuel savings may surprise you.


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