How Boilers Work

Boilers use a combination of fuel and water to heat the home. These types of home heating systems may be fueled by oil, gas, electricity or propane. The combustion gases from the fuel type heat the water inside the boiler. In water tube boilers, the water runs through a series of pipes, and combustion gases surround the pipes and heat the water. In fire tube boilers, the gas is sent through tubes that run into the boiler. Heat is channeled into the home through specialized pipes, radiators or under the floor vents.

Gas Vs Oil Fuel

While the debate over whether gas or oil boilers are better rages on, using natural gas wins hands down when it comes to fuel costs. According to the Department of Energy, consumers spent about $650 to heat their homes with gas in 2012, while those with oil furnaces spend a hefty $2,200. Oil is just much more expensive than natural gas. Less than 8 percent of homeowners in the United States use oil to heat their homes. Many of those people are located in the northeast in areas where the gas distribution system is not available. Although both types deliver comfortable and adequate heating, it all boils down to the cost of fuel for most Americans.

The Best Boilers for Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Today, the Energy Star certified boilers are popular with consumers. With an Energy Star certified boiler, you can enhance the indoor comfort of your home along with saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These boilers have Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 85 percent or more. Key features that improve efficiency include:

  • Sealed combustion that utilizes outdoor air to fuel the burner, reduce drafts and improve safety.
  • Electronic ignition systems that eliminate the need for the pilot light to constantly burn.
  • New combustion technology that allows for more heat extraction from the fuel.

The cost for a new boiler varies depending on size, manufacturer and contractor installation costs. Several factors determine size, including the area’s climate, how quickly the home loses heat, size of the home, lifestyle of the homeowners and output capacity of the heating system. HVAC contractors will do a heat load calculation to determine how many British Thermal Units (BTUs) the residence requires. High-efficiency boilers with an AFUE of 90 to 97 percent range from $5,000 to $9,000. With the Energy Star certified boilers, there are often local, state and federal incentives to offset the costs. Your HVAC contractor can advise you of the current incentives.

HVAC Services with Carefree Comfort, Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning in Highland Park IL

At Carefree Comfort, Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning, we carry and install top brands for both gas and oil boilers. To make the initial costs of a new boiler more affordable for our customers, we offer discounts on installation costs. Be sure to visit our website for the latest offerings.