Expert Boiler Installation Contractor Serving Pennsylvania
Boiler installation and replacement experts in Greater Pittsburgh
Updating your boiler can have a major impact on home energy efficiency.
For homeowners without a traditional furnace, boilers are the most common home heating system. Boilers heat water and distribute it throughout the home to heat the space. Just like with furnaces, energy efficiency is a major priority for boiler replacement and installation.
Bolster-DeHart, Inc. specializes in installing high-efficiency boilers that will help improve your home's comfort and save you money on your heating and cooling costs. If you're interested in boiler replacement or installation, contact us today to schedule a free estimate! We offer all our home heating services in Gibsonia, Monroeville, Bethel Park and the surrounding areas.
Understanding boiler efficiency
Like furnaces, heat pumps and other HVAC components, boilers are described according to size, efficiency and the type of combustion or venting that is utilized. Here's a brief summary of these descriptive terms:
- BTU output denotes size. The amount of heat energy a boiler can produce is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). For example, a medium-size boiler might have an 80,000 BTU rating.
- AFUE defines efficiency. "Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency" tells you the percentage of input energy (fuel) the boiler can convert to output energy. An old boiler is probably operating with an AFUE of 60%-75%. The most efficient new boilers are rated at 90% and above.
- "Direct-vent" boilers don't require a chimney. Old-style boilers exhaust their combustion gasses through a chimney. "Direct-vent" boilers extract much more heat from fuel, so their combustion gasses are much cooler. Instead of venting through a chimney, a small fan blows the exhaust outside through a plastic pipe. A direct-vent boiler is sometimes referred to as "condensing" boiler because water condensation occurs in the boiler's secondary combustion chamber.
- "Sealed-combustion" boilers get combustion air from outside. Some direct-vent boilers are also sealed-combustion models, which means that the air required for combustion comes from outside the house rather than from inside. These boilers are appropriate for houses that have been tightly air-sealed to limit air infiltration. By drawing air from outside for combustion instead of from the inside, it doesn't create a vacuum inside the house, causing outside air to leak into the house.
Choosing the right boiler for your home
Boilers can use a wide variety of fuel sources, but at Bolster-DeHart, Inc. we recommend natural gas or propane for maximum efficiency. These sources provide cleaner, more efficient performance and will help you save money on your heating costs. There are also a few other key factors to consider:
- Combi-boilers supply hot water for heating and washing: Regardless of the fuel used, a boiler can supply hot water for heating alone or for heating and washing. A boiler that does both jobs is often referred to as a "combi-boiler." With a combi system, no separate hot water heater is necessary. In fact, when the boiler is running to provide water for whole-house heating, hot water for washing is heated for free.
- Boilers supply hot water for different "hydronic" heating systems: "Hydronic" is a term used to describe any HVAC system that uses water or fluid. There are several different types of hydronic heating systems that utilize boilers. Hot water can be pumped to baseboard and other types of radiators located throughout the living space. It can also be circulated through plastic tubing that has been installed beneath finished floor surfaces. In this type of "hydronic radiant floor" heating system, the flooring becomes a giant radiator to provide home heat. A third type of hydronic heating system, called "hydro-air," circulates hot water from the boiler to a heating coil in a duct system, where a fan circulates the heat to the rooms in your house.
Improve your home's efficiency and save money with boiler replacement or installation
If you want to improve your home's energy efficiency, reduce heating costs, and enjoy a more comfortable home, contact the heating experts at Bolster-DeHart, Inc. today. We'll help you understand your options and get the best solution for your home. Contact us today for a free estimate on boiler replacement or installation in Gibsonia, Monroeville, Bethel Park, Mckeesport, Coraopolis, Aliquippa, Mars, Allison Park, Gibsonia and the surrounding areas.
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