In the US most houses contain boiler systems for heating purposes. Their purpose is to keep the house warm and perfectly humid during extreme weather conditions. Not only does the central heating system save your energy and time, but also avoids the mess caused by lighting fireplaces in every single room to keep them warm There are varieties of these boilers experts so that you can choose according to your preferences. Boilers come in different sizes, and a correctly sized boiler system can perform its best. Sizes may vary according to the region you are residing. For colder areas, you will need larger boilers to keep your house perfectly warm and cozy.
How does the boiler system work?
The central heating system works with heated water which circulates through pipes around your house. To simplify it, we can say the water that is used to keep the house warm is held in tubes at the time of the whole setup. These systems work with the help of natural gas or oil. It is used to heat the water and the heat energy is transferred from the heated gas to the liquid water. The electric pump in system pushes the heated water, and it completes its circle by passing through different radiators to keep water heated. When the water goes through the entire house, it eventually cools down and comes back to the starting point for heating. This same process happens continuously, and the same water circulates through the house every day.
It is crucial to look at the various aspects of a boiler if you are planning to have one. Following are the different types of boilers.
Condensing and non-condensing boilers:
The main difference between a condensing and non-condensing boiler is its efficiency. Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) determines the efficiency of these systems and the percentage of heat created and being transferred to the water articulate it. Boilers with efficiency between the rates of 80 to 84 are known as standard or non-condensing boilers, and these are the most economical ones. The efficiency of 85 to 90% is considered as high efficiency.
On the other hand, condensing boilers are mostly floor-mounted which are more abundant in capacity and wall mounted which are small-medium in size. The best thing about them is their efficiency which is 95% or higher. Its complex heat exchanger is the main reason behind such higher efficiency.
Water and Steam Boilers:
In water heaters, the burner heats the water to a specific temperature not more than 200F. On the other hand in steam boilers, the pool is heated to boiling point, and then the steam is pushed through pipes to make rooms warm. Water or hydronic boilers need more water than steam ones. For water boilers, the water is filled up to the top of the water tank, and for steam boilers, the water level is little lower so the generated steam can have space. In the case of efficiency, hot water boilers have been more efficient and safer than steam ones. However, the unit’s ability entirely depends on the manufacturers of water and steam boilers.
These boilers are also known as combi boilers. As its name shows that it is a combination of two features. It will not only serve the purpose of making your house cozy and comfortable but also fulfill your hot water needs. Its functions work separately, the heated water circulating the house to keep it warm is separate which is known as ‘space heating’. Similarly, the hot water which runs through the taps is a separate function and is known as ‘water heating’. These boilers can save your space and performs very well as they offer high efficiency too.
Outdoor Wood-fired boilers:
These boilers serve their purpose of heating the indoors while working outdoors. There are different types of these boilers standard boilers, Catalytic outdoor boilers, and outdoor gasification boilers. However, standard outdoor boilers are less efficient and require more work. Newer versions of these boilers are more efficient than standard ones.
Floor standing and wall mounted boilers:
Traditionally, the boilers which are fueled by biodiesel, oil or wood are installed on floors due to their size and functions. These are also known as floor standing or free-standing boilers, and these boilers work with every type of fuel natural gas, oil, propane, biodiesel and wood. On the other hand, boilers working with natural gas are mostly wall-mounted. Wall mounted boilers are space saving and also more efficient regarding functionalities.
Single stage, two stage and modulating boilers:
Separate stage boilers have sensors when the temperature lower than the specified limit then it turns on in its 100% capacity, the boiler to heat space. When the temperature rises, and the area is heated to a specified threshold, the boiler shuts down automatically. Similarly, two staged boilers operate on two capacities: either on 60% or 100%. It will help in generating more even heat throughout the house and does not create sudden heating which is quite uncomfortable. These boilers are more efficient than single staged as they operate quietly. Regarding the cost, it is worth having such boilers because it offers excellent value at a bit higher price.
Modulating boilers work on the lower settings continuously and performs specific actions when required. Some of the models can work on even 40% of the capacity and still maintains the proper heat throughout the house. Due to its higher efficiency up to 98% and performance, it cost much higher than the other two types, and it is the best option to enhance the comfortable experience.
Pricing of the boilers:
Now we know the varieties of boilers, let’s talk about the pricing of these boilers. There are three main factors which affect the pricing size, efficiency, and performance.
The price goes up with volume. The larger the size or capacity, the more expensive it would be. The ability of boiler required for the house depends upon several other factors. These factors include the insulation of the house, whether it is a single story or double story, the material used in the ceiling and how much energy efficient windows and doors are.
- Standard boilers are the lowest in price as they are less efficient
- High-Efficiency Boilers are moderate in price as their efficiency is from 85%- 90% AFUE
- Condensing boilers are the most expensive ones as their effectiveness is highest than others.
You can choose from less efficient boilers to condensing ones according to your requirement. These boilers can be changed according to the zone you live in. Zones 1, 2, and 3 does not require that much heating as the weather is not that much extreme in these areas. Similarly, areas under zone 4 and 5 can go for high-efficiency boiler and areas under 6, and 7 can choose from condensing boilers to make their experience of the warm and cozy house more comfortable.
If you take a look at the US Climate Zone map you will see zone 1, and 2 are mostly hot, and zone 3 is significantly warm, so does not require that much heating when the weather is changed. Therefore the performance wise staged and modulating boilers can do the job for such areas. Similarly, zone 4 is moderate not very hot and not very cold. The temperatures started to lower from zone 5, and zone 7 is noticeably frigid which requires combi boilers for higher performance in such areas.
Extra tips before installing a boiler:
- When choosing for a perfect boiler, you must search for the ideal contractor as well. You must not compromise the quality of the boiler for the sake of lower installation prices. Always consider three bids and the latest tax credits must be taken into consideration to finalize the best price.
- If you are considering to replace your boiler then you must take care of the following things:
- If you need to cover more space for heating, you will need one size larger than before
- If your home has newer windows and is more insulated then back, you must consider buying one size smaller boiler then before as it will perform very well.
- These are the top rated brands which provide high-quality boilers. Here, one of the most important things you should keep in mind is the performance and reliability of the system are dependent upon the quality of installation. Therefore, it is essential to hire an experienced contractor to install your boiler to save from spending extra money.
- Bradford White
- IBC Boilers
- New Yorker Boiler
- Carrier Boiler
- Buderus Boiler
- LAARS Boiler
- Lennox Boiler
Any of the boilers as mentioned above, if selected carefully, can give the best experience and performance over time. The discussion above can help you determine which boiler is more useful for warming your home in extreme weather conditions. Doing a little research about the factors which affect the pricing and performance can help you stay in budget and save you from spending extra on maintenance and repairing of the boiler.